Coaching Philosophy Continued

Every coach regardless of coaching level should have and develop a coaching philosophy to direct how they deal with their athletes and the game of baseball.  As a young coach, years ago I was given advice about developing a coaching philosophy to guide me and I can’t tell you how important that philosophy has been to my overall success as a coach.  I took the time to put it in writing and I continue to refer to it often.  It was and remains my road map to what’s important in coaching baseball to young players.

As a young coach I had this over aggressive posture that my teams were going to win every game and I was going to push players to a point where we could make that a reality.  At first I had success but over time I seem to lose way too many players from year to year and after discussing the situation with other veteran coaches, I clearly had a misguided plan that needed some modification.

I sat down after talking with other successful coaches and crafted some guiding principles to lead my coaching for years to come.  Since developing the plan, very few changes have been needed because my key philosophy now revolves around one key point and that is a focus on player skill development.  I obviously modify some objectives based on the age group I’m coaching but it continues to focus on player development.

I believe in developing players to the best of their ability and with that development we will win our fair share of games.  The win at all cost times are over and I would suggest you think long and hard about going down that path.  Stick to a player development theme and you will build sound fundamental players with happy parents and still win your fair share of games.  To me this is not about developing the best coaching record in the state.  Sure, when I was young that’s all I cared about but now that I have more wisdom I can tell you the player development path is best for you and your players.  Youth Baseball is not the place for you to worry about your coaching record so leave the ego at home and develop the skills of your players and their love for the game of baseball.

My coaching philosophy today

Below I outline my Baseball before We Knew It coaching philosophy as it stands today.  From time to time I make a few modifications based on the age group I’m working with but for the most part it stays the same.  Feel free to incorporate the ideas presented below into your coaching philosophy but always remember to make it your own as copying my entire plan would not be the best course of action in my opinion.  Remember, make it your own.

  • We focus on fundamental player development at all times which means we teach good fundamental baseball skills during our practice sessions.  We drill these skills over and over again until the players understand and can teach the skills back to the coaches. 
  • We keep practice sessions moving along at a quick pace while keeping them fun and entertaining.  We incorporate skill competitions and games into our practice sessions which build a competitive fire in the players while improving their basic fundamental baseball skills.
  • All coaches will be enthusiastic and provide encouraging comments to players so they have a positive experience.  Our goal is to get them to play together as a team in a competitive environment while stile having fun.
  • All players are expected to put the best interest of the team first before any thought is given to individual accomplishments.  We teach the concept of team and us the following acronym continuously.
  • All coaches will provide positive feedback and we expect our parents and other players to do the same.  We believe our players will perform better when positive feedback is used and it’s more likely they will develop a love of the game that will last a lifetime.
  • We will demonstrate what is being asked of the players.  This visual training will help most players achieve more success in developing good fundamentals.
  • Coaches will take an interest in each and every player on the team.  They will talk to them individually as much as possible in order to get to know them as a person and not just a player on the team.  The players are important and the coaches care about what they have to say.
  • We will stress team work at every practice and stress how important it is for the players to support each other in a positive manner.
  • We will stress team pride and encourage our players to work hard and commit to being the best they can be.  We believe hard work will pay off on the field at game time so the players will be pushed to perform at a high level at all times.  Our focus will always remain on effort as that is something every player controls.  As a team we will rarely control the outcome of a game but we can control how much effort we put out.  That’s our measure of success.
  • Teaching and repetition will be used by the coaches to prepare the players to perform at a high level.  The coaches will demonstrate teamwork, sportsmanship and respect for others 100% of the time.
  • Our practice plans will be well thought out and organized since we know players respond well to this organization.
  • Competition is part of any sport and players will naturally become more competitive as they grow older.  We teach healthy competition on our teams by keeping things in perspective by focusing on effort the players are giving during our practice sessions.  Effort and attitude remains our focus, however developing a competitive spirit and learning how to win is just as important.  We know by focusing on fundamental skill development, we will win the number of games that we are capable of winning.
  • Playing time is earned and not given.  All players are expected to perform to the best of their ability and no preferential treatment is given to starters over other players.  You play your way into more playing time.

Coach Mark

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