Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about coaching. I’ve been thinking about the lack of coaches in both baseball and softball, what it is like to coach as this season I helped Kelly coach his daughter Avery and my daughter Raelynn in their first year of t-ball, and how there are some coaches that just don’t understand what it means to coach.
I want to start the series talking about the lack of coaches. Every league across the country has teams before the season starts that have players but no one to coach. Usually at the last second a parent who supports their child agrees to coach even if they don’t know much about the game. Those parents are amazing but honestly there should be an abundance of coaches. How many players that played in college or at the high school varsity level that now don’t have anything to do with the game at any level?
In my hometown of Longview, WA we are a baseball/softball town. Our local college, Lower Columbia Community College, has a tremendous history in both the baseball and softball programs. We have hosted multiple Bath Ruth World Series tournaments. We have seen local players go on to play in college, minor league baseball and even major league baseball. Current Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black is from Longview. With all of this history there is still a huge need for coaches in Longview and the surrounding communities in baseball and softball.
Leagues were pleading for coaches at all levels because there just wasn’t enough adults willing to commit. There was even the risk of having to tell players that they couldn’t play because there wasn’t coaches available for all the teams.
There are a lot of former players, individuals that have competed not only at a varsity high school level but at a college level that don’t volunteer and share what they have learned to the next generation of players.
I know that people are busy and have jobs. I was supposed to be the head coach of my daughter’s t-ball team this year but my job at the time wouldn’t allow me to time wise, so Kelly (brother in law and fellow 9 Inning Know It All member) coached the team while I stepped in as an assistant coach. So I get that not everyone is available.
Baseball and softball have given so much too so many and it is important that players give back as coaches. It has been exciting to see Trevor write about his coaching experience this spring. In case you missed his series check out ‘Confession of a High School Baseball Coach.’
I honestly believe that baseball leagues are struggling with their numbers not because of a lack of kids that want to play, but a lack of coaches who show that they care about baseball and the players. I was blessed with the coaches I had in little league, Babe Ruth, and in high school. They loved the game and even though they were hard on me at times, I never doubted that they were trying to get the best out of me and were always supporting me.