The Coaches Playbook: Developing a philosophy for coaching baseball

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Once your son or daughter has done everything a coach has asked them to do but is still not seeing more playing time, now is the time you want to have a conversation with the coach to get more clarity on the situation.

All coaches are different and some, like the rest of us, may not be perfect. There are coaches who are much more focused on winning than player development and will only play their best players.

Yes, I Do Play My Favorites - Changing the Game Project

Some coaches may favor their own son or daughter over a clearly better player. Sports during the middle school years tend to be more focused on developing motor skills and teaching the fundamentals with competition taking a backseat.

In high school, the emphasis is reversed. High school and club coaches expect a certain level of athleticism and performance to not only make the team but to play on a regular basis. That shift can be a tough transition to make and can serve as a real turning point when it comes to playing a particular sport.

Attack, Attack, Always Attack! ( Ty Cobb )

For some players, the game that came easy to them when they were younger now requires a lot more effort and work. The passion is just not there anymore. Yet for others, the lack of playing time serves as a wake-up call. It fires up their love for their sport and they double-down on their efforts to raise the caliber of their of game.

Do you have a coaching philosophy?

The Winning Youth Coaching Podcast: Youth Sports | Coaching | Parenting | Family Resources

But doing just that - developing and understanding your own coaching philosophy - is one of the most worthwhile exercises you can undertake as a coach. Your coaching philosophy provides you with a reference point with which to make consistent decisions. It allows for a better understanding of yourself and where your gaps lie. It acknowledges where you want to go and what success means to you. So, for today, I encourage you to put down your kitbag, clipboard and whistle, close the tab with the Ultimate game you are reviewing, and instead grab a pen and paper and start to look within.

A good coaching philosophy starts by being part of a community of coaches who can mentor and support you. Most of my thoughts on developing a coaching philosophy have come from the people who guided me through the process.


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Anna Rogacki of Walker Coaching had a large role to play in helping me think about and understand the type coach I want to be. As Head Coach of the silver medal team, Anna supported me as an assistant coach for the Australian World Games campaign this year. Enthusiasm for growth and improvement is a crucial part of my coaching philosophy, something I learned from working with Anna.

The Importance of Mentoring

In addition to finding a supportive mentor in the ultimate community, seek out ways to learn from coaches outside of ultimate. I have been privileged to be involved in coaching education through the Australian Football League Coaching Conference.

Through that experience I have been exposed to many different ways of doing things. Coaches with Microsoft Word can use online tutorials that explain how to build a football playbook using this software. Compile playbooks in order by formation with all plays run from the formation included.

Dan Iverson - Developing Your Coaching Philosophy

If a similar play is run from different formations, include the play in each formation section. For instance, the counter trap run play can be run from both the I and Shotgun formations, so the play would be included in both sections of the playbook.

PDF The Coaches Playbook Developing a philosophy for coaching baseball Read Online

Include a subsection on situational plays, plays most successful on specific downs and distances. Players and coaches are able to quickly reference which plays and formations work best against an opponent's formation.

How do I go about generating my philosophy into a living, breathing, working, baseball entity?

Use names for formations and plays that are easy for players to remember. Word association is important.

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