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Assistant Coaches

Mar 4, 2015
176
28
New England
This is a good question. I was at a football coaches clinic earlier this year, and one of the state's most successful coaches (maybe the most successful) said that when hiring assistants that he'd far rather find someone with great character and shared vision than great knowledge of the game, the idea that he could teach them the game. He also liked good teachers. I'm not sure how a travel coach screens for that, but in high school football, most of the assistants also are school teachers, and you can tell by that how they might do on a football field. But I do tend to agree that a prospective assistant's experience and knowledge, while valuable, are probably not as important as his/her vision and goals for the team. Need to be on same page. Marriage is that way too. Common vision and worldview are underrated.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,067
113
I'm assuming this is your first time through with the coaching thing...

Unless you discover an experienced parent coach with an older kid who is recycling with a younger sibling, you're only going to find people trying to figure things out...just like you are. This includes former players. A former HS/College player can be a great asset, but they'll probably approach coaching more from the perspective of what they knew as mature player 10+ years ago rather than a teacher of inexperienced kids. As a youth coach, it takes years of personal experience to really understand it in terms of what and what NOT to do.

If you find such a person who is willing to do nothing but follow your lead, you are indeed fortunate. Unless you're already an experienced youth coach, you're likely approaching this from a perspective that will change significantly as you go. Find someone with some softball experience who is willing to cooperate. Both are those are pretty important; private discussions are great, and you need to be willing to listen and recognize a good idea when you hear it, but you don't want to debate coaches during practice.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,640
113
California
I'm assuming this is your first time through with the coaching thing...

Unless you discover an experienced parent coach with an older kid who is recycling with a younger sibling, you're only going to find people trying to figure things out...just like you are. This includes former players. A former HS/College player can be a great asset, but they'll probably approach coaching more from the perspective of what they knew as mature player 10+ years ago rather than a teacher of inexperienced kids. As a youth coach, it takes years of personal experience to really understand it in terms of what and what NOT to do.

If you find such a person who is willing to do nothing but follow your lead, you are indeed fortunate. Unless you're already an experienced youth coach, you're likely approaching this from a perspective that will change significantly as you go. Find someone with some softball experience who is willing to cooperate. Both are those are pretty important; private discussions are great, and you need to be willing to listen and recognize a good idea when you hear it, but you don't want to debate coaches during practice.
☝👍
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,972
113
10U?

Someone you get along with, who you know isn't going to disrupt things. Odds are your choices are limited to parents of girls on the team. If you're choosing from them, choose one who understands well his/her own daughter's strengths and weaknesses and won't be using the AC position to get her more reps that she wouldn't get otherwise.

Getting some help from highschool or college girls would be awesome.
 
Jun 6, 2016
1,204
83
Chicago
Be very wary of parents helping out with stations. They may mean well but they likely will start instructing and chances are the instruction will not be correct.
Until you get those parents up to speed with your methods, it's best to think of them more as helpers than coaches. Put them in positions where they will help you accomplish what you need to accomplish. Pitching front toss, hitting grounders, helping warm up pitchers, etc.
 
May 1, 2018
371
43
So I will say that I was very lucky as far as my asst coaches go. I will not even call them that, they are co-coaches. 1 I have coached with since our daughters were 7. We played softball together for a long time and just started coaching together and it works.
The other joined our team just as a parent and was a coach with another org. When she came over she slowly moved from helper to coach and it was official as a coach this season.
Find people that can help you were you are lacking. I coach infield, one coaches P/C and one coaches the outfielders.
So when we move to outfield practice.....I the head coach just hit balls.
Same with Finances. I have overall "control" of finances.....but my asst does the day to day things. (paying for tourneys, collecting dues, ect..... down to her handing me PAP money right before the game) this gives me one less thing to worry about.

While you are recruiting girls for your team...you are also recruiting parents.... find that "rec coach" who wants to help and give them a job.
 
Mar 7, 2020
6
3
While you are recruiting girls for your team...you are also recruiting parents.... find that "rec coach" who wants to help and give them a job.
[/QUOTE]

As long as you have mentored the rec coach in your techniques. I have seen rec dad's say and show players the wrong method because that's how they did it years ago. This is especially prevalent in pregame activities.
 
May 24, 2013
11,364
113
So Cal
Until you get those parents up to speed with your methods, it's best to think of them more as helpers than coaches. Put them in positions where they will help you accomplish what you need to accomplish. Pitching front toss, hitting grounders, helping warm up pitchers, etc.
This ^^^ is exactly how I started with my DD's 10U TB team. In the beginning, I didn't instruct anything. I did front toss, caught returned balls for the HC during IF drills, helped with catcher drills, set up nets, and anything else to help facilitate practices and pre-game warm-ups. In games, I ran the scorebook, sitting next to (and eventually inside) the dugout. I watched, listened, and learned. I shared my observations about players strengths and weaknesses, but didn't contradict what was being taught, even if it was something I didn't fully agree with. HC's trust in me grew, as did my role in coaching the team, and her value of my input. By the 2nd year of 12U, we had a pretty strong partnership, but I knew my role, and didn't step out of my lane. It was always 100% her team.
 

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