I recently attended a baseball clinic and one of the speakers was Coach Gaspard from the University of Alabama. He gave these 3 tips to the high school coaches at the clinic. These tips can be applied at any level including youth baseball, little league baseball, high school baseball and above.
1. DO NOT TURN YOUR HEAD - He made the point that if you want to create a environment of perfect practice equals perfect play, you pay close attention to what is happening. Be observant of every player and every thing happening. Do not allow yourself to be distracted. Seeing, identifying, and correcting is the "purpose of coaching". Your job is to teach and teaching does not happen when tthe coach is not paying attention.
2. DO NOT ACCEPT SUB-PAR EXECUTION - If you want it to happen correctly in the game, you must see that it happens correctly in practice. If you not not set a high standard of excellence from the very beginning, it is hard to do a "restart". Make it known that you expect correct fundamentals, mechanics, and performance from everyone. Create a climate with high standards of practice performance so that your team will be game ready.
3. TEACH and RETEACH - Coach Gaspard recommends that you teach or cover team learning sessions on back-to-back days. On back-to-back days you may want to cover bunt coverages, 1st 3rd offense and defense, and other mental learning.
Other points that he recommended:
1. Put a stopwatch on certain baseball drills and skills practice to add an element of pressure and competition.
2. Use quotes to teach, motivate and to maintain focus on a daily, weekly or season lomh basis.
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