Off-the-Field Tips for Baseball Coaches

The administrative side of a baseball coach can be as important as a game winning hit in the bottom of the seventh. Here are some tips coaches can use to make sure things run smoothly off the field--so more energy can be focused on the field.

Proper planning will make a difference in how your team will play as well as affect fan support. Plan the little things in advance and assign people not involved in the actual game to help out the program.

Baseball Scheduling

Before you begin your schedule, get the school master schedule. Find out the dates for:

  • School holidays
  • School prom
  • SAT or ACT testing days
  • If something is going on at the school that you are traveling to
  • Other campus activities

You may be able to schedule with or around certain events and be sure there are no conflicts.

Transportation

The sooner the better on this one.. Plan trips to work in a college game or tour. Plan out where you will stop for meals. Try to work away from the usual meal times and most restaurant managers will gladly work with you.

Where do I stop and eat? Ask the opposing coach, players, etc or use the internet and find something, but plan ahead to save time and money! There is nothing wrong with a couple loafs of bread and peanut butter / jelly in the dugout.

Booster Club

A good strong Booster Club president can be a great asset to you and the program. Their organizational skills can assist you in fund raising and organizing trips.

Fundraising

People in general like baseball players and kids out raising money with car washes, waiting on tables, etc will go well for providing extras or much- needed things.

Game Sponsors

Organize a game sponsor. Have the sponsors name on the game program, post signs around the ball park (concessions and bath rooms), and have the sponsors name announced on the PA system several times during the game. Have a big rivalry game cost more.

Bat Girls

Get a bat girl sponsor and have someone to organize them. Give them a T-shirt and have them assist in selling a simple game program with rosters, stats, schedule and game sponsor. (Someone can make one on a computer.) Sell golf course pencils for people to keep score.

Pre-game Schedule

Organize a pre-game schedule for both teams. Home team hits in cage first, giving the visiting team more time to travel--unless the team spent the night and will be out of the hotel early.

Have times posted for both teams for BP and Infield. A $10 battery-operated clock in cage and dugouts make things run more smoothly.

Pre-game Field Preparation

Do you have a groundscrew? If you have a Booster Club this is something that could be done by them.

If so, meet with them and show them what you want done. Make sure that people can do each others job in case someone is missing. Infield drag, mound rake and pack, plate area rake and pack, paint bases or put in extra set, rake base lines If your players do this, have the non-starters do the job that takes the longest.

Extras

For the visiting team set up a locker room to shower (tell them in advance to bring towels/ soap). Place cooler/cups/towels/trash cans in dugout. Have a manager to take a game ball to the head coach and ask him if they need anything--reminding the coach about the posted pre-game schedule.


Chip Baker is director of baseball operations for the successful baseball program at Florida State University.

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