Don't Mistake Smiling for Fun
I am astonished, at times, when a parent comes up to me after a baseball class and tells me their child absolutely loves coming to the class. Why the astonishment? During the entire class, that particular student never smiles or gives any indication they are enjoying it. It is important that coaches do not mistake kids running around smiling, laughing and cavorting with friends as the only indications that they are having fun.
Good coaches coach all players, no matter kids outward appearance and understand that fun is more than appearance. Many kids show emotions differently, with smiling and socializing not in some of their nature.
The point is that coaches should spend less time insisting kids have fun out there, and make it more fun by challenging kids, providing continual knowledge, caring that kids improve, looking kids in the eye, addressing them by name, keeping them busy, providing opportunity, offering variety. These give kids every chance to have fun, without insisting they go around smiling all the time. Of course, coaches cannot guarantee fun for all, but coaches can only control their input, just as players can control their effort and not the results. Baseball class has to do with having baseball class - "coaching class" that is.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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