The importance of quality baseball coaching and instruction is critical to the development of youth baseball and Little League baseball players, and the need for good coaching certainly continues on throughout a player’s career, no matter how long that lasts. Baseball is different than many other sports in various capacities, and in particular, the large number of skills that are required for a player to become a complete ballplayer makes it very possible and plausible that a player with less ability can rise up and become a better player than one who is more athletically gifted. Think about it, while it is great to be super speedy, in baseball, speed alone will not get a player to the next level if he cannot perform the other basic requirements necessary of a ballplayer. Proper baseball coaching can help your players develop the skills necessary to take the next step!
Photo courtesy of Christine Beck, chrissybeck photography, Chesapeake, VA. Image of KBA Black Sox following tournament victory in Rehoboth Beach, August 2015, For more info on KBA, go to www.kojackbaseball.com
One way to really improve as a player – and it’s a very significant method of doing so, is to focus and concentrate during practice. Do everything at practice like you would in a game, and take advantage of the reps being provided. Listen to the coaches, watch videos and actual ball games, and work, work, work, very hard on doing the right things. All aspects of the game, from base running, to pitching, to fielding to hitting, and then some, are worked on at practice, and this is really your only opportunity to do the right things the right way with your current group of teammates. Take things seriously but have fun, and work on your skills. You WILL get better! This, however, does not underscore the necessity of working on your own at home, and when you do this, ensure your efforts match to how good you want to be and how much you want to improve. A great coach once told me character is doing the right things, even when no one else is watching. When you are home, working alone, don’t take shortcuts. Be responsible and be accountable, and if you want to get better – really, really better, do the right things!
Of course, the ability of a baseball player to rise above more talented athletes is not only attributed to his desire, but also to the coaching he has received. We’ve talked about muscle memory and the need for repetition, but remember; repeating a skill improperly ingrains that skill incorrectly. Do it long enough and it’s harder to recover. This is where good baseball coaching comes in. Because there are many times that practices are jammed with drill after drill designed to improve the skills of players in many different areas, the way these drills are performed is more important than the actual drill. As a coach, you may be rushing players from drill to drill so make sure your player's understand that while it's important to move quickly to the next drill, it's more important to take time and perform the drill and skill properly. It's always better to get 20 quality swings during a drill than to rush through 30 or more poorly executed swings. And these are the same quality swings you can work on in your yard, garage, or even living room. Just don’t hit that new 55 inch 3D television!
So coaches, click here for a few tips to
keep your practices and rotations running smoothly while allowing your kids to
get the maximum benefits during the short amount of practice time. And as always, feel free to submit some of
the things you do, as coaches, to ensure proper development, making sure your
players are learning the right way, ingraining the required fundamentals
necessary for success, and anything else you think would help enhance this
section of the web site!
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