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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2006 > Coach's Box - April 2006 > Positive Coaching - April 2006

Positive Coaching - April 2006


Volume I, No. 4

   April 2006


In Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coaching Tip 2: Player of the Day
by Jim Thompson
Positive Coaching Alliance

Welcome to Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal CoachTM Tips. This regular feature in Little League publications draws from training presented in partnership with Little League Baseball and Softball by Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a Stanford University-based non-profit dedicated to ensuring a positive, character-building experience for all youth athletes.

This month’s tip is the “Player of the Day,” which is particularly useful in getting through to players who remind you of Bill “Spaceman” Lee. Most of the time, you’re probably trying to corral these players, get and keep their attention, prevent them from distracting the others…and too often correcting their behavior or attitude.

Instead, make a hard-to-reach player the Player of the Day, eligible for all the praise you can find to heap on him or her. Do not mention this to the player. Just focus on finding the positives in that player, that day, and compliment the player every time possible.

Two caveats:

  • This must not be “happy talk” – no inventing positive behavior
  • Praise must be truthful and specific (i.e., “Tommy, thanks for hustling into the dugout without being reminded).

This form of positive reinforcement helps the athlete feel better – more in control, able to accomplish something and less likely to rebel for the sake of rebellion against that coach who’s “always on my case.” You might start feeling better yourself, as you see your player’s behavior and attitude improve.

Plus, any other problem players might get the message that they too can be player of the day if they straighten up and fly right, come back to earth, or exhibit other non-Spaceman behavior.

To bolster your Coaching expertise or toolkit, be sure to take advantage of the recently-launched Little League Double-Goal Coach Course, today! Click here: http://www.positivecoach.org/LittleLeague

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