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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tips for Little League Baseball Coaches - How to best use your team time.

Wasting time is something that baseball coaches should avoid. There is nothing more precious to a player, to parents, or to assistant coaches than time. Time spent at the baseball field must be considered valuable or constructive time. We are coaches because we love the game and we want to help young players grow up to great adults. We help nuture that process by teaching good morals, good values, and good habits. There is no more important thing for a kid to learn than the value of time and the importance of always being punctual.

The key to showing that you value someones time is to have your team practices, meeting, and other acitivites planned and organized.

Here are my 10 tips for showing the value of time:
1. Be punctual at all times. If a practice is schedule to start at 3:00. You should start it eactly at 3:00. Not one minute arly or one minute late. If the practice is set to end at 5:00, end the practice on time. A coach that is constantly running practices over is showing little regard for time and family life. If you do not end it on time. Why should you start it one time. You running a practice is not different than a player arriving 10 minutes late.
2. Stop drills when the alloted time is up. Do not run over.
3. Do not waste practice time having coaching conference. Have your coaching meeting after practice or 30 minutes before practice.
4. Have a practice schedule. Have every minute accounted for and planned. Use odd minutes in drills such as 7.5 minutes. This emphasizes the value of time.
5. Have agenda for team meetings. If you have a team meeting without a purpose or agenda, you may be wasting time. If you have a team meeting and ramble on and on talking in “circles”, you are wasting valuable time.
6. Have a designated place in the dougout for each player’s belongings. Make sure every players name or number is clearly visible on their glove, batting glove and bat. This saves time when a players has to find a glove, a bag, or a bat.
7. Do not talk through the fence with a parent or friend during practice. Kids should not do it and coaches should not either. You are showing a definite lack of respect for practice time. Make sure that you make it known that you will not have discussions or converstations with anyone during practice time.
8. Set all training equipment up before practice. Do not wate valuable practice time assembling, locating, or moving practice equipment.
9. Always disassemble and pack the training equipment up after the designated practice time is over. Do not waste valuable practice time packing way equipment.
10. Do not talk all night after a game. Set a time limit to post-game or post-practice meetings. If you can not say it in 5 minutes, they are not going to remember it anyway. Younger kids are going to “turn you off” after about 5 minutes. Save some of your talk for the beginning of your next practice.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick