A MANAGER'S TEN COMMANDMENTS
(10 Requirements for all managers and coaches to follow)
1. KNOWLEDGE: A manager/coach must have a good working knowledge of playing rules and the situations in which they apply (both ASA and house rules) and integrate them with all principal elements of the game.
2. SPORTSMANSHIP: A manager/coach must know and apply the tenets of good sportsmanship at all times, showing respect for and fairness to all game participants, officials, parents and spectators and requiring the same from team members.
3. STRATEGY: A manager/coach must have a presence on the field and demonstrate a capability for both defensive and offensive strategies, including effective utilization and placement of team players and substitutes.
4. COMPETITIVENESS: A manager/coach must know, encourage and demonstrate the principles of friendly but aggressive competition, including base running and sliding, where appropriate.
5. TEACHING: A manager/coach must be able to convey knowledge of the game to his/her team through application of effective motivational and instructional techniques.
6. GOOD WILL: A manager/coach must act as an ambassador for the league as a whole, maintaining a positive aspect and refraining from openly derogatory remarks about league policies, officials or members to parents, friends, players or other managers. A good manager/coach should display an interest in the entire league and not just his/her own team.
7. RESPONSIBILITY: A manager/coach must have a sense of responsibility. He/she must be capable of following directions as given by the league, showing an ability to complete and timely adhere to administrative duties and requirements as may be imposed, as well as following operative policies and directives as given.
8. RESPECT: A manager/coach must be able to engender rapport with his/her players through the application of fairness and respect to the team and individuals at all times.
9. DEDICATION/PREPAREDNESS: A manager/coach must be willing to sacrifice of his/her time, making the team and its players a priority in all aspects of league activity, including drafting, practices, field preparation and game situations.
10. LEADERSHIP: A manager/coach must possess the attributes of good leadership, both standing as a role model for the league as well as being able to inspire his/her team to perform up to and even beyond their individual capabilities. A manager/coach who is an effective leader makes the game fun while at the same time imposing the discipline the game demands - always keeping the needs of the team paramount. He/she is the kind of person whose team players want to be on from one year to the next.
Key Aspects of Coaching
Players need a patient, supportive coach that can teach and motivate in a positive way. Knowing how to be positive and having the ability to communicate with your players is more important to a successful season than knowing many aspects of the game.
Show Them You Care
Each player needs to know that you care for him as an individual and that you believe he is an important part of the team. Take time to talk to all players individually. Try to take interest in what is going on in their life outside of baseball.
Fun is essential for kids of all ages. Develop practices that let them do the things they enjoy. It's also important for you to have fun. Create an environment that is structured and varied enough for you to enjoy what your doing. If you're having fun, chances are your players will be having fun also.
Players want to improve and gain new skills. Make sure that you challenge all your players at an appropriate level to foster improvement. This may require that players focus on different skills than other players during practice.
Organization And Discipline
Kids quickly pick up on a coach that is unorganized and doesn't communicate his expectations. If you don't establish certain rules and don't follow up with an appropriate punishment if the rules are broken, you will quickly lose control of your team. I always have a rule about talking when I'm talking during practice. I expect that when I'm explaining something, that the players will have their eyes on me and pay attention. If they interrupt or don't pay attention, I stop talking and we wait as a team for the individual to stop. If he does it again in the same practice he sits down and watches for awhile. I rarely have a player sitting on the side after the first couple of practices.
Players Learn By Doing
I love the quote in Mike Krzyzewski's book 'Leading With The Heart'. "When teaching, always remember this simple phrase: 'You hear, you forget. You see, you remember. You do, you understand." Often coaches try to teach players a skill by talking about it. The younger the player the less effective it will be. Give a quick explanation while you show them the skill you want them to perform. Then, have them do it.
Attitude And Effort
Coaches that believe winning is everything have only one direction to take the team...down. Everyone wants to win, but when the main goal is winning, a really good season can be lost. If, on the other hand, you emphasize attitude and effort, a successful season can be had without a league championship. Winning games really will take care of itself, if you prepare the team to play hard and always give their best effort.
The idea of sportsmanship seems to be lost on many youth players. The fact is, sportsmanship must be taught. If children watch professional sports then their idea of sportsmanship may be to trash talk, spike the ball in the opponent's face, or to mimic some other visual statement that demonstrates their superiority. As a coach it's important that you teach the value of sportsmanship. I want my team to show joy when they make an exciting play, but not at the expense of the players on the opposing team. I want my players to always show the other team respect. Your leadership is the best way to get this across to your players. Interact with the players on the other team. Compliment them when they make a good play. Show your players that you appreciate the other team and the opportunity to play against them.
(reprinted from www.QCbaseball.com)
Let The Kids Play Ball
Let The Kids Play Ball
by Bruce Lambin (reprinted and revised from www.baseballtips.com)
I would truly like to drive a stake through the phrase, "Just let the kids play ball and have fun!" There is nothing intrinsically fun about softball.
Stand in the middle of a room and swing a bat. After about 30 seconds you will determine that this is no fun. Hitting the ball is fun! Swinging the bat and not hitting the ball is not fun. NOT catching the ball and having it hit you in the nose is NOT fun!
That is why we have coaches, to teach the skills necessary so that the players can have the maximum amount of success and FUN! I guarantee the player that is batting .500 is having more fun than the one who is batting a buck fifty.
But the beautiful thing about softball is that with discipline and hard work the player that is batting .150 can have more success and HAVE MORE FUN. What a great lesson in life to learn from a girl’s game. If you are disciplined and work hard, you will have more success and more fun!
The challenge to coaching is how to inspire the players to strive for excellence in overcoming a difficult task (softball) so they can have a max amount of fun.
I once had a Mother ask me why I asked her daughter to practice her skills so frequently, even off the ball field and at home. What was the matter with me? Did I think she was going to play college or pro ball? You are being much too hard on the girl, I was told. Knowing that her daughter played in the school orchestra, I asked if she required her daughter to practice her scales every day on the piano. She said "yes." I then asked if she thought her daughter would grow up to be a concert pianist? She said "certainly not, she doesn’t have that much talent." I asked if she wanted her to grow up to play in a honky tonk saloon? "Heaven forbid," she answered. Then why do you make her work so hard at her piano? "Well," she replied, "I want her to develop a love and appreciation for music and discipline in overcoming a difficult task."
I pointed out that her daughter was not gifted enough to play college or pro ball and quite possibly not even good enough to be on a high school team, but that I too desired that she develop an appreciation and love for the game and discipline to work hard to overcome the difficult task of playing softball.
Isn’t it amazing we never hear someone say, "Just let the kid play piano and have fun," because it is no fun to bang out discordant notes that have no relationship to music. Softball, and just about any other sport, is exactly the same. It can be a symphony of beauty or a cacophonous jumble of movements that would make a punk garage band cringe.
I hope that because of my efforts as a softball coach, I have motivated my players to develop character traits that will help them to become better doctors… or lawyers…or business executives…or hair stylists, when little girl games are over.
To all Managers and Coaches: 2011 Season
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for volunteering your time this coming spring and summer to manage or coach a WGS team. While we sincerely appreciate your particpation, you must be aware that managing and/or coaching requires a lot of time, energy and most importantly, the exercise of responsibility and good judgment. Not only do we demand adherence to the rules, policies and regulations set down by the League, we insist upon a commitment and dedication to your team. Every effort should be made to work with the girls throughout the season on fundamental skills, good sportsmanship and teamwork so this softball season is enjoyable for the girls as well as yourself. Please be particularly aware that as a representative of Westchester Girls' Softball, your games will be observed from time to time by members of the Board of Directors. Your conduct on the field, how well you conform to league requirements and whether you adhere to the duties and responsibilities of a team manager as published here, will be evaluated and graded at the end of the year. NOTE: Be aware that aside from on the field and occasional meetings, WGS communicates with its managers and coaches primarily via e-mail. We do not have the time nor the money to make numerous phone calls or to send letters to you in each situation where there is information to disseminate. Therefore, it is your responsibility to monitor your e-mail frequently to ascertain if there is something you should know.
Please take the time to read and familiarize yourself with this list. Anyone on the Board of Directors will be happy to answer any questions you may have during the season. Good luck to everyone and have a great year!
Applies to In-House Teams Only
1. The first duty you have as a manager is to contact your team members immediately following the draft. Since registrants are often eagerly awaiting notification, you should take steps to contact the individuals you draft either the night they are selected (time permitting) or within the next 24 hours. It is a very good idea to have at least one team meeting prior to the start of practice to allow your players to get to know each other and to discuss or inform them of your plans and expectations.
2. Practices are essential. Once the practice season starts, you should strive to have at least one practice a week, weather permitting, throughout the entire season. Otherwise, you are putting your team members at a strong disadvantage and are not being fair to the players. The frequency and number of additional practices per week are up to you, but more are encouraged. (depending on the availability of team members) Successful teams are those that practice frequently. If, for any reason, you cannot have several practices before the season begins, you should make arrangements for your coach or some other responsible individual (who has been made known to WGS) to handle practices for you. Otherwise, you should reconsider taking a team altogether. As has been said, being a manager is a responsibility. If you cannot meet that responsibility because of other commitments or personal needs that come before the team, then you should not be managing.
3. During a practice, fundamental skills in hitting, fielding and base running, offensive and defensive strategies should be emphasized. Utilize drills and vary both the specifics and the duration of what you cover. Players do not learn simply by hitting a ball to them or having them bat repetitiously. You must actively SHOW them the correct way to do things and how to react and position themselves in different play situations. Sliding is a necessary skill and should be taught to all team members. If you do not know how to slide or do not know how to teach sliding, please find someone who does, or contact a board member for help. Instructing players incorrectly is often more harmful than no instruction at all.
4. During games, managers should maintain control and direction of their teams to the extent possible. You are not babysitting, you are managing a team. Do not sit idly and silently while circumstances on the field or in the dugout get out of hand. Talk to your players. Guide them. Call time-outs if need be. Although it is realized that the need for discipline often arises, praise and encouragement in all things are highly recommended.
5. Managers are responsible for making sure all players are aware of the time and location for practices and games. This responsibility should NEVER be delegated to any player or group of players. Only managers and/or coaches should contact team members regarding the scheduling of any game or practice.
6. Practices should NEVER, under any circumstance, be utilized as punishment for poor performance or player indiscretion. While a practice may be needed due to sloppy play, you should never force your team to practice for long hours or in excessive heat in order to make them suffer because of their performance.
7. Managers and coaches should encourage assistance from and seek the involvement of parents (both fathers and mothers) for practices and other team activities. However, only managers, coaches or designated coaches may participate on the field of play during a game.
8. You are responsible for reading and understanding the rules of play as published by WGS, Inc., as well as League policies. Please read and review 2011 rules thoroughly. If you have any questions or concerns about any particular rule or rules, raise your concern to the Board at any manager's meeting or through this web site.
9. Games require the full attention of the managers and coaches at all times during active play. Remember that you are a role model for the players and a representative of the league any time you are with your team. Managers and coaches should demonstrate the principles of good sportsmanship and the ethics of competition at practices as well as during games and immediately after games. Managers should at all times enforce the exercise of decency and civility by themselves, their coaches and their players.
10. Each team is expected to keep their own score as well as that of the opposing team in the score books provided by the league. If you do not know how or cannot keep score yourself, please secure the assistance of someone who does. For various reasons, it is extremely important to accurately record the runs achieved as well as individual player hits, errors, etc. during each game. Managers should always verify total score for each side after every inning.
11. With the exception of team members, coaches and designated score keepers, there should be no other persons allowed in the dugout during any game. Visitors, parents and friends have no business in the dugout during this time. Similarly, a maximum of three players from any one team and who are preparing to bat, are allowed behind the backstop at any given time. Coaches, children, other non-league personnel or those not performing some legitimate function should not be congregating behind the backstop at any game.
12. Draft sheets and/or rating cards are extremely confidential and should NEVER be shown or disclosed to any player or parent or otherwise left where they may be seen. As a manager, you are REQUIRED to evaluate each player on your team (with the exception of graduating seniors in the Major Division) and to turn in the rating cards to the Board of Directors on or before the date due as determined each year. To this extent, it is highly recommended that managers attend as many games as possible other than their own in order to see the varying levels of play and skills among different teams. In such way a manager can more accurately and objectively measure and rate the abilities of his or her own players.
13. The league does not supply funds for after game treats, outings or gifts at the awards banquet. This is entirely up to you, your coaches and the willingness of parents to contribute.
14. It is the responsibility of managers and/or coaches to attend all scheduled meetings before, during and after the season. If you or your coach cannot be present, you should have some representative attend on your behalf so that you can be adequately apprised of any announcements, changes, scheduling or other necessary information conveyed or disseminated. The Board of Directors will NOT contact absent managers or coaches to fill them in on what is happening. It is also very important that managers adhere to set deadlines and schedules for completing tasks, submitting information, (e.g. all-star picks, rating cards, etc.) and picking up or turning in equipment as set by the Board. Missed deadlines WILL jeopardize your ability to further participate.
15. It is the responsibility of both teams to make sure the fields are playable after a rain. To avoid canceling a game due to a wet field, the team managers should get to the fields early enough to rake, sweep and if necessary, spread diamond-dry or Turface so the the field will be safe and playable by game time. If your work schedule does not permit you to get to the field early, arrange with someone else to at least check the field or contact the Board so that other plans can be made. The Board will distribute diamond-dry or Turface and try to help with maintenance as much as possible. However, resources are limited and your assistance in keeping the fields playable is often necessary.
16. If equipment or first-aid items are missing from a lock box on any field used, please contact the board member in charge of equipment (Tom Noesen) immediately so that the item or items can be replaced and you are not held responsible. Remember, the home team at each game is responsible for returning the bases to the lock box. DO NOT FORGET TO LOCK THE BOX WHEN YOU LEAVE THE FIELD!!!
17. The use of Cold Packs are intended for the treatment of legitimate injuries to players and team personnel during games in order to reduce swelling and associated pain. Minor bruises, cuts, abrasions, insect bites, etc. are generally not serious enough to warrant their use. Cold Packs should also not be used simply as a "coolant" in hot weather, except in cases of possible heat stroke (i.e. dizziness or fainting, nausea, etc.). In all instances, managers and coaches are expected to use good judgment and common sense in the distribution of these items so that the league is assured that every field will have a supply should circumstances require them.
18. If a player is injured while participating in any team event and that injury requires professional medical attention, you MUST inform the Board as soon as possible so the parents of the injured player can be given an insurance claim form.
19. If you need a substitute for any game, you must notify the designated board member in charge as soon as the need for a substitute becomes definite. DO NOT CALL FOR A SUBSTITUTE unless you know for sure that you will need one. Once a substitute is obtained, that player has the right to participate in the game over your regular team member, even if the need for the substitute later becomes unnecessary.
20. All coaches and managers must submit a criminal background check authorization to the Westchester Park District every year. If you have submitted a background check and have been cleared through another local organization within that period of time, you need not do it again for WGS, Inc. This is a mandate of the Park District. You cannot participate in the league or use Westchester Park District facilities unless the background check has been submitted. The League will furnish you with the necessary forms prior to the start of the practice season.
21. Junior Division managers and coaches have the responsibility of preparing their players for stepping up to the Minors. This is vitally important so they will be ready for that level of competition when the time comes. That means you not only work hard at developing needed skills, but you teach them the rules and show them how to be aggressive as well as thinking players at bat, on the field and running the bases. This is especially important because quite often, junior players will be called as substitutes for the Minor Division. If they are not coached properly, they will be at an extreme disadvantage and will not enjoy the experience.
22. Prior to the start of the first game of the season, it is the manager's responsibility to make sure that all team members have either opted out or turned in required monies for candy sales. Players not meeting this requirement will not receive a uniform and will not be allowed to play until the condition has been met.
23. At the conclusion of the season, it is the manager's responsibility to return league equipment to the designated board representative on or before the date it is determined to be due. Equipment, including the bag in which it is contained, should be CLEAN and undamaged.
24. At the conclusion of the season and prior to the final meeting of the playing year, managers are to collect from their team and turn in to the Board all necessary forms for attendance at the annual awards banquet.
25. Finally, it must be stressed to all the players that regardless of its designation as a "recreational" organization, WGS is nonetheless a competitive league. That means players as well as coaches and managers have a responsibility to each other and to their team. Commitment to practices and games is an essential component of that responsibility and should not ever be taken lightly.
FAILURE TO ABIDE BY THESE REQUIREMENTS COULD JEOPARDIZE CONTINUATION OF YOUR POSITION AS MANAGER WITH THIS LEAGUE.
||Westchester Girls' Softball, Inc.