This may not surprise you, but I've found that the youth sports leagues around the country that spend time and energy training their volunteer coaches almost entirely focus on how to run drills, manage practices, etc.
And sadly, many leagues don't even do that.
What may surprise you is that I don't believe the drills and practice schedules are the most important part of becoming an effective coach.
The absolute most crucial skill that ALL coaches need training in, and that is usually entirely overlooked, is HOW to deliver information to each and every player on the team, with the goal of maximizing a player's physical development, emotional well-being, and level of fun.
This issue transcends coaching of all levels. In fact, leading up to College Football National Championship there were literally thousands of articles written about the match-up, the players, the new playoff system, and dozens of other topics surrounding the game.
However, the article that stands out as most important is this one.
And while it saddens me that a coaching staff who chooses NOT to yell a its players as a valid method of teaching and motivating is "newsworthy," I am thrilled to see positive coaching creeping its way into the most "yelly" of sports.
I would also encourage you to read a blog I wrote last year about my experience in college with a coach who was a negative yeller. You can find it here.
I regularly address how to become a more positive coach while still accomplishing your other goals like being competitive and winning, and will continue to do so here at GameChanger, but in the meantime another great resource I would encourage you to check out is the Positive Coaching Alliance. The PCA is a national non-profit organization dedicated entirely to coaching coaches in the methods of positive "Double-Goal" coaching and they do truly incredible and important work at all levels of the game.
And, as the football season really starts to wind down that can only mean one thing...pitchers and catchers report really soon!
See you on the diamond,
Dan Spring was drafted in 2003 by the Detroit Tigers, and has spent the last 10 years providing instruction for over 17,000 youth baseball players. He currently runs the Spring Training Baseball Academy in Palos Verdes, California and runs the Eye Black Academy, a youth baseball instruction site.