10 Guiding Principles for Little League Coaches Who Don’t Take the Game Seriously Enough
Since the age of three, our youngest son has been obsessed with baseball. He lives and breathes the sport year-round. He collects baseball cards. We read him baseball books at bedtime. He is fascinated by the players, statistics, stadiums and everything else about the game. Last year, I began coaching him in a recreational league and he absolutely loves it. As a coach, I’ve always strived to balance competition with a regular dose of fun and instructional support — until something happened.
After each season, we typically lose a few of our players due to various reasons out of our control. This past fall, however, one of the dads left for the sole purpose of starting his own team in the same league and has been trying to pull kids away from us. As you can imagine, this has caused a lot of unforeseen stress between families who simply want their kids to play with friends. Where did I fall short as a coach who gets paid nothing and volunteers a huge portion of my time? Should I have yelled at his son more often? Did I smile and laugh too much? Who’s to say. One thing is for sure though: he will go down as a legend in our community. The experience of seeing one dad breakup a team of children who can barely wipe their own bottoms has helped me understand the best ways to develop an aggressive program during kindergarten. Here are the ten guiding principles:
1. Ensure that your child takes the game seriously and does not show any emotion on the field — especially sadness or frustration.
2. Command the team with an authoritative coaching style that makes all kids play with fear of disappointment on a regular basis.
3. Recruit a coaching staff compiled of other dads (no moms, ever) who take the game seriously and only care about domination.
4. Teach the game of baseball by treating the kids like professional athletes who must compete and win because nothing else matters.
5. Pull your child away from their friends and start a new team if you feel like another coach ever prioritizes fun over winning.
6. Remove any kids from the team who strikeout regularly and show less physical coordination than other players.