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Friday, June 12, 2009

Baseball Coaching - 10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

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Baseball Coaching - 10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time
By Nick Dixon

Today the baseball coaching 4 letter word is T-I-M-E:

Time Spent Must Be Justified

Wasting time is something that baseball coaches should avoid. There is nothing more precious to a player, to parents, or to assistant coaches than time. Time spent at the baseball field must be considered valuable or constructive time. We are coaches because we love the game and we want to help young players grow up to great adults. We help nurture that process by teaching good morals, good values, and good habits. There is no more important thing for a kid to learn than the value of time and the importance of always being punctual. The key to showing that you value time is to have your team practices, meeting, and other activities well planned and organized.

Here are my 10 tips for showing the value of time:

1. Be punctual at all times. If a practice is schedule to start at 3:00. You should start it exactly at 3:00. Not one minute early or one minute late. If the practice is set to end at 5:00, end the practice on time. A coach that constantly runs practice times over is showing little regard for time and family life. You should also set a precedent of doing what you say that you are going to do. Stay on schedule. That includes practice start times and end times.

2. Stop drills when the allotted time is up. Do not run over.

3. Do not waste practice time having coaching conference. Have your coaching meeting after practice or 30 minutes before practice.

4. Have a practice schedule. Have every minute accounted for and planned. Use odd minutes in drills such as 7.5 minutes. This emphasizes the value of time.

5. Have agenda for team meetings. If you have a team meeting without a purpose or agenda, you may be wasting time. If you have a team meeting and ramble on and on talking without direction and focus, then you are wasting valuable time.

6. Have a designated place in the dugout for the belongings of each player and coach. Make sure every player has their name or number clearly visible on their glove, batting glove and bat. This saves valuable time when a players has to find a glove, a bag, or a bat.

7. Do not talk through the fence with a parent or friend during practice. Kids should not do it and coaches should not either. You are showing a definite lack of respect for practice time. Make sure that you make it known that you will not have discussions or conversations with anyone during practice time.

8. Set all training equipment up before practice. Do not waste valuable practice time assembling, locating, or moving practice equipment.

9. Always disassemble and pack the training equipment up after the designated practice time is over. Do not waste valuable practice time packing way equipment.

10. Do not talk all night after a game. Set a time limit to post-game or post-practice meetings. If you cannot say it in 5 minutes, they are not going to remember it anyway. Younger kids have short attention spans. If you have more than 5 minutes of talk, save some of your talk for the beginning of your next practice.

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Dixon is a high school baseball coach and is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Dixon is the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products including the BatAction Hitting Machine, Hurricane Hitting Machine, Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, and ZipnHit.

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