Baseball Coaching Tips for Avoiding Unsportsmanlike Behavior for New Coaches
There is no place for unsportsmanlike behavior in youth baseball. Let’s take a look at some Baseball Coaching Tips for Avoiding Unsportsmanlike Behavior for New Coaches
#1 Wearing the Uniform and Hat Properly
Having your shirt untucked, unbuttoned or wearing your hat backwards is a big “no-no” at all levels of baseball. The umpires will stop the game and tell the player to make the proper adjustment. However, a new coach really needs to know this rule of etiquette before stepping on the field. It would be really embarrassing for the umpires to have to point that out.
#2 Stealing Bases
What’s wrong with stealing bases? Nothing unless the stolen bases are coming when the team is winning in a blowout game. This honestly could happen with a new coach that doesn’t know much about baseball. The stolen base is a legal part of the game . A newbie might just think that they are perfectly within their rights to steal a base despite the score being 20-0 in the last inning. This line gets hazier in tournaments, especially if run differential is a tie breaker. This should not be a concern in regular youth baseball games.
Bunting with a huge lead is just as bad as stealing. Again, a newbie might think this is ok because they are just executing something that is perfectly within the rules. The purpose of not bunting and stealing with a big lead is to show mercy and respect towards the opposing team. Refraining from bunting and stealing will keep force plays intact that will allow for hopefully some quick outs to end the game in a more respectful way than running up the score .
It is extremely unsportsmanlike for players or coaches to try to induce a balk. A coach should not encourage their players to attempt to induce balks. The most common way to do this is to suddenly yell or scream while singing or chanting. Again a newbie might think that this is just strategy. I, unfortunately, I have seen coaches attempt to induce balks by clapping, yelling and making sudden movements. These behaviors are extremely unsportsmanlike and should not be tolerated.
How can base running be unsportsmanlike? Doing funny walks, dances or running the bases backwards is very unsportsmanlike. By rule, this is considered making a “mockery of the game”. Umpires can penalize base runners for making a mockery of the game by calling them out and ejecting them. Coaches should not be encouraging players to participate in this type of behavior.
#6 Songs & Chants
A coach needs to aware of what there players are singing and chanting. Players should not be using profanity towards or instigate opposing players in songs or chants. Coaches should instruct players to only cheer for their team and their teammates.
#7 Brush Back Pitch/Pitch with a Purpose
Coaches shouldn’t under any circumstance instruct their pitchers to throw a “brush back pitch” or a “purpose pitch”. This is something that happens in the Major Leagues but should never happen in youth baseball. It is ok to pitch inside using the inside portion of the plate but it is not ok for a youth baseball pitcher to throw at the batter.
#8 Delaying the Game
Due to curfews, it could be to a team’s advantage for a game to be extended. If this happens by natural causes and natural progression of the game then it’s not a problem. Using stalling tactics and encouraging players to use stalling tactics is unsportsmanlike.
It is unsportsmanlike for a coach to encourage/teach players to slide overly aggressive or to spike. Again, a newbie may have learned that if the ball is knocked out of the glove on a tag play then the runner is safe so they may encourage/teach spiking thinking this is a good strategy.
#10 Read the Rule Book & Attend Meetings
A new coach who really wants to be a good coach will read the rule book and attend league meetings. Reading the rule book will allow for a better understanding of the game and clarification of rules can be received at league meetings. At a league meeting is also a good time to ask questions and pick the brains of veteran coaches.
In the case of a new coach, it is important to read up on the rules to avoid unsportsmanlike behavior. It is also up to the league to monitor new coaches closely to make sure that they are providing a quality program for the team.
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