Want To Be a Better Coach? Start By Observing Other Coaches and Teams

Players and coaches can improve their performance by paying close attention to game action from the dugout or bench. They can watch their own team and understand their direction and philosophy. They can watch players from both teams and see how they execute plays and skills and how they fail. Savvy players will pick up things they can use that will make them more successful, while trying not to make the physical and mental errors that they have seen from the bench. You could call it live visual evidence. As a coach, I have incorporated drills that I watched opposing teams use in warmups because they were better drills than what my team was doing. The drills encompassed everything that was necessary to get my players game-ready, so I switched. I also changed bunt coverages when another coach exposed the coverage flaws by fake bunting and stealing when we charged. You do what is necessary to put your team in the position to be successful.

I also used to have a poor temperament which distracted me from game action and set a bad example for my team. I watched several coaches who always coached with an even keel and never missed a play. If they disagreed with a call from an umpire or referee, they talked to them in a dignified and non-confrontational way while getting their point across. All those coaches were highly successful.

But the most impressive part of their behavior was their belief that the game wasn't about them, it was the players' stage. As a positive role model, this influences athletes in their attitude toward others and the success they attain in their careers. No one wants to deal with or hire a petulant hot-head. They want to know and work with people who understand team principles and are respectful, all lessons we can learn from coaches and sports.