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Monday, April 19, 2010

Coaching Youth Baseball - The Basic Truths of Coaching That Every Coach Should Remember

Coaching Youth Baseball - The Basic Truths of Coaching That Every Coach Should Remember

By Nick Dixon

Great Coaches are great coaches for a reason. They love the game. They love the kids. They love to instruct and teach. They love to mentor and minister to youngsters hoping that something they do will help that kid become a better person. Great coaches have an eye for detail and know how to correct players with with a positive approach. They know the game and love to talk the game. Great coaches simply love to coach.

Above all, great coaches know that there is a time and place for everything. They know and realize the impact of the words they speak. They know that what they say can have a lasting life long affect on a player.There is an old saying, If you cannot say something good, do not say anything. That would be good advice for coaches to remember and live by in certain situations. I have seen coaches go crazy when a player misses a sign, fails to get the bunt down, or does not get the job done. The coach attacks the players with little or no regard for his feelings or the impression he is making on his team or league. The feelings of the player are crushed, parents get mad, and other coaches cringe. What is wrong about this situation? There is nothing that that coach said that could not have been said in a one on one privately. Simply pull the player aside and tell him what you what he needs to know.

Here are what I consider to be the 6 basic truths and principles that every youth coach in every sport, including baseball, should always remember:

1. The people come to the games to see the kids play. People do not come to games to watch coaches coach. Coaches should not try to put on a show or theatrical performance. Say what you should say. Say what is needed. Know when to keep your mouth quiet. Knowing what to say or what not to say is crucial. Knowing how to get your message across without anger is important.

2. Everything a coach does and says is observed by players, fans, umpires, parents and fans. Kids look up to you. They will always remember your actions and the example you set for them. Be a positive force in their lives. Remember your behavior on and off the field affects the amount of respect that your players will have for you.

3. Calmness under pressure is a skill that players learn from their coach. If you lose your temper every time something goes wrong, how do you expect your players to perform under pressure and to have composure?

4. Sportsmanship starts with the coach. If you show sportsmanship, the team will show sportsmanship. You should preach sportsmanship. If you unnecessarily question every call, then you are sending the wrong message. If you question a call, make sure that your actions have merit. Show respect for the officials and do not try to make a scene.

5. Do not have discussions with coaches or parents regarding team or player issues with players or other people present. If a discussion is needed, schedule it at a proper place and proper time.

6. Do not use profanity at any time under any circumstances. The duty is a baseball coach is to teach and help young kids learn the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Good morals are reflected by what you say and how you say it. Behave professionally with high moral standards on and off the field.

I hope these basic truths are helpful to you.
Good Luck to yu and your team. Nick

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick