Sports Essay, Research Paper
For this assignment I wanted to focus on baseball coaches. However, I was unable to attend two games each on a different level because at this point in time only the college season is underway. So instead of attending a game at a level other than college, I attended a high school practice session. At first the coach was a bit apprehensive about allowing me to attend, but he eventually allowed me to after a younger brother of a friend of mine who was on the team assured him that I wasn t a spy for another team. That said, I expected the practice to be rigorous and technical in nature and a command style coach who highly valued winning. However, it was quite the contrary.
The coach, to my surprise, subscribed to a rather submissive/baby sitting brand of coaching. The practice had very little structure or organization. After a brief warm-up period, which consisted of a light jog and short stretching routine, he simply divided the team up into two groups. One headed for the two batting cages and the other spread themselves out to fill the remainder of the gym to throw and eventually lined up to take ground balls from the assistant coach. This went on for almost entirety of the two-hour practice (the groups switched about mid way through). During this time the head coach freely roamed the gym, stopping here and there, offering at most minor instruction to where he felt it was needed. While he was doing this, those who were waiting their turn to either bat or field were goofing around quite a bit (at least according to my standards). Only when things got overly obnoxious did the coach intervene. He didn t seem to care much about the physical or mental development of his players.
I have to admit that I was pretty shocked to see this going on. I played baseball there all four years under two different head coaches. Both were what you could call disciplinarians; they were very organized and structured practices in such a way that they required your complete attention from start to finish. I was curious to see how the team faired last year under the current regime so I spoke to my friend s younger brother. Not surprisingly the team had one of its poorest seasons in years. I found it sad to see my old high school go from respectable to laughable. I also felt sorry for those playing for the current coach. The discipline, work ethic, and values transmitted from the command/cooperative style coaches that I played for will not be instilled in those playing under this coach.
The college coach I observed was more in line with the coaches I played for in high school. He was much more structured and disciplined and fit what I felt was a combination of command and cooperative style of coaching. After a jog and stretch, the team loosened up with some long tossing. After about five or six minutes of that, the coach called them in for multi-infield (which, Unlike the high school coach, who had his assistant hit one ground ball at a time, this coach (like my former coaches) had outfielders hit ground balls to the infielders so that each infielder could receive the maximum amount of ground balls in a limited period of time). Eventually the outfielders took their positions and the infielders gave them multi-outfield.
To get more of an understanding of what style of coaching the coach used I stayed close to the dugout for the majority of the game. He definitely emphasized winning, but at the same time he cared about his players. There were a couple of occasions where players made mental and physical errors. He definitely let them know that they made a mistake; he raised his voice quite a bit (not screaming but not talking either). However, he was never demeaning, and whenever he was done getting their attention and pointing out mistakes he offered encouragement, come on, you re better that that , or get m next time . I felt that this coach was well balanced and offered much more guidance than the high school coach, which in my opinion is necessary when coaching in competitive levels of organized sports.