Baseball Coaching – How To Coach Baseball For Players 12 and Under
There is more to baseball coaching than just strategy and fundamentals. While these are important I am going to cover the aspects that I feel will help you become the best coach you can be.
Baseball Coaching Tip #1 – Patience
Without patience you’re in for a very long season. Especially at this young age with skill levels being so drastic from player to player and hormones just starting to kick in (obviously depending on age) you will need to exercise extreme patience. Everything from patience of a kid not being able to do a drill correctly to a kid acting up. You usually don’t know what is going on at their home. If it’s a bad situation they are in, baseball practice may be their escape, even if they don’t act like it sometimes. Remember, nobody said this was easy and you certainly aren’t dealing with robots so be sure to be patient at all times…
Baseball Coaching Tip #2 – Self-Control
At times you will want to rip your hair out and may be so frustrated with a player, not necessarily how he is performing, but how is he acting that you’ll want to thro whim off the team. Now this isn’t politically correct, but you’d be kidding yourself if you thought this didn’t happen in every youth league across the country. It’s at these times where you’ll have to be a leader to these young boys, which leads into my next tip…
Baseball Coaching Tip #3 – Leadership
These boys look up to you. How you act will help shape them now and in the future. Great baseball coaching is always done in a positive fashion. There is never a time to be negative, especially at this young age. Lead by example and be positive and supporting.
Baseball Coaching Tip #4 – Instill Self-Esteem
Most of the kids you will deal with won’t be great athletes or baseball players. You’ll be lucky to have 1 or 2 players who will even play in high school, let alone in the Major Leagues. But the self-esteem they learn from you will help them in every aspect of their life. Be positive, reinforce positives over and over again. This does not mean they shouldn’t be properly coached and instructed, just don’t focus on anything negative.
Baseball Coaching Tip #5 – Fundamentals
In most lists you would have found this at #1. Truth is it’s just not important on the grand scheme of things as 1-4 on this list. Don’t get me wrong, you should do your best to teach your kids the proper fundamentals of the game: hitting, throwing, catching and running. Don’t worry about advanced techniques or any of that non-sense. That stuff will come down the line if they are still playing in high school or college. Focus on what will get them there, which is proper baseball fundamentals.
Baseball Coaching Tip #6 – Mental Aspect Of Baseball
This is very important in baseball coaching because, just like Yogi said “90 of the game is half mental”. In other words – it’s critical to success, not only in baseball but life. Great hitters fail 70% of the time. Great businessmen and women fail at an even higher rate, yet they get back up and keep trying. Dealing with failure is the secret in baseball and life that everyone’s looking for. Be positive, provide some instruction to learn from mistakes and move forward.
Baseball Coaching Tip # 7 – Ability To Deal With Parents
This is a biggie, mostly to make your life easier. At the beginning of the season set ground rules for the parents. Things such as no yelling, not talking to kids during the game, not interrupting at practice, etc. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Set these ground rules early, both verbally and on paper and it will be clear to all if any rules are broken.
I commend you on your decision to join the baseball coaching ranks. Without you there is no high school, college and MLB baseball. You are the rock of America’s pastime. Accept that responsibility with pride and our future generations are in good hands.