Sunday, April 21, 2013

How To Be A Good Coach


My email box is crammed every morning with mail from all sorts of sports forums, which I scan, then normally quickly delete, but every now and then a topic catches my eye.
One such topic which caught my attention this morning was the question posed of "How to be a good coach," and I found some of the comments to be quite interesting, while others left me scratching my head.
Comments such as;
" The coach must have passion for the athletes... "
" The coach should never stop trying to learn... "
" A coach should be pro-active... "
" The coach should leave no stone unturned in training... "
I suppose I agree with these comments, assuming what I think they meant is in fact what they were trying to convey. I'm not a real good "read-between- the-lines" person, so allow me the opportunity to boldly state some of the qualities I believe it takes to be a good coach.
1. I'm not reluctant at all to say a passion for the game, whatever the game may be, is a first prerequisite. Coaching, which I prefer to equate to Teaching, is an extremely difficult and time consuming job. Without a burning passion to give others the opportunity to learn the skills you were taught, the excitement of doing something new and different will quickly extinguish and you'll just be going through the motions at best.
2. A coach must exemplify skill, courage and high moral character. Young players must see their coach physically demonstrate how a skill is performed, not just talk it to death. Players are people and people are visual. They must see the coach suck it up on a bad call against his team without throwing a temper tantrum or instantly running to the aid of an opposition's injured player showing compassion.
3. A coach must be able to communicate with his players without consciously trying. Coaching 9 year old kids and 16 year old ones is a totally different game when it comes to communication. You can tell a 16 year old pitcher to never throw a strike on an 0-2 count, but a 9 year old is consumed with throwing strikes, don't confuse the issue. A good coach automatically adapts to the level of his team, maintaining a slightly higher status which clearly defines player and coach.
4. Fairness is a most important element. Professional athletes have varying degrees of abilities, obviously your players will be no different. It's important all players play and all players sit, which is the corner stone of building a team.
It's the coach's job to figure out how to rotate his players and still maintain a reasonable chance of winning.
5. Honesty, which may surprise you as even being included, is important. I knew a traveling team coach who convinced a player to abandon his original team and join his although he knew he'd never play the kid, but he weakened his opponent by stealing the player.
Although I was not the offended coach, I must embarrassingly admit this is the only team I ever, in thousands of games, ran the score up on. Guess grown men can act childish too.
Obviously there are many other factors which go into the equation of making a good coach, but if I had to reduce it to one simple statement...
"Passionately talk the talk and walk the walk," as you are a role model for America's future.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player and member of "Baseball Coaches of America" shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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1 comment:

Lance Tankman said...

I know a lot of people are getting into baseball coaching in san jose, ca does anybody know how to get registered for that, and how do you need some form of certification?