5 Things to Know as a New Coach

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If you’ve chosen to be a coach for a youth baseball team, good for you! The experience is fun and rewarding, especially if you’ll be coaching your own child and their friends in the process. But being a new coach can also be intimidating. You want to do a great job and create a fun experience for the kids, but you also realize that you have parents to please as well. So how can you juggle the responsibilities and make it a great season for everyone?

Here are five things that every new coach should know.

 

  1. Have a Plan for Practices

 

Organization is key when coaching a Little League team. Even though you may be new at this thing, it won’t show if you have each block of time accounted for. This is especially important if you’ll be coaching young kids, as they can get distracted easily. Break down the practice into blocks of time (5, 10 or 15 minutes, for instance) and use each block to practice various drills. Or, set up drill stations with small, manageable groups. Also, have all your equipment ready before practice begins, as well as a snack/juice lined up.

  1. Focus on the Basics

Every coach wants to impress the parents (and other coaches), but remember that this isn’t part of the job description. You’re volunteering; not getting paid millions to put on a great show. Your main role is to teach the kids the fundamentals of baseball and make sure they are having fun while doing it. You may not be able to please them all, but you’re doing your job if the kids are learning and having fun.

  1. Be Patient

Remember that you are working with kids. Not only are you not getting paid millions to coach, but also they are not getting that to play. They’re coming out to learn, have fun and socialize. Some kids will be picking up a bat for the first time while others will be comfortable with the basics of baseball. Find ways for all the kids to be involved, and be patient with the different experience and maturity levels.

  1. Find Your Niche

Each coach is different, and you have to find what works for you. Some coaches are strict, others are lenient. Some are soft-spoken, others aggressive. Find a role that you’re comfortable in and that your team responds well to. Some groups of kids do require more discipline than others, and that’s okay. Just be sure that whatever coach you choose to be, you can be proud of it.

  1. Ask for Help

You may be the head coach, but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. In fact, plenty of parents will be eager to help. Ask others for assistance with equipment or to create a snack/juice calendar. Talk with other coaches for advice on running practices, dealing with parents and working with the kids. Experienced coaches can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that new coaches make!