Youth Baseball Coaching Clinic Official Blog

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Friday, January 1, 2010

The Importance of Training Qualified Youth League Coaches

By Dave Rosene

From my observations, adults involved in American youth baseball programs today generally can be categorized in 5 groups. I hesitate to call them coaches because they are either not qualified or don't spend enough time learning the profession. It is not a weekend position. Coaching is a serious business because you impact the lives of children, and it has to be positive and correct. We have too many situations where kids are getting the wrong advice and instruction, and it always results in inferior play when players play at a higher level. It must be corrected!

There are superb baseball teachers and coaches throughout the United States. All of them have the same qualities: disciplined, well-prepared, understand and communicate baseball strategy and teamwork, and develop individual player skills, and they coach high school, college, or professional baseball. The reasons are financial or competitive, and what youth baseball is left with is people in the aforementioned 5 groups.

Group 1 are ones with self-interest; they want to coach their child. That is to the detriment of the other team members, who usually are neglected or misused. This group type will also try to manipulate to stock the team with players to make their child look better. Youth baseball is about balance and skill development and not winning games. Group 2 have good intentions but are not experienced or skilled enough to help the youth players. In addition to learning from game experience, they must go to reputable coaching clinics and use the various multimedia reference outlets available to them to best develop the athletes. Group 3 teach throwing, fielding, hitting/bunting, and pitching incorrectly because they were poorly taught or not taught at all. Plus they refuse to change and learn, hazardous to skill development. Group 4 cares more about winning than about skill development, team strategy, and teamwork. They cause more harm than any other group because they confuse the youth players on the importance of winning youth games, and distort the priority of players, which should always be learning all aspects of baseball and maximizing their talents. Group 5 wants to be friends with players and are more interested in equal playing time and pleasing everyone on the bench and in the stands. They have little interest in teaching baseball and are worthless in developing baseball skills.

Baseball is a difficult game. What makes it harder is the paucity of top youth coaches. It is such a disservice to take beginning players with no habits and teach them wrong methods that are frequently never corrected. Youth athletes usually unconditionally trust people in positions of authority until the ones in authority breach that trust. We can't let this happen anymore. Our goal is to teach coaching candidates how to excel so they can pass it along to every player they come in contact with and establish themselves as positive role models, a daunting but not impossible task.

DNA Sports specializes in personalized baseball and softball skill programs, college recruiting education and preparation, and coaching clinics. Learn more:

Dave Rosene - Co-Founder, DNA Sports

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1 comment:

  1. From the tone of your post it seems you are cynical of youth baseball coaches in general. I have coached from the Little League to High School level and know that youth baseball coaches are to be commended for giving their precious free time and effort to help make our kids better people - and if they learn about baseball it's a bonus.


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