As parents we all know kids can love going school or hate it just because of ONE teacher. Same thing happens when it comes to sports. A good coach can make or break the kids’ love for the game. At the same time, just finding someone who pleases everyone is completely the wrong focus too. You want to find the coach who knows the game and knows how to teach.
Select Someone Who Can Work with Average Players
Coach a team of all-star players is different from coaching average players. All-star players make a coach look good. It takes someone special to take a team of average players and come out with a winning season. Someone like that knows how to work with the players and get the most out of them.
With that in mind, look for a coach that has taken some average or mediocre players and transformed them into above average players. A coach like that can help players of all levels.
Choose a Coach Who Understands that Each Player is Different
Some people take a cookie cutter approach to coaching. They assume that players need a specific stance and have to hold the ball a certain way. While that is true in the very broadest sense, good coaches know they shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken.
Let’s say a kid has a batting average that is well into the .400s. He has a closed stance that most players do not have, but it works for him. He goes through a slump where he is not hitting. A bad coach may try to open the kid’s batting stance up so he can see the ball better. A good coach will know that the batter does well with the closed batting stance and the problem is likely mental instead of physical. In a case like this, a good coach can get your kid back on track while a bad coach can make it hard for your kid to hit for years to come.
Choose Someone Who Doesn’t Have “I Coach My Kid” Syndrome
You’ve probably come across your fair share of coaches who suffer from “I Coach My Kid” syndrome. Sometimes, parents who suffer from this illness give their kids prime positions that they do not deserve. Others act as if their kids can’t do anything right. You need to pick a coach who is mature and thoughtful, who tries their hardest to treat their kid like any other member of the team.
Pick a Coach Who Stresses Fundamentals & Teaches Mental Skills
Too many youth coaches tries to teach too much and too fast. Instead, find someone who understands the importance of setting the right goals for right ages and devote enough time honing core skills. The fundaments should never be overlooked. Even the big leaguers spend a lot of time going over fundamentals. Be patient. The progress will follow if the coach is well centered.
The right coach will also teach kids how to win and lose properly. In order for that to happen, the coach has to learn how to do that and become a good example. Watch how they handle themselves after a game. If they win and lose with dignity, they will likely be a good coach for your child. Talk to them about their coaching philosophies. You will be surprised how much you can learn from simple conversations.
Pick a Coach Who Motivates Instead of Humiliates
Coaches yell. It is a part of the position. They yell to get your kid’s attention so he won’t get hit in the face with a ball. They yell to get her to stop playing in the dirt. While yelling might be normal, humiliating your child is not. Good coaches motivate kids. They do not humiliate them. They will teach kids that missing a pop fly is not the end of the world. Instead of destroying them, they will explain how they can do a better job next time. Kids respond to this type of motivation. They want to please their parents and their coaches, and when their coaches encourage them with advice for next time, many work hard to get it done.
Choose Someone You Click With
This is something that parents often overlook. You are going to spend a lot of time with your child’s baseball coach. Because of that, you need to choose someone you like. That doesn’t mean you need to pick someone you will want to hang out with. It just means you need to pick someone that you respect. If you find yourself saying, “He’s a good coach but I just don’t like that guy,” pass him up for someone else. There are a lot of great coaches out there and there is no reason to spend your time with someone you do not like. That will make baseball unpleasant for you and your child.
What’s right for your neighbor’s kid might not be right for your kid. Evaluate different coaches so you can find the one that is perfect for your kid. Then, you will get a coach that will help your child become a better player.