By Sam Flamont
Baseball coaches are always telling their players to stay in the game when they are sitting on the bench. This is true they need to do this, but one thing you must realize is how boring it is to sit on the bench. Imagine how short your attention span would be just sitting there, and now understand you are dealing with kids who probably have an even shorter attention span.
So what do we do as coaches?
Here are a few ideas of how to keep kids in the game. This will work great for High School aged kids and if taught properly could work good for the younger ages as well.
Keep spray charts: Spray charts help you see how you pitched to certain hitters and what they did with the at bat as well as where the ball ended up. his chart helps your hitters see how the pitcher is pitching them and it helps keep the kids on the bench involved because they can keep the charts. Also, do one for their team as well, especially if you will play the team multiple times per year or may see them later in the playoffs. Spray charts are a great tool to help both your hitters and your pitchers during the game. It will also help you coaches develop a plan on how to pitch to certain guys during the game, or even after if you play the team again.
Get a few more stop watches: Get enough stop watches for the guys on the bench and have them be responsible for recording all the times of the runners to first for both teams, the pitchers time to home, the catchers throw to second, and even the pitchers move to first. If certain kids are responsible for this then they will have to be paying attention to the game. It also helps you as a coach because you will be able to see who is fast on their team and who is hustling on your team. These are just a few ideas for now but try them out and see if you like it.
Sam Flamont played his college ball at Grand Rapids Community College and Western Michigan University. At Western Michigan Sam was rookie of the year his junior year, and offensive MVP, All-MAC first team and All Region his senior year. Sam was signed by the Detroit Tigers as a Free agent in 2002, and he played professionally for 4 years. Now that his playing days are behind him Sam co-owns and operates In The Zone which is an indoor baseball facility in Traverse City, Michigan and runs his blog Baseball Around The Clock at www.samflamont.com. Sam recently joined the coaching staff at Central Michigan University.