All parents believe their daughters are all expert players. All players believe they have an able coach. Yet, most coaches often view the exact opposite. Softball coaching is not purely a skill. It is a combination of a skill, a talent, an experience, a passion and an ability to lead. Honestly, if one shows me the performance of a softball team in 10 games, I can easily guess the age and experience of the coach. Softball coaches often grapple with the challenge of balancing between the nurturing of players and the team pressure to triumph in the games. Unlike other aspects of softball, it costs just one simple regular mistake to bring down the good girls. For a good team thus; thou (coach) shall not do the following mistakes.
- Become a Game Winning-Hunter
The aim of sporting is not always about the medal and trophies but also about training morality, having fun and inculcating other skills in players. All trained coaches know that. However, at times the pressure to win abounds; the result then becomes to use all means just to train trophies. When this happens, game malpractices are not only pardoned by the coach but are also encouraged when they work to meet the goal of winning. The result of it becomes injuries, suspensions and ultimately cultures immorality that ruins the team at the very peak of its success. All good coaches should learn to embrace one simple rule: obey the rules no matter what happens. Either, he/she should learn to embrace success yet cope with failure.
- Training Silent Softball Players
I have always insisted this point; yet I will do so again and again. Softball players should learn to speak. Have you ever watched a silent softball game? If so, that must have been a grave failure in coaching. A little chattering in the field may not often be fancy. But, there is always need for players to coordinate the moves among themselves through talking. Take for instance when a catcher needs to alert a pitcher to support/defend home or when alerting a catcher of a hitter or an expert runner among many such situations. During such instances, the little chattering is not only allowed but also encouraged.
- Training All Players the Same
It is important for all coaches to understand that players form their greatest assets in their profession. After selecting your preferred team, it is then important that the coach takes some time to study the strengths of all his/her players and their failures too. Then, perfect the failures using specific drills suited for different classes of the player’s need. To the hitters, instill firmness and accuracy; to the catchers train them to be observant and a little more talkative; to the runners insist on speed and firmness and many such like practices. Often, coaches employ similar training drills over and over without noting the danger in repetitive drills. It is advisable to study the players, and then craft new drills to suit each and every class of players. Remember, it cannot be a game without varied players.
- Training Walking: The Perfect Drill for Laziness.
Softball is for divas. It is relatively easier and exposes one to fewer injuries as compared to baseball. However, softball is not a game for softies either. All softball players should learn to be on the chase. At some point the player will need to learn on how to run, swing, rotate, change positions among many other skills. As a coach, one should always seek to train players about speed and pinpointing accuracy. Never mentor a lazy player or one who likes walking. Dear coach, thou shall never sign any deal with a walking softball player. The deal is done.
- Coaching the “Excuse-buggers”
Coach: “…Don’t make that mistake again. Next time return to home.”
Player: “Talk to my feet. Why didn’t you tell Ann to …?”
The role of a coach is giving instructions and training. Sadly, it always happens that some girls often believe they know more than their coaches, and they should train their coaches. As a coach, one should learn to be strict in disciplining. If a player will always seek excuses; drop the player, she may cost you the entire team. Let the player first learn to pay attention and be teachable.
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