Core Training

How To Get the Best Out of Athletes As a Coach

Being a softball coach can be a challenging task. There is so much more that goes into coaching than just facilitating practices and drafting line up cards on game days. Coaches and teams that are successful and still standing at the end of the season dig deeper than what the surface level of the game has to offer.

Softball players are a different breed of athletes. The game of softball is based on perfecting and performing a craft over and over again. Whether it is a pitch, a swing, a throw, softball players practice perfecting their craft every single time they step on the field.

Coaches play an essential role in every single one of their players. Coaches serve as mentors and role models for all athletes they come in contact with. It’s important that coaches take the time to get to know their athletes, to help them grow on the field as a player and off the field as a person. As softball players get older, they will likely remember the things they learned from their coaches that helped them off the field, more than any glove, spin, or bat tip they received.

Softball coaches should always strive to get the best out of their athletes. Below are three easy tips coaches can use to begin building a connection and relationship with their players.

Respect – Coaches must demand respect from their athletes from day one. It’s important that coaches let their players know that they are in charge and what they say goes. Coaches are the Captain of the ship and they will make the big decisions on practice and game days. Often, to get respect, one must give it. This should be a no-brainer, but it has been proven that female athletes respond and perform better when they feel respected. Respect will occur as trust is developed between player and coach. Trust is a key piece to the puzzle that must be developed over the course of the season for the team to succeed.

Communication – It’s important that coaches have an open dialogue with their players. This exchange between player and coach should always be honest. Coaches should communicate expectations with their players and also be open to feedback from the player. Having an open and honest dialogue will continue to build trust and respect among the team.

Believe in Them – When coaches believe in their players, this helps the players believe in themselves. When players believe in their ability on and off the softball field, they will instill confidence in themselves that will carry over to other aspects of their lives. The goal of every softball coach should be to make their athletes better in all aspects of life. If players graduate and move on from the sport of softball one day, and they leave as a strong, confident, empowered woman ready for anything that will be thrown her way, the coach did their job.

Coaches leave an impact on all of their players. Whether that effect is positive or negative depends on the coach and the coaching methods they choose to implement. It all starts with the coach and the leadership they execute. If coaches respect their players, they will be given respect in return. If coaches communicate with their players, a relationship built on trust and honesty is formed. If coaches believe in their players, the players will believe in themselves and the team as a whole is more likely to succeed.

Fastpitch News ® (FPN) is dedicated to covering the sport of Women’s Fastpitch Softball. FPN provides news, analysis, opinions and coverage of College, High School, Professional and International Fastpitch leagues and organizations.


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