Hey Coach - Keep Up The Positive Attitude
Coaching youth baseball is not an easy job and keeping a positive attitude is perhaps the biggest responsibility of a Little League coach. But what does it mean to keep a positive attitude as a baseball coach?
First of all, there is not place in youth baseball coaching for tearing down the players, no matter what the situation. Playing baseball is a metaphor for life, success is only achieved with failure. When we talk about failure in youth baseball we are referring to kids making errors, striking out, making base running mistakes and losing games.
A good youth baseball coach emphasizes to the players that baseball is a game of adversity and constant failure. If the coach of the baseball team does his job, he teaches them to learn from their mistakes and keep a positive attitude. Taking a positive approach to their next encounter builds character and resiliency. Kids look up to their coaches more than you would think. Giving a kid a pat on the back with some reassuring words goes a long way to showing how to be positive in times of adversity.
A positive attitude has everything to do with hustle. As a youth baseball coach you much stress the importance of hustle. That just one lazy player's actions can become contagious. Be empathic about the youth baseball players running on and off the field - at all times.
Another effective approach for baseball coaches is to recognize they may need to handle some kids differently. Be aware of those that may need special instruction or incentive.Knowing how to communicate to all your players is imperative in getting your point across about having a positive attitude.
Teach the kids to support each other; to give teammates encouraging words when they make an error or strike out. Any time a player talks down to another player - it must be nipped in the bud and the offending player must be reprimanded immediately. A positive atttitude is getting the best effort from the players.
Coaches need to stress that sheer determination and 100% concentration are the keys to getting the best effort out of each player. Making the game of baseball fun is also essential to keeping a positive attitude. If the youth baseball players on the team dread to come to practice or games they are already losing the positive attitude. So make it fun. Create some drills that involve the coaches and parents, make a contest out of fielding practice and tell a joke a two - it will make a big difference in keeping a positive attitude.
Finally, a good youth baseball coach will utilize all the baseball instruction tools available to help keep a positive attitude.