Which Type of Coach Are You?
Coaching a Little League baseball team is a special type of journey that few actually get the pleasure of experiencing. The role involves incredible responsibility and will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of your players. Your approach can help the kids develop a passion for the game or can stifle their desire to ever pick up a bat again.
So, which Type of Coach Are You?
The Leader The Leader is the type of coach that the kids respond to because they command trust and respect. This type of coach sets the example from the beginning and continues to set the pace and tone of games and practices in a positive and upbeat manner. The Leader Coach uses a sound knowledge of the game and skillful persuasion to help the players master the game and have fun at the same time. The Leader never passes up an opportunity to reinforce learning with real-game experience and always adheres to the same rules he/she expects of the players.
The Motivator The Motivator knows more than just the rules of the game... This type of coach also knows how to communicate with players in a way that gets results. The goal of the Motivator is to guide, inspire and empower the young player to realize and develop his/her full potential. A successful motivator shows a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game and the players.
Getting the kids to believe in themselves is much easier for some coaches than others. Motivation may mean keeping the practice fun, fresh and challenging. When motivating a player, stress performance goals... not outcome goals. The Motivator stresses that while you can't control what your opponent does or the outcome of every match, the purpose is to play their best and have fun doing it. Like the Leader, this type of coach shows respect and encourages players to remain positive regardless of the outcome.
The Dictator The Dictator is a dangerous type of coach. The kids respond, but it's usually out of fear. This type of coach may very well have a sound knowledge of the game, but there is no persuasion and no room for opinions. Even the best coach can't control the actions of all nine players on the field, but the Dictator sure does give it a try.
The Confrontationalist The Confrontationalist is rare (luckily). This type of coach goes beyond the polite disagreements that are typical in any sporting event. With little to no regard for the example being set, the Confrontationalist will argue, bully and scream his way into the spotlight and onto the bad side of most who are unlucky enough to witness his/her tirades. A general lack of communication skills and anger management pit the Confrontationalist against the umpire, the other coaches and at times, even the children trying to play the game.
Pick your style and have fun A great coach is not easy to find and requires a very unique set of talents and skills. Organized sports are great for boosting self-esteem, developing teamwork skills, establishing rules and roles, and (of course) providing fun and entertainment. Most Little League baseball coaches are fantastic and the experience is memorable in a good way. Remember that the players are learning and your role is to guide them to victory... not necessarily on the scoreboard, but most definitely in experience.
This article was originally published on August 1, 2014, and has been updated with new information.