Coaching practice involves the development of the ‘how to’ coach skills related to the daily coaching environment. Being able to apply and adapt what is learnt is essential to becoming a quality coach.
The prime objective of a practice session is to develop softball skills and improve team-play. There are a number of secondary objectives to be considered when planning a session, including:
- Increasing knowledge of the rules
- Improving team spirit
- Developing positive self-image in players
- Having fun
The Game Sense approach places the game centrally in the coaching session, rather than at the end. Skill development is not forgotten but is incorporated into the game situation. If a player is not experiencing success, the coach can point out other ways the player might improve chances of success. Game Sense is the central theme of the Softball Community Coaching Program (SCCP).
Inclusive coaching reinforces that inclusion is the best coaching practise, and shows that by adopting inclusive practices, both the coaches and participants will enjoy a much better experience. It is a helpful introduction to coaching, and can be used as re-accreditation points. It’s also a valued component of the Foundation Level courses.
Planning and reviewing a training session is a resource guide that provides an overview of long term athlete development principles used in your coaching.
As a coach you need to familiarise yourself with the rules of softball as there are many versions of the game and different levels of competition to cater for different age groups and abilities. While each of these versions share common terminology, they often have variations on the standard rules of softball.
The Official Playing Rules & Rules Case Book of Softball Australia (adapted for local conditions from the ISF Official Rules of Softball) is used for all Australian Championships, national and international events conducted or hosted by Softball Australia. You can order a copy of the Rule Book by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the case of Australian Championships, these rules are supplemented by the Australian Championship Regulations.
Softball Australia has developed many policies for the improvement of the sport, and the policy most relevant to coaches is the Member Protection Policy. In particular, coaches should refer to the Coaches Code of Conduct within this policy as it outlines you duty of care and roles and responsibilities.
OTHER COACHING RESOURCES
National Pathway Batter Coordinator Karen Marr presented a series of nine videos, running through the Basics of Pitching to all budding pitchers.
- Follow Through
- Arm, Hips & Glove
- Half Circle
- Lower Body & Arms
- The Pitching Powerline
- Plate Stance & Load
- The Full Pitch
There is a world of coaching resources available to all of us, however I would urge the use of caution when sourcing information from the internet, either specific softball content or general coaching information. If you believe you have found a useful piece of information or video please use your fellow coaches, players, State Team Coaches, and Softball Victoria as a sounding board to gain consensus on the value of the information.