If nothing else, coaches must coach these two baseball teaching points because they automatically improve players game play. Simply coaching these two necessities will impress others that you know what you are doing as a baseball coach.
Over my 26 years of coaching baseball, there are two baseball coaching topics that stand out as the ones I've taught the most, and for good reason. Quality coaches of all sports would probably say the same thing about these concepts because they are essential for success in every sport. Coaches should coach these two things without exception and when they do not know what else to coach. Additionally, these two notions depend on one another, as they must coexist for baseball success.
The first concept stems from the question, "Are you ready?" Readiness in sport is tricky because players must learn to be instinctual, which requires little present thought. Trust in one's experience and knowledge of the game to know how to perform in every possible game situation takes a particularmindset. Those instinctual actions depend upon players' readiness - both mentally and physically. The physical aspect of readiness is often apparent because players are late to react. However, the mental aspect of readiness is much more difficult to ascertain. Often, what appears to be physical errors come from mentally unprepared players, unbeknownst to all but the players themselves. Coaches must help players prepare by giving them reminders of staying ready and of how to focus in every situation, from when at bat to playing in the field.
Persistent baseball coaching of what it means to be ready must be constant because it takes a long time to develop instinctual ballplayers. Baseball coaches must pepper players with the question, "Are you ready," as well as pointing out times when they appeared unready. Obvious displays of unready players are those fooled by pitches when batting, throwing wild pitches on the mound and having bad jumps on defense. Non-ready players usually show up with with them back on their heels in nonathletic positions, which is the second never ending teaching point.
This second baseball teaching point also starts with a question, "Are you balanced?" Balance gets to the essence of sport and is at the heart of readiness. A lack of balance prevents readiness and sustained success. Baseball coaches are responsible for teaching players thephysical balancethat gets them into the absolute best ready positions on defense, pitching, and at-bat, for every pitch of every game.
Additionally, coaching the correct balance while making plays requires an enormous amount of repetition of the baseball skills. Therefore, coaching balance in every aspect of the game requires patience, persistence, knowledge and most of all, awareness of when balance is off because all baseball skills are difficult to perfect.
In conclusion, if nothing else, baseball coaches should coach the baseball teaching points of readiness and balance to see players improve their game automatically.
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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