There is a basic coaching philosophy for working with Little League athletes that’s not much different from being a coach at a higher level of education. The coach or coaches on the team act as a role model to every player.
Not only is the Little League athlete going to look to their coach for instruction and guidance, but they are constantly listening and watching their every move. Kids are always seeking out ways to understand how the coach acts and react to every type of situation, especially the stressful ones.
For a young, impressionable Little League athlete, his or her coach can be a highly influential individual in their young life. Many an athlete, as they grow, look back and realize that a significant portion of their ongoing success in daily life, not just sports, is directly attributed to a great coach.
While it is important to teach effective baseball techniques to every Little League player that enhances their abilities to hit, catch or fielding a ground ball, there is much more to coaching. Each child also needs to learn skills like teamwork, work ethic, perseverance and how to maintain a positive attitude. These enhanced skills will help them on the baseball field, and later on in nearly every aspect of their life.
More than Just This Year
That’s why it is so important for the coach to understand that his or her job on the team will produce results not just for this year, but in many years to come. The skills the child develops during a successful or challenging season can help them refine their life skills on and off the field. Success at the Little League level is not just about winning the game, but about understanding how life works.
A great coach will have the ability to keep young players interested in participating in all types of sports, year after year. It’s up to the coach to think about exactly how he or she wants to be viewed by the Little League players and their parents. It takes effort, thought and hard work to become a successful and inspiring coach.
It also takes a high level of patience, positive thinking, understanding every aspect of the game and getting to know what each player has to offer. When young players understand that you care for the game, and that their coach cares for the team even more, they can come to understand what team play and caring means outside of the sport.
So maybe coaching Little League is teaching life skills and love of the game!