Practice getting boring?

Hey Coach – I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s difficult to keep weekly practice from getting boring. Right?  Are you looking to change up your practice plans to keep things fun for your players?  The key is to prepare and to get creative!  The best coaches in the world prep just like teachers do before covering a new topic in class. 

 Most youth baseball and softball teams get one or two practices a week to prepare for their games.  A lot of them consist of the team playing catch down the line, doing infield/outfield, and taking batting practice.  That means a lot of standing around for most of the players while 1 or 2 are working on something. 

The key is to change the focus of practice from week to week.  Create a topic of the day and discuss it before each practice.  It can be anything from teamwork, to hustling, being aggressive and communication.  Once you have a topic of the day, create stations and...

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Coaches…. Be Coachable!

The best coaches in the world are also humble students of the game!  It is our job as coaches to continue to develop our skill sets the same way we teach our players to!  It’s easy to see that baseball and softball are games that are always evolving, so as coaches we must strive to do the same!

Without using complex terminology or fancy gadgets, we must work to be better communicators to our players.  We need to use language they understand and empower them to learn from their own failures.  It’s easy as coaches to get complacent.  It’s easy to do the same drills, yell out the same things and run the same practices over and over. 

Make your practices fun!  Work hard when you create your practice plans to challenge your players and keep things moving.  Watch other coaches.  Learn from some of the best coaches in the world and get creative!  Every player is going to learn differently so we must learn to teach the same...

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Handling Player/Parent Issues as a Coach

As coaches, it’s inevitable that we will have issues with parents throughout the season.  Whether it’s a playing time complaint, disciplining their child or just a general concern, always remember that you’re dealing with someone’s child!  Regardless of the situation, the parent will come to the defense of their kid.  You will at times be on the wrong end of a complaint… don’t take it personal.  It’s important to stand your ground, but always respect the parent’s emotions. 

We’ve created a 24-hour policy with our teams to give issues the chance to die down before trying to resolve them.  If problems get addressed immediately following the game they will most likely get blown out of proportion and turn into a shouting match.  Give your parents the opportunity to go home, take a deep breath and think the situation through before discussing it with them.  In most cases, things will calm down...

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Coaching Youth Baseball --- What should coaches do during the game?

Playing youth baseball and softball is tough!   Think about it…  All the pressures associated with playing well for your teammates.  Trying to compete with the pitcher while the coach is telling you what to do from the dugout.  Worrying about letting your parents down while they’re cheering and yelling in the stands… It’s difficult to balance all of this, especially a game where you’re going to fail 70% of the time, IF you’re of the best players on the team. 

During my past few seasons coaching, I’ve asked a lot more questions to my players than ever before.  When I first started coaching, I was always so concerned with coaching and teaching all the time, I forgot what it was like to be coached.  I wasn’t doing it intentionally, I just wanted to pass along as much knowledge as I could.  I was trying to help, but at times I was probably causing more harm than good by flooding them with...

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Using Paddle for Youth Baseball Training Drills with Coach Steve Nikorak

 

Transcribed from video 

It's Steve here from Dominate the Diamond.  Our community had a couple of questions regarding the paddle and the training pads. So, I'm just going to walk you through a couple of easy drills that you can do with your players. Remember the whole reason for the paddle, or this training pad here, is to make sure that we work on quick transfers. As infielders we never want to just catch the ball with one hand. Okay, if it's in between our feet or in between our shoulders, we want to use two hands and use our glove or use a paddle to stop the ball or deflect the ball. Alright, so the first easy one you can do. Line your partner, line your players up about ten, fifteen feet from each other and just toss the ball back and forth focusing on getting that ball that easy. Alright, so hands up, thumbs up to the sky, just working on deflecting it, not catching it. Again, anything outside our shoulders we're going to use one hand, but for this one right here...

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Taking on the Title of COACH book launch

Central New Jersey’s own Duke Baxter and Steve Nikorak have joined forces to tackle one of the most daunting tasks of parenthood, taking on the title of Coach.  Every parent that has stepped up and accepted the responsibility to coach their child’s youth baseball team has felt that warm sense of pride and excitement, soon to be replaced by sheer terror.  What am I going to do with a bunch of 7-year olds! 

This book is for anyone trying to be an exceptional coach and every parent who has taken on the title of "Coach" but didn’t have a clue what to do next.  Duke Baxter, former professional baseball player and CEO of Zoned Sports Academy and Steve Nikorak, former professional baseball player and Coach at Zoned Sports Academy share their coaching wisdom in a simple 5-step guide for even the most reluctant of sports parents. 

Taking on the Title of Coach covers everything from running an efficient practice, development through fun drills and...

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