Learning how to coach baseball: Observe and participate

Even the best coaches, whether for Major League Baseball (MLB) or Little League, had to start somewhere. They all had a first practice, a first game, a first loss, and each had his own learning curve. If you are new to the diamond as a coach, there are some simple guidelines that can help you on your way to being a great team leader.

The first and easiest way to gain some coaching skills is to observe other teams practice and play, watch MLB games, read about them and sit in at camps and tournaments. By exposing yourself to as many situations and players as possible, you will get a feel for how others structure training, make decisions about strategy and deal with certain players' deficiencies. These experiences will also provide you with an array of options so that you can find what works for you and your team.

Another way, perhaps even more important, is to participate. While this is obvious when it comes to taking advantage of your community's offerings on coaching classes, league rule seminars and safety presentations, participation with your team is key. Be responsive and sensitive to your players' abilities, moods and areas of difficulty by getting their feedback on practice structure and morale. In all likelihood, they will be able to tell you what you aren't seeing, which can help you maximize spirit and the learning experiences available in baseball.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are numerous resources available for coaches, like those at youthbaseballplans.com. SteelLocker also offers youth baseball equipment, so you can outfit your players with all the tools they need to have a successful and fun season.

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