Coaching Older or Advanced Kids
Coaching older or advanced kids requires knowledge and expierience gained best through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). The National Coaching Certification Program is a coach training and certification program for 65 different sports and is offered in both official languages across Canada. NCCP workshops are designed to meet the needs of all types of coaches, from the first-time coach to the head coach of a national team. The NCCP is the recognized national standard for coach training and certification in Canada. As part of the program, all coaches are trained in ethical decision-making and sport safety. To get started, for all types of coaching, go here.
Some Coaching Must Do's.....
Leading by Example
The most important part of being a coach is to lead by example in all aspects. Show up early, be well prepared, be organized, check equipment for safety, be excited and create a high-energy environment.
Ensure that your players are properly prepared for the weather. Sunscreen, hats/visors, water, rain jackets etc. Ensure that your playing field is safe and that your players know about any potholes or hazards in their play area.
Running a Practice
Plan your Practice
Write some notes down before you call a practice. Plan what skills you want to cover, the drills you are going to use to teach them and any games you want to play. This will keep your practice moving.
Starting a Practice
Always provide a learning environment. Communicate clearly, and speak their language. Don’t talk too long, or they will day dream. Have a routine for them. I.e. show up early, get on their equipment and then they can talk for a few minutes to get to know each other and talk about school or whatever. Then start off with a game to set the mood of fun and exercise. These games should incorporate some softball skills i.e. throwing, running etc.. This will get their heart rate up and get them smiling.
Once your team is smiling and ready, start your first drill. Your drills should represent the skill level of your players. If you are coaching atoms then drills should be game like and focus on the most basic skills. For advanced players drills should be focused more on tactics then skills. Players should not be standing around for any length of time. If your drill only requires 1 or 2 players, then have the assistant coaches or parents play a game or perform a drill with the other players so that they don’t get bored.
Explaining the Drill
Spend very little time explaining the drill and ensure all of your players can see and hear you. Then show them. Ask if there are any questions, and then get them doing it. Try to teach drills that involve all players.
After each drill provide some time to get a drink. Encourage your players to drink water instead of high mineral drinks. Watch your players for any irregular behavior that may be dehydration or other heat related symptoms.
Your practice should not exceed 30 minutes for younger players and 2 hours for older players.
After practice thank your players for being there. Ask them what some of their favorite parts were, so you can repeat at a later practice. End practice early and just sit around with your players and get to know them. Ask questions, like “What’s your favorite food?” or “What’s your favorite Movie?” These questions will start conversation and it will help with team adhesion.
Explain to your players that softball is fun, but they must also be serious some times. There are times when you need your players to pay attention and be serious. Have fun with your players when its fun time, and then be serious when its time to be serious. This will set clear guidelines for your players. Let the parents of your players know that they are representing the city of Waterdown and that they are responsible to set an example. Inform your parents, coaches and players that they are not to direct any abusive, derogatory or racial comments to the umpires, the other team, or you. In Waterdown, we adhere to the City of Hamilton Zero Tolerance Policy.
Preparing for an emergency requires planning. The Waterdown Minor Baseball Association has a complete emergency action plan, know as our EAP. All coaches will be trained on the WMBA EAP and will be required to activate the EAP with their teams.
Download our EAP