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Monday, February 8, 2010
Youth Baseball Digest - The Power of Praise in Coaching Little League Baseball
By Nick Dixon
Praise is the easiest and most effective way to motivate young baseball players. Understanding and believing in the "Power of Praise" can make a Little League Baseball coach a better and more effective coach. Knowing how and when to praise is the key. This article discusses the value of praise in coaching youth baseball.
Good coaches have a variety of skills. They know how to teach the game of baseball. They know how to communicate their thoughts and observations almost immediately. They know how to correct without humiliation. They know how to motivate without intimidation. They love the game of baseball and that love is displayed through their actions and behaviors. But, one of the universal traits of successful youth baseball coaches is that they know the "Power of Praise".
Good youth baseball coaches know that kids respond differently when they are coached and taught the game of baseball. Many kids do not take constructive criticism. All kids do not respond the same to harsh words or loud instructions. But, one thing that 99.9% of all kids respond favorably to is praise. They love to hear words of encouragement and words that tell them that they did a task well.
What youth coaches must always remember is that many kids we coach never hear many positive words. It is sad and true that many kids never hear words or praise or encouragement at home. Words of praise are "words of respect" for a youngster. They want to love, appreciated, and respected just like most people do. Many kids we coach are hungry for attention, discipline and most of all praise. The more they are praised, the more they want to earn more praise.
So when you see a player struggling or having a bad day, find something that he is doing correctly and praise him for his action. Make his day a better day. I do not mean to give out unmerited or false praise. Make sure that the praise is deserved and merited. Kids can sense if a coach is sincere or genuine when the coach praises a player. False praise is useless and counterproductive.
One good rule to live by as a youth baseball coach is that you should find a way to praise every player on your team at least once a day. A pat on the head or back takes little time and energy on your part, but can do wonders for a kids self esteem and attitude.
I hope that you enjoyed this article. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Good luck to you and your team. Your friend in baseball, Nick.
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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.
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