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Baseball coaching tips of the day
Make warm-up time the most important time of practice, so emphasize it through your attention to detail and with the most “praise” and “critiques” of correct fundamentals at this time.
At almost every practice I watch involving baseball teams, I notice players warm up with little or no coaching being done at the start. Coaches are talking to each other or dealing with everything except what the players do at this time. What coaches do not understand is that the first 15 to 20 minutes of practice is that when players play catch, run, swing bats and prepare for that day's workout, habits are formed. In this warm-up period, players may have thrown, swung and caught the ball incorrectly a combined one hundred times or more. Wow - with players reinforcing a motor skill that many times, it becomes very difficult to ever change that habit. Often, those repetitions are far and away the most times players will perform a skill at a given practice. Multiply those repetitions by the number of practice warm-ups over the course of the season and a case can be made that many players are reinforcing a bad habit most of the time.
When coaches who do not teach during warm-ups, which as mentioned are when the fundamentals are being formed, they are letting their players down. Simply put, there is no more important time for coaches to coach then during warm-ups. It is easy for coaches to “coach” during games but what separates good coaches from average coaches is the ability to focus on the fundamentals during warm-ups.