At all levels of baseball, team and individual attitude play an important role in achieving excellence. A sound demeanor, temperament and approach to the game spell success. When a professional or college scout asks about a player the first thing they question is his make-up. What kind of kid is he? They already know he has talent; they want to find out that if they invest their money will he have the temperament to stick it out. …

Why do some teams seem to perform well under pressure while others fall apart? What sets successful teams above the rest? Beside developing and teaching his players there are some skills the winning coach must acquire.

  • Teach your players to focus only on the things they can control. When an athlete focuses on “uncontrollables” he is more likely to tighten up and “choke.” The chart below lists things beyond a player’s control and subsequently he should block them out and focus only on things he can control.
  • Winning the game.
  • Hitters’ hits.
  • Teammate’ errors.
  • Umpire’s Calls.
  • Crowd noise.

In the past we have talked about how important a routine is for athletes and baseball players in particular. The nature of the game of baseball does not lend itself to the extremes of emotion. A more steadfast approach is justified. Approach baseball the same way, every day and every game. An established routine helps players stand up to the rigors of the summer grind of 50 plus games.

In fact Coach Grant always felt that a part of his job was to instill in his players how long a baseball season is and prepare them for it as if…

A team that can execute sound, intelligent situational hitting will be a successful team. They move runners into scoring position and drive them in. To be a good situational hitting team the coach has to develop the proper mindset with his players. There is little room for “me, me” selfish players. Hitters must often give themselves up for the chance to score a run.

Batting averages, whoa. Put those batting averages down. There are many more important elements of the game and these statistics often put unjustified pressure on the kids. Batting averages should not be the measure of a…

Bob Watson, former GM of the Yankees, was once asked what he thought was wrong with baseball. He said the two things most wrong with baseball today are the strong emphasis on winning versus the emphasis on development of stong players at the youth level and the lack of good coaching at the youth level. We agree with that thought.

Many, not all, Little League coaches are so caught up in the win at all costs philosophy that no thought is given to the development and health of the kids. How many times have you seen a big kid dominate…

You’ve heard us make that statement over the years. What does it mean?

We’ve said, if you’re going to coach baseball become a student rather than a fan. Put aside any fan fanaticism and take into consideration the importance of coaching.

You are coaching and teaching young people and like it or not you are a role model for them. Give them your best. A fervent fan does not make a good coach. Learning the complexities of baseball presents a formidable task for any novice coach.

I believe a teacher (Coach) should become the most ardent student of all, much…

That is not the definition of mental toughness. We will attempt to define it here. I am sure athletes of all sports may exhibit mental toughness but baseball demands it of its players on a daily basis.

Before attempting to define it as it relates to baseball, we must ask the question, “Should youth players be asked to be ‘mentally tough’? The demands of the sport and the speed of the game increase as a player reaches each level, so mentally tough may not mean quite the same at age 10 as it does at age 18.

It may not…


Tim Kafer has coached over 25 years of youth baseball. He has worked with players at college, High School and youth

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