All of the great baseball coaches have the same qualities: disciplined, well-prepared, understand and communicate baseball strategy and teamwork, and develop individual player skills. They usually coach high school, college or professional baseball for financial or competitive reasons.
Coaching is not a weekend position; it is a serious business because you impact the lives of children. Too often kids are getting the wrong advice and instruction, and it always results in inferior play when the players move on to a higher level. This must be corrected!
From our observations, many adults involved in American youth baseball programs today generally can be placed in one of five groups. We hesitate to call them coaches because they are either not fully qualified to coach or don’t spend enough time learning the “art of coaching.”
- Group 1 coaches have good intentions but are not experienced or skilled enough to help the youth players. In addition to learning from game experience, they must go to reputable coaching clinics and use the various multimedia reference outlets available to them to best develop the athletes.
- Group 2 coaches teach throwing, fielding, hitting/bunting, and pitching incorrectly because they were poorly taught or not taught at all. Plus, they refuse to change and learn which is hazardous to skill development.
- Group 3 coaches want to be friends with players and are more interested in equal playing time and pleasing everyone on the bench and in the stands. They have little interest in teaching baseball and are uninterested in developing their players' baseball skills.
- Group 4 coaches are self-involved; they want to coach their child. That is to the detriment of the other team members, who usually are neglected or misused. This group type will also try to manipulate to stock the team with players to make their child look better. Youth baseball is about balance and skill development and not winning games.
- Group 5 coaches care more about winning than about skill development, team strategy and teamwork. They cause more harm than any other group because they confuse the youth players on the importance of winning youth games, and do not allow their players to learn all aspects of baseball in order to maximize their talents.
Baseball is a difficult game. What makes it harder is the paucity of top youth coaches. It is such a disservice to take beginning players with no habits and teach them wrong methods that are frequently never corrected. Youth athletes usually unconditionally trust people in positions of authority until the ones in authority breach that trust. We can't let this happen anymore.
Our goal at DNA Sports is to teach coaching candidates how to excel so they can pass it along to every player they come in contact with and establish themselves as positive role models, a daunting but not impossible task.