Ok so the first post received a crazy response! a couple thousand views a day for about 5 days, Thank you all for taking the time to read the blog and also thank you for those who have emailed me questions, compliments, comments and criticisms. And if any of you ever want to share an opinion with me or have any suggestions please feel free to contact me. Also if you haven’t already click follow so you can get alerts on new blogs.
So I have some very honest people in my life that I am grateful for, so I will answer the questions here for all of you but I will leave them anonymous.
How do I push my teams at practice?
That’s an easy one for me. I push them physically and mentally with flat out hard work, don’t need to yell to get my point a crossed. But there are times where I do raise my voice. But its about what’s being said, Like I said in the original post “make the shout/yell rare so when it does happen players know you’re not playing games”. But there is a hill at practice and a large field that we can get the attention of the players really fast. I let all my players know early, “this can be track practice or softball practice”. So we can run and work on endurance/cardio or we can do softball drills and work on it. So peep this real quick, The breaks are quick and minimal at practice. The drills are fast paced and frequent, Players are pushed physically to get tired so when they are tired they can learn how to get through the mental mistakes. So each player fields the ball about 125 times a practice (front hand, forehand, backhand, backhand sweeps, dart throws, quarter throws, side arms, glove flips, barehanded, running off balance throws etc.), outfield coach “Boo” puts the outfield through their own drills and then we hit. After the “bat dailies” we work stations and the players get about 75-100 reps total. There is not a lot of time to lose focus, but it does happen and when it does happen I blow the whistle and we return to track practice. It is pretty simple to me, and in the end the players control their own effort and attitude and that is what determines their playing time.
You don’t yell at all?
Are you kidding that’s my favorite thing to do! I stay up all night thinking of fun ways to make my players hate me so they can play hard for me….. but Seriously There are times where I have to raise my voice, but when you say yell I take that as negative. Do I raise my voice? yes do I “YELL” no. Listen give criticism without making the kid flinch, when its time for me to “put the hammer down” or criticize then I do that its called coaching, but I don’t need to “yell” to do it. My outfield coach “Boo” is also the speed and agility coach, so once things get out of hand coach Boo lines them up and we start working on cardio. See coach “boo” understands how to raise his voice and grab the attention of the players and then bring them in and talk to them and make them aware of what needs to be fixed. We have a good formula for our 12u team (coach mike, Eddie, boo and Nikki) and we all try to push the players hard. My 16u team is a perfect formula between Coach Todd and myself, in fact coach Todd doesn’t even have to raise his voice ha ha all he has to say is “Give me 3 lines” and everyone knows what time it is. But we are coaches and we have to coach.
What do you do when the player (s) don’t take it serious, always playing around or their effort is low?
Normally I hold my breath and count to 10 and if I don’t pass out by then I scream at the player and remind them about all the mistakes they make and this is why… ok ok Seriously I probably get more pissed off at myself than anything. But I do realize that some players do have off days for whatever reason. When a player comes to me and lets me know “hey coach, I’m really not having a good day today, my mind isn’t in it today” then I would rather a player be honest with me then to not tell me at all and I assume the players is just playing around. BUUUUUT! this is rare, when a player is just at practice to socialize or to talk to players and do the bare minimum then I have a problem with that. My goal as a coach is to push these players to compete against the best and the bare minimum isn’t going to cut it. The easy fix to this issue is playing time. The way I see it is if you have lack of effort at practice then I’m not going to put you on the field with others who left a piece of themselves on the field, it normally works itself out. But if this is a ongoing issue then I try to figure out why its happening and work it out with the player, but in the end its all about playing time and if it is effecting the teams moral then as a coach I need to make a decision that’s best for the team.
Listen folks i have been hearing and debating with folks about how “soft” kids are now a days. That has ZERO to do with me and my coaching style, and you don’t have to like my coaching style but I don’t have “soft” kids on my teams just because i don’t scream or yell at players doesn’t mean they are “soft” or somehow weaker than kids who do get yelled at. I don’t raise soft kids, you can check with my daughter on that one, try her or test her or whatever you feel but she is a savage, sweetest kid in the world but put her in the mix and she will leave it all on the field. Or come check out my older team you wont find soft anywhere near them, like I said before about the 12u they are working hard and they aren’t soft at all. But why does yelling and not yelling have to go with soft or not soft?
so answer me this. can you point me to a team where the coach is always yelling and has a negative tone towards their players, makes them play in fear and gets results? I can think of a couple to be honest, but its one and done because the players want out. Trust me when I say that those players are looking elsewhere.
If you have gotten this far I ask you this, to please not use this as a platform to call out people that you have had a potential bad experience with. Because I was once a coach that did EVERYTHING negative and I can probably point you to 7-10 families that will never play for me again because of it. Even if they recognize I am a 100% different type of coach, the damage was done.
Players and parents chose what teams to tryout for so do your homework, it doesn’t hurt to ask questions. People who get mad at questions typically don’t want to tell you the truth. Coaches also remember you chose your own team, so before you get mad at the player(s) and remember those players were who you chose, and if they were everything you wanted at tryouts then ask yourself what made them regress.
I feel like a rambled a lot on this one. but please hit me up if you have any questions
See you on the field,