Good coaching starts with recruiting. No matter what level you are coaching you will need athletes that listen and pay attention to what you are teaching them. Recruiting on the college level you want to get athletes that are coachable because these athletes have the potential to reach their peak performance. They are also more likely to allow a team to reach its? peak performance than to hurt the chemistry of a team. Athletes that want to learn and better themselves and won?t do things that will embarrass the team, the school, or the community they represent. Through recruiting you should learn more about their personal lives because a lot of what goes on at home tells you more about their personality. It also gives you a better understanding of the athlete in general and allows you to have a personal relationship with the athlete, which is key. It is also important to have athletes that work well with others and has build up of a team player. Many of the athletes, these days, get caught up in statistics and that can bring a ball club down. For instance, take a look at the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the off season they went out and recruited some of the best athletes at every position. Through the year the media talked of how players were pointing fingers and that some of the players were caught up in statistics. Now they find themselves in the bottom of the league. You look at the Oakland Athletics, they don?t have all the big names but they play as a team and are in the wild card race. So it doesn?t matter how good the player is if he doesn?t have a team attitude.
After you have recruited your players you start practice with the basics. If your team is not fundamentally sound then they tend to make silly mistakes that turn into costly mistakes. They also tend to create bad habits, get frustrated, and create a bad mystique around the team. After working on the fundamentals you then work into each faucet of the game. It?s good to change up your practices because athletes tend to get bored and this can keep them on their toes. For example, last year at Barstow College in the first couple of weeks players were losing concentration and would lose tempo as practice moved along. Then as coach Maldinado started changing the infield workouts everyday practice began to pick up and we started getting a lot more accomplished as a team.
These are two of the most important areas in coaching and are the keys to having a successful program no matter what level you are coaching at. The athletes you recruit and how you teach them will depend on how much your team can accomplish.