Expectations - Travel Ball Guidelines
The travel baseball season is meant to be a learning, positive experience for the players and enjoying to watch for the parent. The following summary lists what is expected of the the player, coach and the proper etiquette of a parent to maximize the experience for everyone involved.
Expectations of the player:
Be on time to practices and games
Be willing to work hard during practices without complaining or being disruptive
Be respectful of the coach and other adults
Follow all team guidelines and rules
Follow the coaches instruction on the field (ie bunting, taking a pitch, NOT stealing in certain circumstances, throwing the pitches the coach calls)
Understand that playing time is earned through hard work in practice and executing on the field
Be a positive influence to your teammates by providing encouragement and leadership
Do not be a distraction to the rest of the team
Expectations of the coach:
Be prepared for practices and games
Treat each player fairly
Communicate expectations to the players and parents
Always be willing to communicate honestly with parents and players
Treat the players like young men
Limit the yelling to attention getting situations only
Never yell at or punish a player for a physical error (ie strikeout, error).
It is ok to punish a player for taking a bad approach that led to the error.
It is ok to punish players for mental errors and mistakes (ie making mistakes that have been covered in practice multiple times)
"punishment" could mean being benched during a game, being moved to a different position or dropped in the batting order. At the coach's discretion, it may also mean extra sprints, push-ups, laps or some other exercise.
Make sure the players are prepared physically and mentally for each game
Never let the players give up
Expectations of the parent:
Make sure the player is willing to make the commitment necessary before accepting the invitation to join the team
Have the player to practices and games on-time. Communicate with the coach if an issue comes up that will cause a delay
Understand that the coach must make decisions that are best for the team
Refrain from instructing the player from the stands. Cheering should be limited to encouragement and congratulations
Parent's are not allowed in the dugout during a game (unless invited)
Never approach a coach about playing time during a game or immediately after. The appropriate way to approach a coach about playing time is as follows:
Wait until at least 8 games have been played. The coach is still trying to get a feel for who can do what and is likely experimenting early in the season.
Approach the coach when you are not upset or emotional. After practice or on an off day is ideal.
The question "what can my son do to earn more playing time?" is a great way to phrase the question. The coach should be happy to explain it to you and the player either on the spot or the next time he sees you.
Understand that the coach may not be aware that you feel your son is not getting his share of playing time and may not have an immediate answer to your question
Please do not compare your son to another player either in terms of playing time or skill with the coach. There are many things the coach looks for besides hits and errors that the parent may not be aware of (but the player should know). Things such as knowing where to go with the ball, catching signs, leadership and many other things are what usually separate the players.
Please do not make statements such as "my son is depressed due to lack of playing time" or something along those lines.
Lastly - please do not assume that the coach has some hidden, non baseball related agenda. The benefit of non-dad coaches is that they do not have a conflict of interest and tend to be more objective. They may be biased towards certain players based on attitude, skill, baseball intelligence or leadership.....which is perfectly normal. The players GOAL should be for the coach to be biased in his favor based on those baseball related criteria.