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Jeff Ourvan, author of How to Coach Youth Baseball So Every Kid Wins, discusses his guidelines for making the game a constructive and fun experience for all players.
What does your guest think of the Positive Coaching Alliance?
In India, kids play without coaching, supervision, etc for the joy of playing. No adults to spoil the fun. Coaches generally watch these kids and choose them to then go the next level where there are coaches involved. At this level, winning is the primary goal....kids choose to stay or leave based on priorities. This is one thing you notice that is different in the USA where parents are too involved in sports. My parents never watched me play any sport......Sacking
Why not just let the kids go out and play unorganized sports and games? I'm sure they would have a lot more fun.
I coached both boys and girls little league, and found that the best approach was to define being a successful coach as getting the most kids who wanted to return to play the next year.
I always liked when my kids were on the teams of those laid back coaches than the scary win-at-all-cost maniacs.
That's a no brainer.
Brian- thank you for raising this issue. There just isn't enough awareness out there. I've had decades of experience as a coach, manager, score keeper, and now umpire, so I've seen the game from all angles.That being said there are several things that players/coaches/spectators do that cross the line (this is not an exhaustive list)- unfortunately it happens all too frequently:
1. Arguing judgment calls, such as strikes/balls and out/safe. These calls are TOTALLY within an ump's judgment- no one else's. The strike zone belongs to me, not you. If you don't like it, keep it to yourself- or become an ump yourself if you can handle it. Don't stand behind the backstop griping about individual pitches. Don't just up and down screaming like a banshee or throwing your equipment around- I'd really rather not have to eject anyone. On the other hand, coaches can question a RULE interpretation, e.g. the application of the infield fly rule.2. Arguing rule interpretations without knowing the rule (or arguing the judgment part of a rule application- see point 1 above). If you want to talk rule book, then you first have to know the rule book. Getting back to that infield fly rule- there are multiple factors that go into judging whether it exists, so if you have a problem with the call, do us a kindness and at least know what you're talking about.
In short, We don't criticize players' poor mechanics and play so don't tell us how to do our job. Coaches, please remember- a little respect & a relaxed approach that keeps things in perspective is always appreciated. And parents, keep it positive. Contrary to what you believe, most kids will not be getting that D1 scholarship. The bottom line is- it's just a game, for fun, so if you're not there to have fun maybe you need to rethink it.
Brian. I'm wondering about the bigger picture. Nationally it seems we are willing to throw away about 1/3 of our younger fellow citizens.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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