Baseball Parenting Tips: Joining Your Child’s Team As an Assistant Coach
It can be very rewarding for a parent to assist or volunteer in their child’s activities. Youth baseball is always in need of committed volunteers to help make the league run smoothly. Parents make up a vast majority of the volunteers in baseball. The baseball experience and knowledge of these parents will differ but what matters is that they are willing to make a commitment. Let’s take a look at some Baseball Parenting Tips For Joining Your Child’s Team as an Assistant Coach that will help a parent get familiar with the expectations of a new coach.
#1 Learn From the Veteran Coaches
This probably goes without saying for a parent that is a baseball novice. However, I have seen in my experiences that sometimes a parent who has great knowledge of the game can struggle with this concept. It is quite possible that someone could be a first year coach with a team and have the mossy knowledge of baseball. However, they certainly will not have the knowledge of the inner workings of the league. A parent with a great deal of baseball knowledge will doubt have a lot to offer a team. However, from the very novice to the extremely knowledgeable, all will have to learn the rope from the veteran coaches.
#2 Learn How To Do the Scorebook
I believe all coaches should learn to do the scorebook and especially a new coach. For a new coach just joining the team, learning to do the scorebook (keep book) will allow them to understand basic baseball terminology, understand basic baseball strategies, understand substitution rules and let them get to know the other teams.
#3 Observe & Assist at Practice Before Teaching
A new coach (and even that very knowledgeable first time coach discussed earlier) should assist in practice before teaching on their own. The veterans will not only teach them proper ways to run drills but can also show the new coach how to work properly with the players. The new coach must earn the players trust first by building relationships with the players and the veteran coaches can assist with that.
#4 Get A Niche
A new coach might want to try and focus on working on a particular skill set with the team. For example, a new coach could work with just the outfielders. They can learn how to properly run outfield drills and how to properly teach outfield mechanics. At the same time, they can slowly learn other skill sets that will allow them to be more well rounded coaches.
#5 Observe & Learn Outside the Niche
While becoming comfortable teaching a particular skill set, the new coach can slowly learn other skill sets that will allow them to be more well rounded coaches. For example the new coach could work on outfield skills first the first part of practice and then help/observe a veteran coach work with the pitchers and catchers for the last part of practice.
#6 Build Positive Relationships with the Players & the Other Coaches
A parent who is coaching for the first time must understand that they are not only there for their child but the entire team. It is vital for a new coach to build positive relationships with the players and fellow coaches.
#7 Build a Positive Reputation with the Umpires
A new coach must remember that youth baseball is a very different game then Major League Baseball. Many times during televised games, umpires are seen being verbally abused ( and unfortunately sometimes even physically abused) by players and coaches. As fans, we find this entertaining and an accepted part of the game. However, this is certainly not the case in baseball. The league is made up of volunteers that include league officials, coaches and umpires. All volunteers need to respect each other and work together to provide the children with a quality baseball program. The new coach will want to get to know the umpires and have a positive rapport with them.
#8 Eager To Learn & Eager To Help
A new coach will want to be a welcome addition to the team and not a burden. I unfortunately saw coaches who only wanted to attend games and not practices, fund raisers and other league functions. It will be very difficult for a coach who does the bare minimum to bond with the league. A coach who does as much as they can to help the league will be an accepted and respected member of the league which will make for a much more positive baseball experience.
#9 Learn On Your Own – Websites, DVD’s and Books
A novice or knowledgeable first time coach can benefit from the many learning resources available to help make them a better baseball coach. There is endless resources to learn about coaching baseball through dvd’s, books and the internet. Of course we recommend Baseball Zone and their dozens of practice plans and hundreds of drills for $10. Who knows, maybe the new coach will find something the team hasn’t tried and that could be beneficial.
#10 Build a Positive Reputation with the League
A new coach can build a good reputation within the league by being a good role model at games and practices. They can also gain respect by attending league functions other than games and practices like league meetings and fund raisers. Good standing in the league could mean getting elected to a league board position or being offered the managing position of a team.
Being an assistant coach on a baseball team requires a sizable commitment, a lot of patience (working with children) and a positive, unselfish attitude. It will all be worth it because it is a very rewarding and special experience when a parent is able to help coach their child’s team.