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What should I expect as an Assistant Coach?

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  • What should I expect as an Assistant Coach?

    I’m meeting the new HS baseball coach for a volunteer opportunity to be a Assistant coach. What should I expect? It’s been a long time since I’ve played but I’m really excited to hopefully get back into it. What do Assistants typically do during practices and games?

  • #2
    No one here can tell you. We’re not inside the coach’s head. We could only guess. It will vary from coach to coach. It will depend on your strengths and his weaknesses (assuming he recognizes them). It starts with having a meeting on his expectations. You do what he says as long as you’re not breaking rules. You don’t question his authority unless he’s breaking the rules. Eventually, you earn the right for input. Otherwise, no input unless asked.

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    • #3
      I took over a program this fall as an interim coach. While I was caught off guard a little with the offer, I believe the entire coaching staff was caught off guard. As Jett mentioned, none of us know what is in the coach's head. For me, there was more than a little turmoil in play. One assistant coach didn't accept the change. That was unfortunate. Another had to quit a month into the season and was a very good coach who worked hard and wanted to learn. Then, the HC of the baseball program became my assistant. That turned a bad situation into a rather fun adventure. Some of what I expected my assistants to do:
      • Coach them up. While this may sound dumb, a lot of "coaches" just supervise. For my assistants, they were told that I would demonstrate what I wanted and for them to coach that. If they didn't understand it, ask questions. If the instruction was not going the way it should, I let the assistant coaches know that I would jump in and make sure that the players were doing the drill work the way it should be done.
      • If we are teaching game strategy, ask questions. If you don't agree, we can talk about it. I can explain the reasons for everything I wanted to be done. One example of where we didn't agree with an assistant is how cuts were done.
      • Be on time! On time means for you to be there before or when the players get there and not after. We have a practice time and my players are told that when they get there, get ready to take the field.
      • When it is time to set up practice, look at the practice plan and make sure that the equipment is put in the appropriate place. Have the players do this and make sure everyone is doing their part.
      • Loyalty is a major thing with me. We can disagree. Don't take that to the players.
      • Take care of the field. We used a field drag after each practice and raked the areas along the grass. We also filled in all holes that developed during a practice or during a game.
      • If you are an assistant who will be in charge of a practice on another field, have a practice plan for every practice and I want a copy.
      • This was a major point with the one assistant who disliked me. When I want to use a JV player or team for situational practices, they will come up and be a part of my practice. They will learn things as they do and they get to be a part of the varsity practice.
      • The one outstanding quality the HC of the baseball team has is that he could anticipate what I wanted after a few practices and was on the go getting things done. An example of this was when I was throwing BP on the field and using a rotation between the cage and the field. I didn't have to rotate players. He kept everything moving and I could use that time to get a drink.
      I might caution you about a few more things:
      • Social media is not your friend. Be careful what you put out there. Player and player's parents might read it and take it the wrong way.
      • Don't let any parent group get your ear. They will put you in a position you might not want to be in.
      • You are most likely not a certified trainer approved by the school. Don't try to be.
      Well, this is a start. Hopefully, others will chime in. BTW, I've been both an assistant coach and a head coach. I did both for a very long time. If you have questions, please ask me. I am an ex expert but I'll try to help anyway I can.
      RIP Joe Lindley (Jake Patterson) Oct. 25, 2019, Scott Sarginson (SSarge) Nov. 17, 2016, Donny Buster (Swingbuster) June 1st 2007. Greatly missed by so many!

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      • #4
        Outstanding post CB, well said, and a lot to be learned and absorbed there.
        In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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        • #5
          Prepare to be a reflection of the head coach. If you don’t align with his style and values, better get on board or find another program.

          Prepare to be a sounding board for parents who are reluctant to speak to Santa directly so they go through his elves.

          Prepare to participate. Nothing I hate more than fellow assistants who aren’t prepared or interested in expanding their knowledge base.

          Prepare to pick kids up when the head man is a bit too harsh on them.

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