Topic: Disciplining

nick898    -- 08-08-2004 @ 9:20 PM
  As a coach, what method do you think works best to teaching discipline to 14-15 year old players. Our team's biggest problem was mental mistakes and our coach had us do hills (Running up and down a hill) and running around the field as ways to discipline us. He didn't do this in time for us to win enough games and we ended up being eliminated early in the All Star season. Do you believe in those methods to discipline? They are along the lines of what the players in the movie "Miracle" had to go through. Not that rough obviously but he disclipined us by punishment that aren't very fun like hills.

Go Red Sox!

THop    -- 08-09-2004 @ 10:39 AM

The discipline a coach chooses to use is up to him. My only advice to coaches is to make sure that it is always “fair and consistent” and in line with your pre-season parents meeting. It also must make “baseball sense”. In other words, it must also help them physically, become a better baseball player, and not humiliate them (mentally) like an animal. This way you will gain credibility with your players and promote a greater team chemistry at the same time.

Running hills and laps will get you into shape but not baseball shape. And I cringe when I see an entire team running a lap because one player made a bad throw in practice. This encourages kids to apply less effort when they return because they are afraid to make mistakes. I encourage the exact opposite.

My oldest son once had a coach who insisted that, during BP, that they lay their bat down whenever they fouled a ball over the fence (right then), sprint to get it and then sprint a lap around the entire field (while every one watched), then get back in the batter’s box and hit again. No Kidding!

He also had another coach who cared more about mind games than baseball games. Once he punished the entire team by making them run up and down hills with a teammate riding piggy back. The more the players hated it the more the coach seemed to like it. The sad part is that 2 players fell on their way down a hill. The really sad part is that one starting pitcher, dislocated his throwing shoulder (missed season) and the starting catcher sprang his wrist (missed the first 2 games).

This same coached made them take their bat into the woods and hit pine trees “to get them to hit better”. The sad thing is that many hitters bruised the palm of their top hand (hurt tio hit during games the next 2 weeks).

I could go on and on but I won’t.

When I do choose to discipline my players by running I always make a competition out of it to keep it interesting for them. Keep in mind that what follows is a part of their regular running routines, but if I see a lack of focus and effort in practices, I sometimes knock off early and let them perform these twice as long as usual (instead of 15 minutes, 30 instead).

1.     Defense-(infield & Outfield) sprint to catch pop ups then slide to avoid collisions after the catch. Outfield does the same without the slide
2.     Defense-Run downs.
3.     Base running- read the pitcher, sprint to steal and end on the different slides (we do this in the outfield grass). We also do straight steals, delayed steals and hit and runs this way.
4.     Base Running-two out leads at 2b, make a good decision and sprint to score (fungo coach)
5.     Base running-go half way to 2b, make a good decision and sprint to 3b (fungo coach)
6.     Pitching-sprint to back up 3b/home during a round of infield
7.     Pitching-sprint to cover 1b on balls hit to the right side during a round of infield
8.     Pitching-sprint to back up 1b (when catcher can’t trail) during a round of infield
9.     Pitchers- run poles after their bull pens
10.     Timed wind sprints (2 at a time) like they will encounter during college show cases and professional try-outs.

Hope this helps you and a few coaches out there.


nick898    -- 08-16-2004 @ 5:34 PM
  I understand what you are saying. While he didn't discipline us has heavily as the coaches you mentioned did he did discipline us when we made bad throws warming up. He had us do 1 hill for every bad throw made warming up and I know it hurt some players mentally. At our age we should be able to throw a ball 90ft away from another player and hit them in the chest. That's according to our coach and I see what he means. But saying that he put pressure on us mentally and I know that we probably were just 15 feet away and it almost was thrown away. It didn't happen a lot at that length but when it got to 90 a lot of people were definitely worrying. Thanks to reading H.A. Dofrman's The Mental Game of Baseball I didn't do as bad as the others but it still put a lot of pressure on me mentally and it was hard even though I knew how to get through it mentally.

Go Red Sox!

coachv35    -- 01-21-2005 @ 11:58 AM
  i think that this is a great topic.  I have debated with people on this topic and see pro's and con's to how coaches do this.  I am a high school coach and i think that the way you discipline these kids is different then how you should discipline a 12 and under team.  i don't discipline a kid for and error throwing or a mental one.  They are not trying to do this.  Now if the kid makes a couple of them i will pull him out of the game because obviously he is haveing a bad day.  now on the other hand if my team makes a bunch of errors which usually does not happen then i make the whole team to wind sprints at the end of the game.  i discipline for these types of things.  If you miss a sign it is 6 poles in the outfield.  if you strike out looking it is 4 poles i know that this happens but for me i think that my players concentrate more on 2 strike pitches to just put the ball in play and give them selves a chance. i also discipline them by running 10 poles for leaving their own personal equipment such as a glove or bat and i have to pick it up.  I figure they would rather run 10 poles then have me leave it there are have to spend another 100 to 200 dollars on a new piece of equipment.  My players know that all i require of them is to give them selves a chance on a play.  they dive at a ball that is a blooper and the batter gets a double then he gets a double.  If they drop a ball turning a double play trying to be quick to give us a chance at two then they drop the ball.  Sure it bothers me but the next time they will make the play.  My philosophy is to teach to a kids weakness instead of his strength and you will have a better player and in turn have a better team.    

THop    -- 06-04-2005 @ 5:30 PM
  Great quote on disciplining players in today's paper. Thought it might help. I know that I added it to my list of positive coaching quotes.

"In my opinion, discipline involves punishment, it involves education, and it involves love."-Mark Richt


Baseball Discussion Group :