Coaching Style – One
Coaching is a very unique field, especially coaching at the youth or high school level. Year in and year out, coaches need to adjust their coaching style to fit the team that they have that year. It is very similar to teaching a classroom; you have different dynamics within the class as well as different learning style from the kids. Some respond well to criticism, others to a pat on the back and a soft spoken word. Neither of these is always correct.
One example of this is you as parents and how you treat your kids. If you ask your child to do something and you ask them to do it over and over again and they do not, what will your honest reaction be? You will be upset with them…why…because you care about them and want them to do the right thing. When they cross the street for a ball when you ask them not to, you will be upset because of the consequences that could have occurred. Sometimes we need to look at coaching as a style of parenting. If we are really trying to teach kids not only how to play the game, but more broadly, how to handle certain situations in life, they have to learn how to deal with a tough coach. For example, if you look at your job and you have a boss who asks you to do something a certain way and you do not, your boss will not pat you on the back and say, “hey, it’s ok…you at least tried hard”, you will be replaced by someone who can do their job the way it is asked to be done. Obviously the players are just kids and not adults, but the point is still the same.
One of the greatest lessons I learned when I was growing up is that if your coach was on you, it’s because he cares. It’s when you do something wrong and they do not say anything, that you should then be worried because they might be giving up on you.
As players get older, coaches get more intense, school and teachers get more intense, the job world gets more intense…let your kids grow up and learn how to deal with a variety of personalities.
Stay tuned next time when I write about the coaching style of a soft spoken word and a pat on the back!
Director of Operations
Illinois Baseball Academy