The Rhode Island Baseball Experience traveled to Warwick last night to partake in a coaching workshop entitled “Double-Goal Coach: Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons.” This was a free workshop made possible by the Boston Red Sox Foundation and was presented by Chris Fay of the Positive Coaching Alliance – New England Chapter. The Kent County YMCA was the host site of this workshop. League administrators, coaches, and Rhode Island baseball volunteers were invited to attend this free workshop and I was proud to work with PCA on promotions for the event.
Chris was an excellent presenter and the group of coaches and I participated in a round table format of topics. A few of the main topics that generated a lot of conversation were:
- What is a “Double Goal Coach” and how does it apply to youth sports? A Double Goal coach involves winning and teaching life lessons through sports. The proper balance of these two goals creates a successful coach. Teaching a player to bunt, steal the bases, throw a changeup – all important. Teaching a player to respect his teammates, the umpires, the league’s fields, themselves – equally important.
- Define Fun in youth sports. What do kids define as a fun time? Is it winning, is it striking out a classmate, being a hero to Mom and Dad? Is it fun to get yelled at all the time? No. It is fun to participate and be rewarded through positive comments and high fives? Yes. We all need to learn ways as a coach to make baseball fun and the players will respond by coming back every season.
- The 5:1 Principle of Coaching. What are the 5 positives your team did this afternoon? Of the 1 negative play you want to address, address it with a positive spin. For example, “Timmy you struck out 6 batters, hit 2 home runs, stole 5 bases, scored 4 runs, and hit the top of the scoreboard, BUT you missed the cutoff in the 2nd inning.” All the positives will be forgotten by Timmy and the ONE negative will remain. Spin it this way, “5 positives, and Timmy work on hitting Joe at second base to make that play at the plate more effective.”
Here is a brief overview of the online course and some of the other topics we discussed last night:
I have been coaching baseball now for over 10 years in youth sports. I am confident in my ability to teach young players how to hit, throw, run the bases, pitch, catch, and field. This Positive Coaching Alliance workshop helped shed the light on the many other responsibilities the youth sports coach has. Developing good sportsmanship methods for the player and the league’s coaching staff. Defining fun in youth sports. Recognizing the winning strategies of successful coaches on and off the field. Understanding that post game pep talk in right field should be a positive recap of the game with encouragement and positive re-enforcement, not a recap of everyone’s screw-ups.
We all want the players in our leagues to have fun, be safe, and learn the game of baseball. Let’s train our volunteers, our coaches, and managers to be that Double Goal Coach. The results will be increased enjoyment of the game of baseball and a better athlete, a better person.
Thank you to Chris Fay of the Positive Coaching Alliance. You can reach Chris for more information on PCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 857.225.1889. And go to www.positivecoach.org to learn more about the Positive Coaching Alliance and their upcoming events and workshops.
Thank you to the Red Sox Foundation for their generous grant to allow Rhode Island baseball coaches to attend this workshop free of charge. You can find out more about the Red Sox Foundation at www.redsoxfoundation.org.