Resolutions: Set Your Baseball Goals and Keep Them.
Resolutions are simply goals, but how often do we set our site on a goal at the beginning of the year only to get off track a short time later? To be successful on the field, parents and coaches need to teach their young players how to set proper baseball goals that can be obtained during the year.
So, how does one keep their commitments year round, even when we experience adversity, stress, and self doubt? Ok, here’s some help.
First, resolutions (goals) are important for everyone even kids. In fact, you should be making new goals all the time in order to move in a particular direction. As a baseball coach (or parent) you should also help your young person learn how to make goals that are meaningful and implement plans to help them follow thru with these goals during the year. How is it done? Let's take a look.
Without goals we will accomplish nothing. I tell my teams that "goals are dreams with feet and direction".
Dreams become goals when we write them down and make plans to accomplish them.
Here are some ideas to help you keep your commitments this year:
Make goals for shorter time periods - like thirty days.
Re-evaluate at the end of the thirty days and make adjustments as needed.
Add new ones every week or at least once every month.
Make short term (daily) goals that can be accomplished by the end of the day.
Keep a schedule of your activities. Write them down and prioritize them.
Have a plan of attack for accomplishing your goals.
I plan to loose ten pounds over the next 30 days. To accomplish this I will walk two miles twice each day in order to loose one pound every three days.
I would like to be more appreciative of others. In order to accomplish this I plan to write a thank you note or send an appreciative email to one person daily.
Accomplishing a goal is easier when you break it down into a shorter segment of time.
As a coach, I have short term and long term goals. We have goals for our team to accomplish this season, but they are broken down into three parts: Preseason
(We even keep this in mind in how we schedule games in the early season, mid season, and late season)
In addition to season goals, we have longer range goals for our program:
Three (3) year, Five (5) year, and ten (10) year goals.
We also have goals for our parents (in building and expanding our program). That’s how we built (and paid for) a player locker room, a two story press box, and a 2500 square foot covered hitting facility with lights.
If we don’t have goals to accomplish then no one has a direction to GO. Without direction no one is MOVING!
Would you run a race without an idea where the finish line was or how to get to it? Coaches without resolutions for themselves, their team, and their parents will not accomplish much, period.
Players need to be taught how to make realistic goals and how to set up a plan to accomplish these goals. The coach can help by having team goals for the week (or individual practices) and encourage players to write down individual goals per game or goals for the week on an index card. At the end of that short period of time, they can check their road map and find out where they are at. Encourage players to write down both individual and team goals.
On our daily practice plan, we have One Practice Goal (what we want to achieve that day) and several objectives on how we plan to accomplish them.
We also have specific goals for offense, defense, pitching, etc….
Average one or fewer errors per game
For example, our goals during the season may consist of a few of the following:
Allow less than four earned runs per game
Have a team batting average of .330 or higher during the season
Have a team ERA of 3.50 or lower during the year
Sure, we have goals for our team, like playing for a state championship, but it doesn’t make sense to have that goal if there is not a clear defined path on how to be successful. Believe me, if we average less than one error per game during the season, we have probably won 20+ games and are playing in the state finals.
It’s important for us to remind players each game when these goals are not reached and to praise them when these goals are accomplished.
In order to accomplish our team goals at the end of the season, we need to evaluate where we are at along the way. We evalutae our progress at the end of the preseason (scrimmage stats) during the mid season, and during the post season. It’s amazing how much we improve from the first part of the season to the end.
We encourage individual goals through our philosophy and daily reminders.
For example, the goal for a pitcher when facing every batter (scrimmage and games) is to get the batter to hit the ball in the first three pitches. We don’t want 7- 8 pitch counts per batter. This is part of our written philosophy and a daily goal for all of our pitchers, one we talk about a lot.
We find this philosophy improves a pitchers control through concentration, making them more aggressive to go after hitters. It also helps the defense because they are preparing to make a play on the first pitch to the batter. Finally, it helps our pitchers keep low pitch counts and stay in the game longer.
OK, did you take some good notes? Resolutions are goals. Goals can be accomplished easily if you focus on them in shorter periods of time. After that, they become part of your philosophy and the expectations of your players every day.
DON’T JUST MAKE GOALS, KEEP THEM AND GET RESULTS!
The experience of playing youth baseball is a once in a lifetime opportunity... Plan to make the most of these valuable experiences to build up and strenghten your child.