As a baseball coach it’s your duty to manage your roster to a winning season. Along this journey, you’re also tasked with ensuring your players develop properly. But how do you go about your teaching? Which coaching techniques should you employ to get your lessons across while also getting the most out of your athletes? How do you keep structure in your lineup while also allowing your players to make some mistakes along the way?
Former professional center fielder Marlon Byrd has a few tips for finding that balance when working with a player. Use these coaching tips to learn how to give your athletes room to grow while also being there for guidance.
NO ONE’S PERFECT
“We always want the players to do well. We always want the players not to mess up, not to make any mistakes, to be the perfect player,” Byrd says. “It just does not happen.”
When working with athletes, you need to realize that mistakes will happen on the diamond. Not every player can pick up lessons immediately. It’s important, according to Byrd, that you consult with them after they’ve made the blunder.
“You have to let them make their mistakes and then you have the conversation, then you have the talk, then you have to work,” he says.
Allowing players to make mistakes and then offering guidance and explanation can be best for two reasons. For one, it allows your players to see firsthand how a movement or technique is incorrect. Second, it can be much easier for you to cite errors after they’ve occurred rather than trying to plan ahead.
WORK TOWARD SELF-REGULATION
According to Byrd, understanding how to balance player development can allow your players to be their own coaches. Instead of constantly offering critique, your athlete can come in after making a blunder and immediately know the plan of correction. From this point, you can focus on putting the best players in your lineup in pursuit of a win.
“He can understand, if a guy misses a ground ball, he should be able to come in and go, ‘Coach, this is the adjustment that I need to make,’” Byrd adds. “That’s what we have to instill in them, that’s our responsibility.”
Knowing how to approach your team for the best player development can help your squad tremendously. Use these tips and change your coaching style for the better this season.
Looking for more Pro Tips from the former all-star? Find out how to mix up your practice routines to keep your players fresh and engaged all season long.