Coaching High School Baseball

I have observed several years of high school baseball and have come to the conclusion; there is a lot of room for improvement. I will start this out by saying my total goal is to make the great game of baseball a better game for all that are involved.

First subject is the responsibility of a good high school baseball coach. He has to be a leader with his main goal, to make sure his student athletes, are giving their maximum effort as students and also on the diamond.

The coach has to make sure the players act in a proper manner, and represent their school in an appropriate way. On game day all players should wear a game day shirt to class. At banquets the players should all wear button shirts in front, wear dress pants, and nice shoes. You want your players to be the class of the school!

It is important for the head coach, to be a member of the local chamber of commerce, and do a lot of business glad handing. The coach needs to be a leader, strong character, and honest. You will not play politics with parents and players.

In the summer you need to have someone else run the summer team. Let the summer coach know what you would like to see him accomplish with the players. This is a partnership that has to work together for the better of the high school team. You will be getting reports from the summer coach on what the players are accomplishing.

Your summer should be spent with businesses, chamber of commerce, watching your high school summer team and your local youth teams in your city or area. You should know all your youth coaches from ages 12 and up and some of the players. It is important to spend time, enjoy and laugh with your summer coaches and players. There is a need to have a good relationship with your future player’s coaches.

The head coach  needs to have a meeting with the freshmen player’s previous coaches. You need to get as much input, advice, and anything that can help the high school program. The head coach has to understand that the freshmen previous coaches were all volunteers and most worked their rears off. There are some that are highly knowledgeable, and can help your program. You have to listen and discuss with the coaches on what they know on the players.

It is important that you have a meeting with the parents and players. This is essential, you have to introduce yourself to everybody, and then after the meeting you need to talk to and personally meet each parent. The meeting is to talk about rules and what you expect from the parents and players. Each coach should be introduced and explain what role he has with the team.

At your first practice you have a players meeting to discuss rules and expectations.

The main thing that needs to be done is to get away from scrimmages and standing around at practice. This is the main problem with high school, and colleges. I was watching a college baseball game on TV in the spring of 2009 and Orel Hershiser was the commentator. There was a play in the game, and he said “High Schools and Colleges all they do is Scrimmage.” He then said in the pros they do drills. I am a firm believer in drills, drills, repeat, and repeat. I guarantee, this is the best way to have your players improve! This is the number one area that can improve all of baseball,

Here are some examples, how does a basketball player, and a pool player, shoot better. They shoot a lot of repetitions. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Hitting, Pitching, and Fielding, drill and repeat, this has to be done for the players to improve to the maximum!

This scrimmaging and standing around is not helping the game to improve. The game at all levels is hard to watch sometimes because of the lack of drilling.

I believe in individual teaching in baseball which means there is a need for as many coaches as possible. I have some illustrations on the youth league coach link. If the school budget says you can only have 1-2 coaches you will surely need to get some volunteers.

You should by now have some good relationships with some of the players past summer coaches and you can ask for some volunteers. You also probably have some dads from your current roster that would like to help out. These volunteer coaches can pitch batting practice, run drills, cage work, and help to keep the players moving. If you have an ex high school, college, or pro in your area ask him for some help.

There is some additional information on coaching in the articles on Coaching Youth and College Baseball.