1. Care About the Individuals
2. Prioritize Development Over Winning
3. Have a Healthy Perspective
4. Be a Great Communicator
5. Be Fair and Reward Hard Work

Prioritize Development Over Winning

  • Teach versus criticize
    • Mistakes happen on nearly every pitch. How do you respond to them? Coaches that break clipboards and kick dirt after errors lose their ability to teach and help players learn from mistakes. Understand that these are kids, and kids arent perfect. 
  • Allows players to be aggressive versus afraid to fail 
    • Establish on day 1 what you want the culture of the team to be. With young players we want that culture to be one of aggression. That means allowing them to run the bases hard, to call their own pitches and to swing away. Putting up too many guardrails and rules tells the athlete that they should fear making mistakes. Remember mistakes are teaching moments. Let kids express their identity on the field, and if they do get thrown out trying to steal second, applaud their aggression and talk to the team about the situation and what could have been done differently. Allowing aggression and individuality is amazing for development and growth, because you allow the player to take ownership over their career. 
  • “Where do I want these kids to be in 5 years?”
    • This is a vital question to keep in your head at all times. What’s more important, a kid getting picked of in a meaningless summer ball game, or a kid being afraid to take a lead because he doesn’t want to get yelled at? Ultimately having the attitude of “who cares?” is really healthy for a coach to have. So what you lost the game? What lessons can the team learn and how can your guys get better? Fear of failure is directly influenced by the coach, and one of the biggest reasons players quit the game.