Fall Baseball – A Great Time To Really Coach!
A few random thoughts on making Fall Ball a bit better experience! *You may want to read note at end of this article
I believe that your ability to communicate will always make your life and your team a better experience. Nothing new so far, right?
Fall baseball is time when teaching and learning, hopefully in a fun environment, may fight demons of your competitive side. We like to say that it is fall ball so we are not going to win at all costs, BUT… it is hard not trotting out your stud pitchers at every opportunity… especially if you have history with some of your competition! The risk of looking like a weenie or your team getting crushed can be overwhelming!
Well coach, here’s a few thoughts to keep you on straight and narrow and possibly allow you to retain some of your dignity (and your won-loss record).
1st – You Need To Have The Come To Jesus Meeting! You have dads in stands (and players, dependant on age) who are just as competitive as you. Your goals for this fall season must be outlined in an initial meeting with parents and players (this is two separate meetings for some teams).
You must be abundantly clear regarding your thoughts on winning, which I always encourage, but that playing well and marked improvement from beginning to end of this season are real barometers.
IF THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE TO ANY PARENT, they don’t get it and should be best advised to find another team.
2nd – You are The Man You, coach, are guy who is giving your time and doing your best to help an entire team of other people’s kids to do their best. And trust me on this one, if kids aren’t having fun, you had better change your ways fast… or you are missing reason you should be doing this in first place! So, in general…keep it fun!
And to a player, what could be more fun than to finally have a coach who gave them a chance to earn position they have dreamed about. Learn to pick your spots, be honest with younger kids who you know may be in harms way, and be aware of when you can and can’t do this. If your heart is in right place…you will know!
We talk about how kids simply don’t play games anymore…by themselves, without adults. Well, one of great things about pick up games we used to play was that kids eventually got to play most or all positions. Today, without fall ball…when and how are they going to learn these positions? We Play Baseball – We don’t work baseball!
3rd - More On Having Fun If it isn’t fun, why would any kid want to do this? They are kids! No matter what age and skill level, especially as they get older, they have a lot of choices. Keep ‘em in game!
Face it… most of world doesn’t think baseball with autumn in air. It’s football, back to school, etc. So, any kid who is on a baseball field in September is telling you…I REALLY LIKE (or love) THIS GAME! Don’t you chase them away!
No matter what their present skill level, those skills may change... and fast! I cannot tell you how many kids I have had in Fall who grow and get stronger by Spring. What a shame it would be if I was one who discouraged a kid just as we was finally able to physically do what he couldn’t just a few short months ago!