Coaching Youth Baseball The Right Way
By Bill Bathe From Pro Baseball Drills And EquipmentThere on many tips that can be learned. But coaching kids is a delicate practice that needs to be taken with the kids self confidence at the heart of the teaching. These days, parents and coaches alike want to win so bad, they put undue stress on the kids that can have a negative effect.
Sometimes, as parents and as coaches, we try to put too much on our kids. We tend to point out the negative when we are talking to them instead of building up their self confidence.
I once heard a parent yelling at his kid from the stands, “If you don’t get a hit, you aren’t eating dinner tonight!” Needless to say, I went up and spoke with the parent about this approach. You may think this is harmless, and you may have said it in a joking fashion, but think of the kid on the field who is playing in front of all the parents and friends. He hears this as he is strolling up to the plate… Talk about stress and the feeling of rejection and humiliation if this kid doesn’t come through.
Remember, we are building more than just ballplayers here. Coaching kids reaches much further than just the ballfield. We are building people who are going to go out in the world someday. We are building character, pride, self confidence. We do this through encouragement and nourishing. Not through pointing out failures and humiliation.
That’s great Bill, but how do we get them to play better if they can’t stand a little criticism? By encouraging them. When your kid takes a swing and misses, the first words out of your mouth should be, “Nice swing! You just missed it, keep trying and you’ll get a hit!” That encourages your kid to keep trying. Not only that, your kid will be excited about trying more. This promotes self confidence. If your kid strikes out 4 times in the game. Put an arm around him after the game and tell him he really swung the bat well and that he will get them next time. And tell him how proud you are of him for trying.
Remember, coaching kids is about encouragement. I can’t say this enough. They will believe what they hear. If you are encouraging them all the time, they will feel good about themselves not only in baseball, but in other things too.
Also remember to be patient. They are still learning, so you need to give them time to succeed. Just keep loving them and nurturing them and the rest will fall in place.
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