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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baseball Coaching Digest - Three Things That I Feel Should Never Be Said on a Baseball Field

Baseball Coaching Digest - Three Things That I Feel Should Never Be Said on a Baseball Field
By guest author: Nick Dixon

There are many things said by coaches and players during a game. Many things said provide useful information and guidance to players. There are other things that I feel are best not said during a game.

Here are three things that I feel should never be said by coaches or players during a game:

1. "We are going to lose." - Expecting to win is vital. The old saying, "Whether you expect to win or expect to lose, you are probably right!" is never truer than in coaching youth baseball. Having a positive attitude is the first step toward having a good game. I do not even use the word "lose" in any conversation during practices or game. I do not want to plant a "seed" that might grow into a team mindset.

Coaching Point: Your players are going to emulate your attitude and your frame of mind. Your words and body language are closely observed and noticed by your players. Never show negative emotion or lose control of your emotions. Players learn to handle pressure as well as their coach does. If the coach expresses too much concern or alarm when something goes wrong, the players may lose faith or panic.

2. "It is too is too hot! - Playing baseball in extreme weather temperature conditions is difficult to deal with. Playing in such conditions requires a lot of stretching and constant warm-up. I have coached in extreme cold and hot conditions. I have coached with snow falling and frost on the infield grass. I have coached when it was so hot and humid that your lineup sheet would be soaking wet with sweat before you could finish making it out. The best approach when playing in extremely weather conditions related to temperature is to not mention or discuss it. The more you speak or talk about it, the colder you will get.

Coaching Point: The wearing of high quality cold weather and hot weather under wear gear is a must for staying warm in extreme conditions. Hot hands packets in the back pocket are a common tactic for keep a players hands and fingers from going numb. A heater in the dugout may be required in extreme conditions. And most of all, remember, that cold weather is brutal on high dollar thin walled bats. It is wise to invest in a portable bat warmer. The popular models feature microwavable inserts that hold the heat and keep the bats warm for several hours.

3. "Watch out for that curve ball!" - It is best not to tell a batter what pitch to look for or to expect. Mental concentration is a part of batting success. Sometimes telling a player to what pitch you think is coming, makes the player to start guessing on pitches. The player will be more successful he is thinking or concentrating for himself.

Coaching Point: The batter should always know the count and the situation. The batter should have a good mental and physical approach at the plate. The batter should always expect the fast ball away and adjust to the fast ball in. The batter should always expect the fastball and adjust to the off-speed pitch.

I hope that you found this article informative and useful. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Good luck to you and your team in the coming season. Have a great day, Nick.

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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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