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Coaching

A manager or coach, by volunteering for the job, does not get a license to do as he or she pleases but must accept the responsibility for the impact their action will have on the remainder of the player's life. Managers and coaches should accept the responsibility of studying not only the techniques of the game of baseball, but also something of the training and development of young people.

Managers and coaches need to realize their off hand remarks and gestures are evoking an emotion in the player, either negative or positive, which can have a serious effect on morale. Players, no matter how young, are individuals, and their emotions cannot always be dealt with in generalities. When a player fails to respond, it may be time for the manager or coach to consider whether or not there is a need for some individual attention before simply writing the player off as one who does not care or who has not got it. The thought that "perhaps there is ability there, and I just haven't been able to find it is a part of the real challenge of managing and coaching youngsters in youth baseball and softball.

As adults, we all realize the difficulty we have communicating with one another. We often do not listen attentively to each other; we can seldom repeat instructions accurately. How much more difficult it is for a youngster? The young player who fails to perform satisfactorily may simply not know what to do, when to do it, how to do it or why there is a need to do it.

As much as we all hesitate to admit it, the most difficult task for a manager or coach may be to subjugate the desire for personal glory (winning the league title) to that of teaching and helping all of the players on the team develop their talent and personalities.

Working with young people, managers and coaches should realize they are not dealing with professionals. They should concentrate on teaching the fundamentals of the game and should be concerned with the development of all of the players on their team rather than concentrating on the best nine players.The goal should be to help players develop their talents and their personalities. Basically players can be taught to accept the authority of the manager or coach as well as the authority of the umpire and league officials. Players can be taught to work together learning to make the personal sacrifices that are necessary to develop effective team play.

Coaching

Managers and coaches need to be encouraged to work with all of the players on their team. As they develop the abilities of substitute players, they will find the lineup does not suffer as much when those substitutes enter the game. PONY does not advocate minor league classifications. Better players can be of value to the manager when used to help work with players of lesser ability. They can conduct some drills while the manager and coach give individual attention to players with less ability. Let the better players share their talent and learn to help others, one of life's most important lessons. Who can accuse a player of lack of interest when that player rarely gets to play and goes virtually unnoticed at practice?

Managers must determine standards of conduct for the team and advise the players of those standards or team rules and the penalty that will be invoked for violation of the standards. Discipline must be fair and constant, whether it involves the team start or the least used substitute. Particularly in leagues for younger players, it is advisable to pass this information on to parents at a team meeting.

Practice sessions should be held to a pre-determined length of time and be well organized to teach fundamentals to all players, not just a scrimmage session for the starting nine.

Please complete the Coaching Application and Manager & Coach Code of Conduct form (located under Forms),
and submit them into your league president,
or mail to:
Washington Youth Baseball
PO Box 851
Washington, PA 15301

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Washington, Pennsylvania 15301


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