The Ole Ball Game

How to deal with my sons coaches poor coaching during games?

by Eddie
(rhode island)

Eddie asked:

My son is on a 10 year old little league tournament team. His coach seems to lay all the blame on the players during games that resulted in a loss, instead of directing the players from the bench before the play is made. He chooses to yell and let them know of the poor job they did.

As a fellow coach of diffrent years I believe it is his coaching that is mostly responsible for the teams loss. Our last game was lost due to the pitching. The coach refused to remove his son (who is by far, not a tournament pitcher)which resulted in us loosing by the 10 run rule because of many walks.

After the game he gave the team a decent butt chewing for the loss. Taking no responsibilty for his poor coaching decissions during the game.

He then told the team that the next practice they will be running for 2 hrs.(that must be his way of punishment). I have a good mind to tell the coach if anyone should be running for lack of performance, it should be him. I look forward to hearing your response. Thank you. E.S

Rick answered: The situation you describe is certainly a tough one to be in.

Running 10 year olds, or any age kids for poor play or losing, is a sure fire way to drive kids away from the game, destroy their confidence and create an atmosphere of being afraid to make a mistake, that mistakes are fatal.

Players start to play slow and robotic, afraid to attempt to make plays for fear that if they fail, they will be yelled at, benched or physically punished for the attempt.

Time is always short on a baseball field.

Running for the sake of running, or worse yet for punishment provides no baseball improvement for anyone.

Players need to come back to practice knowing they will be workinhg on situations that they are having trouble with.

With repetitions come the realization that they can handle anything that comes up in a game and their confidence increases.

If you are playing the game you will make errors, give up hits, home runs and walks, and get picked off. It's all part of the game.

What is important is how you react and bounce back from those situations. There is always another ground ball, another pitch, another at bat, another game.

Nothing is fatal!

One of the most important things coaches can do is work to create confident players.

All the strategy in the world will not help a team or player that has lost their confidence.

The situation with your son's coach is not an easy one.

You would have to determine if he is someone you could have a productive conversation with, or whether it would make matters worse.

By your description, he doesn't sound like he would take well to criticism, or questioning his methods.

How do the other parents feel about his coaching methods? You might receive some support there, and approach it as a group.

It is getting late in the season, maybe finish it out and move to another team for next year.

Good luck as you move forward. This should be a fun and rewarding experience for all involved. I hope it all works out.

Yours in baseball,


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