Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Goals and Responsibilities of Youth Coaches

 Many coaches get caught up in the winning aspect of the game.  Don’t get me wrong, winning is great and fun - it's natural and healthy to desire and thrive on success! But youth coaches need to remember that their sole job as coach is not really to whip a winning team into shape-there can only be one winner after all and, as corny as the old saying goes, it is important to teach the message that 'It is the participation that counts'!  

  If you interview a child after a season that went 0-9 and a child that went 9-0 they may have similar feelings and passion about their love for the sport if their coach did a good job of teaching positive attitudes and passing o the simple joy of the sport.  

Coaches need to remember their goals and responsibilities, chiefly: 

1.    To teach the game (rules of the sport).

2.       To engage the children to like the game.

3.       Make sure that the kids have fun.

4.        Foster healthy competition and hard work…teach the message 'do your best'.

5.       Set kids up to do their best

6.       Teach sportsmanship, fair play and team spirit.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baseball: Children Who Are Afraid of the Ball

Many children step out of the way when a pitch is coming in because they are afraid of the ball hitting them.  It is a common problem that all coaches face.  It is the coaches job to teach confidence and show the children that if you hit the ball it won't hit them!!!!

Here are some suggestions to help:

1.       Have the child take a wide batting stance so their feet are more grounded and it is harder to step out.

2.       Possibly have the front foot closer to the plate then the back foot.  That way they are slightly leaning forward and will find it harder to move backward.

3.       Practice by putting a bat or board at the back of their feet. So they can tell when they are stepping out or away from the pitch.

4.  Build up the speed of the pitches gradually so that they fain confidence in front of the ball.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Coaching Young Children: What to Remember When Starting Out

1.       Children learn at different paces, especially young children (ages 7-10). 

2.       As such, you need to have patience with the children and try not to yell at them when they make mistakes.

3.       You need to remember that kids encounter a lot of stress during competitive games, with parents shouting and the pressure to win, so they will easily forget tactics, rules, techniques and other aspects of the game that you taught in practice.

4.       A coach should keep repeating and having the children repeat back the key teachings you want them to remember. 

5.       Try to make their role as simple as possible.  Have them focus on 1-3 key items and not have to remember 10 different things at once.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Welcome to My Blog

 Welcome to my blog. My name is Mike Herlihy and I am from New Jersey, USA, where I am better known locally as 'Coach Mike'- a title I both earn and enjoy! 

Like most people I actively participated in amateur sports during my youth,  veering slightly more into the 'fan' category when I left college.  When my kids came along, however, I decided to take on a whole new sporting role as COACH- and boy is it a different side to sport!  15 years on and I am a veteran of local youth sports, having coached Football, Baseball and Basketball teams (with and without my son and daughter as players!)  I've seen it all and even earned a few trophies along the way. 

I am a strong believer in the power and importance of amateur sports and local youth leagues.  As a parent I can see first hand how participating in sports and clubs has helped my children gain confidence, learn team work, keep fit and healthy, make friends and generally just have some fun!  The sense of community furnished by this coming together impacts far beyond the players themselves with parents, other family members, friends, volunteers and fans all reaching out and networking in support of teams.  

The job of Coach is not always easy, but it sure is rewarding, and I want to share my experience and passion with you. So this blog is all about being a Coach - tips, advice, funny stories and hopefully the start of a goodwill amateur coaching online community.  

Outside of this blog I have also ventured to help local sports communities worldwide by developing a FREE mobile app package called Field A Team.  This includes a special app for Coaches, the COACH app which helps coaches coordinate the business of the game-freeing up time spent on admin so he/she can spend more time on the team itself.  And for those very important people cheering from the sidelines, I have created the FAN app, which allows people to follow the development and success of their local sports teams from their mobile and through social media.  

I hope that this blog, along with these apps, make a positive contribution to you and your team.  Please feel free to comment, share, suggest and contact as you please!