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Coaching Principals

·  Have a plan for each and every practice.

·  NGU-Never Give Up. A coach must continue to teach, even when some of the players look like they aren’t “getting it”. Teach right up to the last out of the last game of the season.

·  Spend extra time, after practice, with those players who need it the most or make other times to meet with the players. Don’t be influenced by what parents and other coaches say to you or about you. Believe in what you are doing and stay on the path. Believe me, if you are doing a good job you will not be popular. You will be respected, but not popular. If you try to please everybody you will wind up pleasing nobody.

·  You must have control and you must use discipline.

·  Be yourself, coach within your own personality. Don’t try to copy someone else. Use other methods from coaches that you admire but ultimately you have to be yourself.

·  Have integrity. Keep teaching the important values even when they are not fashionable. Stand by what you say. If you penalize players for missing practice, penalize all of them, not just the
weaker players.

·  Don’t set arbitrary rules to enforce them at your whim.

·  Understand that you can make a difference in a young life. That is your reward. That is why you coach-not just to win.

·  Have a goal of making your players just a little better than they were the day before. Develop the attitude that if they are not getting better, they are getting worse.

·  Teach your players to respect the game. How they act on that field is a direct reflection of you, the coach. Have them hustle at all times, keep their shirttails in, wear baseball caps, maintain good behavior and listen to you. The way they practice is the way they will play in games.

·  Take coaching seriously and give it your best effort. If you want your players to take you seriously, take the game seriously.

·  Become a student of the game. Players can use the off-season to get better. Coaches can too.

·  Teach your players appropriate behavior during games. Don’t let them question umpires’ calls or cheer against the other team. Teach them how to stay focused in the dugout. Give each player some responsibility.

·  Demand respect from your players. You will find you’ll have to earn it.

·  Become a positive role model around your players. Don’t smoke in front of them.

·  They are going to emulate you. You have an obligation to set aside your personal peccadilloes for the time that you are a coach.

·  Put your ego in your back pocket. Be confident that you are operating with the proper motives.

·  Don’t belittle other teams and other umpires.

Learn ways to keep your team focused in games. You want them to stay involved. That is part of the learning process. This is a very tough element of coaching. Make sure you give each and every player something to do. Ask them questions to keep them involved in the game.

·  Constantly move your infielders and outfielders around during the game. This keeps the defense alert as well as preparing them for different situations.

·  Set a high standard. Don’t go down to another teams level if that team has poor coaching. Stay away from that ya ya stuff.

·  A youth coach should take the approach that he/she is teaching all his/her players how to move up to the next level. That is what he should want for his/her players, to keep going up the ladder.

·  This is where integrity comes in- that player who is having success now but might have a bad mechanical hitting flaw. If you don’t help him change, he will not go on. You, the coach, are aware of the problem. It is your duty to help him. It is very easy to ignore it. He is doing so well now. We are winning with his little drawback. Ah, let the next coach worry about it. This takes some determination and strength of purpose on the part of the coach. He not only has to get the player to buy into what he is doing but he must convince the parents that he is right. It is definitely much easier and much more popular to just let it alone.

Coaching is not for everyone but it is a very rewarding and noble pursuit.

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