INTRODUCTION?

“I understand that I will never know everything about baseball or life. What I do know is I owe my life to this game. Baseball has given me some of the most significant moments and sparked most of the joy that has come my way. This game has positioned me to act on countless opportunities to better myself and those around me. I have built lifelong relationships and seen the world through cultures and people that I never imagined. My goal is to give back everything this game has taught me to as many young players and coaches as possible. Keeping the constant learning cycle going.” – N.A. Holmes II –

Lesson 1 – START WITH WHY??

INTRODUCTION “He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.” - F. Nietche

Lesson 2 – UNDERSTAND THE VISION?

Core Mission & Goals “Start with the end in mind.” S. Covey

Lesson 3 – WORK THE PLAN?

Tactics and Skill Set “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Lesson 4 – EXAMINE THE REALITY?

What is working and what is not? “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard

Lesson 5 – FEEDBACK AND EVALUATIONS?

After Action Reporting “Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.” – Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

CONGRATULATIONS!?

You made it! Well done! You are now equipped to head out there and save the world one player at a time. Go get em Coach!
PRACTICE PLANNING

Everything looks good on paper. Practice plans and Mission Statements are no exception. One time, a parent/coach looked at my practice plan and said, “It looks very dull”. He wasn’t wrong. All practice plans look dull on paper. They are just words with time slots. What’s exciting about that? It is your job as the coach to make those words come to life. It is your job to make the practice NOT dull. This is where the fun is. 

Getting creative, adjusting on the fly, adding whatever you think will make practice  enjoyable and  effective for  the learning process. Here is another news flash: not all kids learn the same way or have the same level of enthusiasm, aptitude, natural ability or attention span. It is the differentiated execution that makes practice plans essential. The catch is – you still need them. Without them, you have nothing to change when the sh*t hits the fan and things aren’t working according to what is on the paper. At the very least, you’ll need something to write your new plan on. 

It doesn’t always have to be the greatest practice plan ever written. Just get A,B, & C down on either on paper, into your phone, or onto a  cocktail napkin from Ireland’s 32 Pub and Grill –  whatever you got, just get it down. There is a 99% likelihood  that you will be changing it before or during practice right when you find out that you are short a coach or four players don’t show, or it is raining, or someone else booked the field or, or, or…

The key to a good practice plan is to outline  it according to a timeline. Include your talking time, water breaks, and don’t forget transitions  to shuffle 12 kids onto the next station. Always keep an eye on the clock. When you notice you’re running behind, or even ahead of the plan, adjust immediately. Have your topics of discussion and your practical application written down. Sometimes you may end up only getting one thing accomplished because the players just didn’t grasp it or they were really enjoying it. That is OK,  too.

Here is what a solid practice plan includes:

First and foremost, you need 5 important variables figured out.

These include: Players, Coaches, Time, Environment, and Equipment.

  1. How many players are in attendance?
  2. How many coaches are available to help?
  3. How much time do you have from start to finish?
  4. What is the environment you have to work with? (Ex: Full field, open area, gym, batting cage.)
  5. What equipment do you have? Types of balls, cones, stopwatch, fungo, L-screen etc.

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