Northern Marianas: Saipan Baseball League
The way I see it by Ray Brown
The Way I See It!
The Way I See It!
Hello everyone. Thought I would sit down and put pen to paper and comment on the just recently completed AAA Oceania Tournament that was held in Guam. Australia won the tournament by defeating New Zealand in the championship game with Guam finishing 3rd and CNMI finishing 4th. The tournament went well but there was one point that I would like to bring up and that point is coaching responsibility.
In the past I have penned a few articles regarding the role of the coach and his responsibility to his players’ and to the organization who puts him a position of authority but in reality there are really three responsible parties and in our region those parties are the BCO, each Federation, and coach and since the BCO is the first responsible party guess I will start with them.
Baseball Confederation of Oceania
The responsibility of the BCO is to ensure that ongoing development programs are implemented within the Oceania Region so that each member country can achieve its highest level of competitive excellence. To live up to that responsibility the following goals have been implemented;
The goals for the region are as follows:
1. Increase the level of general baseball understanding and development.
2. Develop a structure that will introduce the game of baseball to the physical education program of each school with the school taking ownership of that program.
3. Provide access to proper baseball equipment and improve baseball fields and facilities.
4. Introduce baseball programs that will enhance grassroots development and increase the standard of play at the youth level.
5. Establish an International Competition schedule at both the youth and senior level.
6. Increase the number of member countries to the BCO and IBAF
7. Increase the number of qualified coaches and umpires through accreditation programs for each member country, those programs will become the property of each organization and their responsibility to ensure that the courses are continued.
8. Implement an Oceania Baseball Development Regional Training Center (Academy).
9. Install Sport Development Officers in each member country; Fiji, American Samoa and Palau have already taken this step.
10. Assist with developing pathways for all coaches, umpires and players.
The listed goals above have all been implemented in each member country that I have visited and are available for review on the BCO website, www.baseballoceania.com
Each Baseball Organization within the BCO should be implementing the following goals;
1. If they do not have their own developmental plan they should be following the developmental plan that has been implemented by the BCO and then eventually developing the program that is needed for their country.
2. Provide an environment that is enjoyable, educational and healthy for the participant regardless of the participant’s athletic ability.
3. Ensure all coaches have taken a coaching accreditation course that allows them to learn the social and technical aspects of coaching the youth to senior aged player.
4. Provide a structured system that will allow all participants to follow a pathway that will enable them to achieve their highest level of competency.
Since the main objective of this article is dealing with the development of coaching I will give my view on what each organization should be doing to ensure that all coaches have the proper credentials to teach and coach within their organization.
In my opinion each organization has the responsibility of ensuring that each of their selected coaches has the appropriate accreditation and expertise to coach and teach at the appropriate level by either using their own coaching accreditation program or by using the one that is available from the BCO, but either way there is really no reason for any of our member countries not to have a coaching accreditation program in place.
Having a coaching accreditation program in place assists with creating a pathway for the coaches and players to achieve their highest level of competitive excellence, which is also one of the objectives for all organizations.
Before a person decides to become a coach there are some things that should be considered; for example the prospective coach should be asking themself the following;
1. Why am I considering becoming a coach?
Some things to consider in making your decision
1. The need for good coaches and officials
2. The benefits of sport for local communities
3. Coaching includes all athletes - attitude matters
Regardless of the reason of why you made the decision to become a coach you have accepted a responsibility that will influence not only your family but also the family of each player that comes into contact with you, whether or not that player is on your team or on someone else’s.
2. What type of role model do I want to be?
It should be remembered that the youth coach is not a professional coach and his responsibility is not to win games but to assist with the development and growth of the young people that have been placed in his care - the exceptional as well as the not so exceptional. Because of that responsibility he has to be able to teach, explain and treat each one of his players with respect, fairness, compassion and give them the opportunity to have an experience that will have them returning year after year to participate and enjoy the game that they have chosen. It should also be remembered that next to their parents the coach is probably the second biggest influence in a player’s life.
3. What types of goals do you want to achieve?
Although winning games is important to the professional coach, the ability to communicate, teach, be fair and show concern for players are also valuable assets in determining whether or not a coach will advance, so the suggestion here is that your goals should be to teach the skills, teach the rules, fair play and sportsmanship, enjoyment of the game, respect for everyone your players come into contact with and always doing their best at practice and games.
It is important to remember that each age group has a different reason for playing, so it is critical that what you want to accomplish fits into the age group you have chosen to coach.
4. What do you expect of yourself?
What you expect of yourself will also have a direct bearing on how you go about coaching the players in your trust. As a youth coach you are not expected to be as time committed or skills knowledgeable as the professional but you should be expected to have enough time to commit and the basic knowledge to teach and coach at the level you have selected
If you coach at a level that is above your expertise you are doing no one a favor, in fact you are probably being unfair to the players you are coaching by not being able to give them the added knowledge they need to advance to the next level. The suggestion here is that the expectations of yourself should be to have knowledge of the game, know the rules, be fair in dealing with your players, be consistent in your actions and give each one of them the opportunity to participate and enjoy the game they have chosen to play.
The following questions should be considered before you decide what your level of coaching competency is
1. Could you explain the rules of the game to your players?
2. Could you explain and demonstrate the proper fundamentals to your players?
3. Do you know how to organize and conduct a practice session?
4. Could you provide first aid for most minor injuries?
5. Do you place the interests of the athlete ahead of winning?
6. Do you have a plan of what you want your players to know at the end of the season?
7. Do you enjoy working with athletes?
8. Do you show patience when introducing new skills to your players?
9. Are you consistent in the things that you do?
10. Are you a good role model to your players?
11. Do you make sure that your players are practicing in a safe environment?
5. What do you expect from your players?
As a coach you should remember that part of your responsibility is to teach the players in your care lessons they will need after they complete their playing careers. For most of them their playing career will only be a small part of their life; what they learn from that short time will be with them for the rest of their lives. Even at a young age it is important that you instill into your players what responsibility they have to their team and themselves. This responsibility is for them to learn the rules and skills required to play to their most consistent level, not to criticize their team mates and be good sportsmen in victory as well as defeat.
Well there you have it, my thoughts on what the BCO, Organizations and Coaches should be doing to advance the game not only in their country but within the entire Oceania Region. At least that’s the way I see it.