Common Coaching Mistakes
While no coach is perfect, we have come up with a list of some of the more common mistakes made by coaches in our sport.
Performing drills in which a limited number of players receive frequent repetition while the rest of the team stands around watching or chatting.
Rotating players through all defensive position. Coaches will often defend this by arguing that it creates greater familiarity with the position, however more often than not this philosophy is employed simply so the coach can avoid explaining to parent why their child is ‘stuck in the outfield.’
Pitchers Fielding Practice
Failing to work on pitchers fielding practice such as having your pitcher cover first base. So many youth ball games are lost because a pitcher simply forgets to cover first base.
Base running is as important to a team’s success as any other skill set. Young players need to learn to make their own decisions on the bases, not just respond to a coaches ‘run’ or ‘stop’ commands.
Tolerating lateness, absenteeism, and back chat typically from teenage players. This is not allowed in the workforce and should not be tolerated in youth sports.
Giving too many signs from third base. Often this is done by coaches who would rather control the game rather than allow the players to play the game. In still confidence in your players and you will be amazed at what they will do for you.
Insistance on Yelling
Instructing players to yell and scream at their teammates on the field in an attempt to keep their attention ‘in the game’ is ridiculous. This eliminates opportunities for teammates to talk to one another about the game and what is happening. ‘Firing up’ is football, not baseball!
Young players are often so fearful oft striking out that is diminishes their confidence and hinders any offensive development. Players should not need fear swinging the bat.
Teaching players to catch the ball with their throwing hand pressed behind glove. A hand behind the glove is of no use to the player. When preparing to receive a throw, place both palms to the thrower at shoulder width apart. This gives the thrower a better target and the receiver will be better prepared to receive good and bad throws.
Ready Stance for Infielders
Standing with glove at chest height is great if player is expecting a bullet hit right at them chest height. This is rare. Have your glove palm to hitter with fingers facing the ground. This is a far better position to receive a ground ball.
Charging the Ball
Give player’s confidence to charge the ball. Charge with 1 hand, NOT 2. When charging the ball, you don’t have the safety of using 2 hands on a tough slowly hit ball while moving quickly. Learning how to do this will change this from a “risky” play to “routine” one.
Allocate 15 mins to throw each practice with short and long toss incorporated. Base distance is not good enough.
Wear team apparel to the practice of that team. Wearing NSW gear with club team uniform is unacceptable. Sure, be proud of playing for your State, but show your club the respect of wearing their colors. This will give a greater sense of team. If you can buy a NSW fleece, you can buy a club one, likewise undershirts, belts, etc.