Coaches Please Coach Part 2 (Don’t Abandon Your Team)

By Josh:

I see a lot of baseball and softball games every year. I watch major league baseball, minor league, college, summer leagues and even little leagues.

Eddie Smith and the Lower Columbia College coaching staff are invested in every pitch of every game.

I have seen a lot of AMAZING coaches who will fight for their team with every ounce of energy they have. Whether that is discussing things with an umpire, pumping up individual players, using coachable moments to improve a players talent, or just being a solid foundation for the team to build upon there are some great coaches.

However, there are also some coaches that aren’t amazing. Let me begin by saying I am not talking about coaches that are volunteers and don’t know a lot about the game, but are coaching because there was a need but not enough people to fill the need so they stepped up. I am thankful for individuals, even those that don’t have a lot of baseball/softball knowledge, that are willing to be there for a team.

The coaches I am talking about are the ones that know the game, and aren’t just volunteers but are paid to coach and yet they seem to only tear their players down and instead of being there for the team, they instead act like being at the game is a burden upon them.

This year I attended a college game and saw a head coach and an assistant coach whose actions made me angry. They weren’t there for their players. It was clear that this team wasn’t quite as talented as their opponent, however the gap between skill levels wasn’t off the charts. This team could have kept it close and even had a chance to win if they would have stayed calm and made the routine plays.

In the first inning the starting pitcher was throwing strikes but was getting hit. After a few runs scored I expected the head coach to go talk to the pitcher to calm them down and just help them refocus. Instead this head coach never got up off of her bucket the entire inning, except once to yell at her third baseman for missing a hard hit ground ball down the line. I think the opponent scored 8 runs in the first with the head coach doing nothing.

When they were up to bat and a player would reach first the assistant coach would just stand there almost ignoring the runners. No talk of what to watch for, what the signs were, reminders of going 1st to 3rd on hits in the gap, nothing.

In the end I think the score was 17-3 and I am not saying that if the two coaches suddenly coached better that game things would have been that much different. What I am saying is that if they were like this in a game, abandoning their team, this probably started earlier in the season or maybe even was the norm all season long.

It is easy to see when a coach cares for their players. Everett’s Head Coach Levi Lacey is a powerful example of a coach that connects with his players.

I have seen teams that started a season getting destroyed and then by the end of the season were beating the same teams they were getting stomped by to start the season because a coaching staff stuck with the team and made them better. So to see a coach that has given up on their team frustrates me.

Once again I see far more coaches that stick with their team all season long through the good and the bad. In fact, I am lucky to watch some great coaches here in my hometown of Longview in our summer leagues, colleges and high school level teams. Which makes seeing the bad coaches, especially those that are paid, even more frustrating. I see how teams can flourish when they have the proper support or flounder when abandoned.

Coaches be there for your team, don’t abandon them.