Once tryouts are completed, the player draft is completed, and rosters take shape, it’s important to remember many parents and other volunteers are also taking their first steps into coaching.

Dan Spring, a 2003 draftee of the Detroit Tigers, is also youth baseball instructor with more than 10 years of experience. He offered his list of 10 things that both rookie and veteran coaches should remember when working with youth athletes.

  1. Your players are children playing a game they are still learning.
  2. Use mistakes as an opportunity to teach, not to punish.
  3. Yelling at a player is the best way to make sure he doesn’t have fun playing baseball.
  4. Yelling at a player is the worst way to make sure your message is heard.
  5. Win with class.
  6. Lose with grace.
  7. The umpire is human and is going to make mistakes.
  8. Your player’s attitude will mirror your own.
  9. Have Fun!
  10. From Jim Leyland in a personal letter he wrote to all the Tigers players after he was announced as the manager in 2006: “I demand a lot from my players yet I want my players totally relaxed and having fun. This is not life and death, but simply a competitive game.

This same consideration applies during the autumn months, as local Little Leagues operate training and development programs such as fall ball.

Dan Spring has additional training and educational resources available on gamechanger.com.