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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baseball Coaching and the Importance of Goals For Team and Player Motivation

Baseball Coaching and the Importance of Goals For Team and Player Motivation
By Nick Dixon

There are very few volunteer jobs more challenging, time-consuming or rewarding than being a coach in your local league. There are many four letter words used by coaches that I can not use here. Here I want to discuss the 4 four-letter words that can and will determine the amount of success a coach has during the coming season. The four words are Goal, Plan, Work and Time.

Today the four letter word is G-O-A-L:

The Definition of the word Goal is a simple goal can do wonders to drive a baseball toward success. When you set a goal or goals, you accept the challenge to achieve the goal set. With that challenge comes a commitment and responsibility. Setting goals can improve the focus of the team, bring members and staff closer, and unite the groups in a common cause.

If you have a goal or goals to work for, your season will be like a journey to no where. You must set team goals. The setting of goals should be a team effort. It is suggested that team goals be set during a team function, away from the field. Have a team swim party, cookout, and party soon after the draft. Let the parents and players meet each other and the staff. Then let the players suggest what team goals they see as important for the approaching season. The goals should be set before a single practice or workout. The goals should be written down. It is always a great idea to make each player a printed list of the goals. Take a picture at that first team meeting. Use office publisher to make a sheet having the team name, logo, picture, team roster and the list of the team goals. You may also want to put a team motto on the bottom of the sheet.

The players should post the "Team Goal Sheet" in their bedroom. It is also recommended that a few team rules be included on that sheet.

It is suggested that you often mention your team goals during team practices and games. Use the team goals to motivate your players to focus on the practice activity being done at the present time.

It is always a great idea to have a post season meeting to discuss and review the team goal sheet with the team goals that the team set before the season began. You will briefly discuss the goals not met and why your team came up short on them. You will not single out players, plays, or games. You will briefly mention that if you had worked harder, these goals may have been reached.

In this post season meeting you will mostly discuss the great things done and the goals set and met. You should tell the team how proud you are for the team accomplishments. You may also discuss the hard work and great performance level that led to the achieving of these goals.

You may want to give the players a second Team Sheet with the goals achieved, team record, team photo, roster, and maybe a quote or motto you want them to remember in the off-season.

Suggested team goals:

Win the League Championship
Go Undefeated
Score at least 7 runs each game.
Hold the opponent to 3 runs or less each game
Have a team batting average of .375 or better.
Have perfect attendance at every practice.

Suggested team rules:

Never throw an object in disgust.
Never walk on the field.
Never be late for practice.
Answer the coach with a Yes, Sir or No Sir
Never question an umpires call.
Never sit or lay down on the field during timeouts.
Properly warm-up before every practice and game.

Suggested Team Slogans:

Expect to WORK...Expect to WIN!
A Season with a Reason
There is no I in TEAM
Work More, Win More
Work Like a Champion

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Dixon is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products such as the Original BatAction Hitting Machine, SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, Original Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, Batting Cage Builder, the American Baseball Directory and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter. Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Batting Cage Buyers Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog.

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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