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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2007 > Coach's Box - June 2007 > Positive Coaching - June 2007

Positive Coaching - June 2007


Volume 2, No. 4  

   June 2007


Advice on Injured Players
By Jim Thompson
Positive Coaching Alliance

Player injuries are an unfortunate, but inevitable part of youth sports. However, like so many other aspects of sports, injuries provide what PCA calls “teachable moments”-- opportunities to use misfortune or adversity to teach life lessons and cultivate character. 

Injuries can be difficult not just because of necessary changes to the lineup and game strategy, but also because baseball is the center of many children’s lives. Coaches must re-direct the physical and emotional energy that injured players previously brought to practice and games.

One key is keeping injured players involved in the team. Forced idleness is a great opportunity for players to view baseball differently than they do while playing. You can develop “player coaches” by helping them observe and note on-field technical skills and opponents’ defensive shifts. Ideally, the injured players will share their new knowledge with teammates and apply their new observational skills when they are able to return to the field.

Injured players, and your team as a whole, also may benefit from Positive Charting. This technique helps you “catch players doing things right,” meaning you can note and later praise players for hustle, good attitudes and other things that don’t show up in the box score. You, as coach, gain another set of eyes and another source of encouragement to the other players. More details and a downloadable Positive Charting form are available at http://www.positivecoach.org/subcontent.aspx?SecID=203

It may take long and repeated talks with injured players before they understand and accept the opportunity to learn this way. However, it is worth the investment, because it is healthy for your players and can convert them from potential distractions into dugout assets.

For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the Little League Double-Goal Coach Course at http://www.positivecoach.org/LittleLeague.

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