Thursday, July 14, 2011

Your Quick-Reference Softball Coaching Guide

If there's one member of a softball team who's always busy 7 days a week, it would be the softball coach. Great softball coaches eat and breathe the game. They're the types who are always looking for ways to make their team perform better.

That is why I came up with this quick-reference article for busy softball coaches out there. It's a no-frills guide that will provide you will all the basic stuff that you need to become the best coach your team will ever have.

1. Softball is part physical, part mental. There are coaches who put a lot of weight on drills and exercises that they tend to forget that softball is also a mental game. If you are a step ahead the competition on the physical and mental aspects of the game, then you're sure to win it.

The mental portion of the game includes intimidation tactics that will make your opponents think twice about facing you on the field. That covers the way your players stand on the field (no slouching, and always have a confident stance), to how you come up with your batting order. A quick surprise under your sleeve almost always destroys your opponent's plans of dealing with your team.

2. Food and drinks are an important part of softball. If you see your players not eating enough, eating too much, or having a steady diet of energy drinks, then, it's probably time you step in when it comes to their diet.

You see, whatever your players consume will ultimately have an effect on their performance on the field. Undernourished players will usually feel lethargic when it comes to practice and games. Players who eat fatty foods before a game will have slow reaction times and will feel bloated. And energy drinks? Your players will feel much better drinking water or sports drinks.

So, always monitor your players' diet if you want them to be always at the top of their game.

3. Coaching men, women and younger players are all different. As a coach, it's tempting to look for a cookie-cutter solution to your coaching problems. But these solutions don't always work.

Keep in mind that men, women and children respond differently to your coaching style. Therefore, you should learn to adapt your coaching to the type of players you're dealing with.

With men, it's usually down to business right away. Women, however, would like to socialize with their teammates first before they can really focus on the game. Children meanwhile, learn faster if you provide them with general concepts first before dealing with more complex ones.

4. Give your team -- and yourself -- a rest. Again, the greatest coaches and players are those who live and breathe softball. But never forget to give yourself and your team a break. After all, great things happen when you're well rested, and that applies to your game as well.

Coaching a softball team is hard work, that is, if you really put your mind and soul into it. But I hope that the softball coaching tips I shared with you will help make your job a little easier to do.

Marc Dagenais is a Softball Peak Performance Coach that helps softball players turn their athletic talent into extraordinary performances and help coaches get more out of their players, turn their struggling team around or get an edge over their opponents. Visit us to sign-up to get our FREE softball pitching tips!