The Ole Ball Game

Game Management: Prepare Them In Practice So That Everyone Can Enjoy The Games!

Game management, the term can have many meanings, depending upon who you are talking to.

The first thought that comes to mind for most people is undoubtedly strategy.

While strategy does play a part in a baseball coaches on field schedule, it shares the spotlight with many often times unnoticed activities that together, are designed to create a positive, on field experience for all those involved.

For that experience to go smoothly and seamlessly, much effort during practice time has gone to teaching what you want your players to do and how to react, physically, mentally and emotionally.

If game day is the first time they have heard about all the things you expect from them, be prepared for a very frustrating experience.

On the other hand, if your team has been prepared in practice for each of the things you need to have them do, game day will be the pleasurable experience it was meant to be, for all concerned.

Three Areas To Prepare Players For

The three main areas for preparation are:

  1. Dugout Needs ~ Nuts and bolts of keeping your dugout running smoothly ~

  2. Player Needs ~ Developing a routine for them ~

  3. Player And Team Interaction Needs ~ How will they interact with people ~

Game Management Tips ~ From the Dugout

game management tips ~ from the dugout

In and around the dugout, these 8 items of focus will help create a smooth, organized, and pleasant dugout:

  1. Personal gear ~ What can players have and where do you want it stored.

  2. Catcher and bullpen catcher, gear and routines ~ Both must work together to keep things running smoothly.

  3. Team gear, gloves, hats,helmets,bats ~ Location for all of it, responsibilities for keeping it picked up.

  4. Bench responsibilities ~ As players get older, the responsibilities increase, for things like pitch counts, scorebooks, pitcher tendencies, etc.

  5. Shagging foul balls ~ A fair and equitable system for getting those pesky little foul balls back onto the field.

  6. Keeping gear picked up ~ Just like the foul balls, a fair and equitable system.

  7. Focus ~ Dugout focus is one of the most difficult areas to accomplish.

  8. Throwing equipment, the team's and their own ~ It will come up sooner or later, state your policy up front.

Player Needs

Develop A Routine For Them:

  1. Being on time. ~ A great life skill.

  2. Warm-up routine, stretches, form running and throwing. ~ The same every practice and every game.

  3. Equipment set up. ~ Team and personal, set it up before they start anything else.

  4. Taking pre-game infield/outfield. ~ Make it special!

  5. Between innings, infield, outfield, pitcher/catcher warm-ups. ~ Try something outside the norm here.

  6. How quickly do you want them to get on and off the field. ~ Another area to make special!

  7. Equipment responsibilities for travel days. ~ A fair and equitable system.

Player Interaction

Interactions Players Will Have To Work With On A Daily Basis:

  1. How do they interact with our team.

  2. How do they interact with the opposing team.

  3. How do they interact with umpires.

  4. How do they interact with opposing coaches.

  5. How do they interact with home fans.

  6. How do they interact with opposing fans.

Does That Seem Like A Lot To Prepare For?

Whew!!!! That does seem like a lot, but the majority of these items flow nicely into a practice situation.

Items like warm-up stretches, form running and a throwing routine can be carried directly from practice routine to game routine.

Game infield/outfield can be taught easily in practice, and makes a good break for players from daily drills.

Running a couple of inter-squad rehearsals prior to the first regular game is an opportunity to practice most all items on the list, so that players know who with and where at, to locate their glove/hat in the dugout while on offense.

This allows a teammate to bring their gear to them, should they be left on base at the end of an inning. Keeps the process running smoothly.


All the parts in this section may seem small and insignificant at first glance. When melted together, they form the nucleus of a united group, one that exudes individual and team confidence.

Everyone wants to be a part of something special. Attention to detail in baseball creates an atmosphere around your team, separating them from the pack.

Doing the little things correctly, playing the game as it was meant to be played, displaying a respect for baseball and others, they are what make this experience something special.

Having a specific plan with a meaningful purpose sets your players apart from a good many of your opponents, and on even footing with those who go about the game the same way that you do.

In the pages linked below, we will examine each of the three main areas in depth.

You Don't Do Things Right Once In A While, You Do Them Right All The Time (Vince Lombardi)

Coach Lombardi was speaking directly to football; but it is the same in baseball, and a great concept for everyday life.

Additional Game Management Topics

Dugout Game Management

The Nuts And Bolts Of Keeping Your Dugout Running Smoothly!

Game Management Players

Develop a Working Routine!

return from game management to

baseball's basic tools

baseball american flag

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Solid resources for other categories:

Baseball Resource

baseball equipment, building dreams for over 170 years, one player at a time


Louisville Sluggers. 1920's


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