Coaching youth baseball can be a fun and rewarding experience. But it can be a bit intimidating at the same time and especially for new coaches. We want to help!
We have listened and will continue to seek feedback on the challenges and provide our coaches with the support needed to make this a rewarding experience for all.
GMBA Motto: “Good Sports Today - Great Citizens Tomorrow”
It doesn't matter if you're coaching tee ball or coaching at the Rep level, you're probably the most important role model that your players have during the season. Players are going to look to you not only for guidance and instruction, but they will be watching and listening to how you react to every situation. Believe it or not but a coach can be one of the most influential people in a young players life. Many players and former players attribute a large portion of their success in life to the things they learned on the baseball field and from a few great coaches. We're not talking about fielding ground balls, or how to hit; we're talking about teamwork, perseverance, work ethic, having a positive attitude, to just name a few. Skills that not only helped them on the baseball field but helped them in life.
Often coaches think only of the present year; how am I going to develop the players to have a successful season. We'll get into a definition of successful in a bit, but the point here is often coaches don't realize the influence they have on their players. Coaches can help instill a love for the game that can last a lifetime. Good coaches can keep players interested in continuing to participate from year to year.
As a coach you have to decide how you want to be seen by your players and the parents of your players. What type of example do you want to provide? I hope everyone takes the responsibility of coaching very seriously. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to be a successful coach. The following paragraphs discuss some important issues that you should consider incorporating into your coaching philosophy.
“Coaches: We create the atmosphere, we create the culture. Our attitudes are contagious and determine the energy level of those around us. Our morals are seen in our approach, in what we allow and the choices we make. When drama surrounds our team, we must look at US before we look at them.”
Fun is essential for kids of all ages. Develop practices that let them do the things they enjoy. It's also important for you to have fun. Create an environment that is structured and varied enough for you to enjoy what your doing. If you're having fun, chances are your players will be having fun also.
Players need a patient, supportive coach that can teach and motivate in a positive way. Knowing how to be positive and having the ability to communicate with your players is more important to a successful season than knowing many aspects of the game.
Coaches that believe winning is everything have only one direction to take the team... and that is towards disappointment. Everyone wants to win, but when the main goal is winning a really good season can be lost. If on the other hand, you put emphasis on attitude and effort a successful season can be had without a league championship. Winning games will take care of themselves if you prepare the team to play hard and always give their best effort.
Don’t make the mistake of emphasizing results instead of effort. We’ve seen and heard coaches who try to motivate players by offering rewards. This could be money or candy for getting a hit or getting on base. This focus on results puts additional pressure on the player to perform. This can be especially difficult for the less skilled player. A father once told me that his son’s coach offered a candy bar for each hit during the season. His son started to get nervous the night before each game and it got worse as the season went on. The father talked to his son and found out that he felt like he was letting his team down because he hadn’t got a hit and was the only kid on the team to not get a candy bar. He talked to the coach and they eliminated the reward. Without the pressure of trying to achieve a results based reward, his son was able to relax and got a number of hits over the last few games.
Player: “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is?
Answer: The opportunity to play.”
Becoming a registered coach and attending instructional courses is encouraged and the costs are fully covered by GMBA for those interested. To get started go to Baseball Canada Coaches and look for the “Register” link on the left. Once you are a registered member several coaching resources are available.
Once you have registered and logged in, look for the “Clinics” tab to open up a list of clinics taking place in Ontario in 2019. These often fill up fast. The “Tools” tab is also a great resource with a drill library, Team Season Planner, Practise Planner and other links.
All Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches will need a current Police Check completed prior to your first coaching event with your team. If you reside within Guelph City limits this must be done with the Guelph Police. They are currently moving to an online system for doing Police checks and we will share that information when it becomes available. If you live outside of Guelph city limits you’ll need to confirm what police detachment to contact to get you check done. Example, Guelph/Eramosa contact is the Rockwood OPP office and they do Police checks by appointment only.
As stated above, coaching youth baseball can be a fun and rewarding experience! It can be a significant time commitment but for anyone considering this please know that many resources are available to provide assistance with getting started. Everyone has different backgrounds in life and sports, and maybe baseball in particular; some coaches have played at competitive levels and some haven’t, it’s not a requirement. The important part is providing a safe and fun environment for our youth to experience fair-play, sportsmanship and learn some baseball skills playing this great game. If they have fun and enjoy playing baseball it can be a activity they enjoy for a lifetime!
If you are interested but want more information or to discuss further please send me an email or give me a call!
House League Co-Chair