Coaching Baseball Be a Lot Like...Coaching Broadcasting

We have heard about "coaching in the classroom" for years, so I thought I would try to break it down based on my background between the lines.  I was a baseball coach before I started a broadcast program at our school many, many years ago.  (Don't ask how many--that's rude)

Coaches...have very specific goals in mind.  They communicate them every day, every week, every month, every season, every off-season.  They do not mince words, and kids buy in.  Our goal is to finish the season with a win in the state championship game.  Everything we do points to that.  As a broadcast teacher, are you as specific in setting goals for your kids?  Do you have a solid plan to get kids from point A to point Z by the end of the year?  And do they buy what you are selling?

 Baseball coaching and broadcast coaching share several characteristics.

Baseball coaching and broadcast coaching share several characteristics.

Coaches...believe repetition is crucial.  They oversee the same drills at practice all the time.  Not much is new when it comes to the fundamentals of any sport, and how you perfect them.  As a video teacher, are you as diligent in requiring kids to practice the basics over and over until they become second nature?  A good second baseman knows how to use several different pivots to turn a double play.  Do your students know how to make all the adjustments on their cameras to account for the different conditions they will be shooting?  They do if they practice regularly.

Coaches...do not praise what is routine, what is expected.  A shortstop who fields an easy two-hopper and throws accurately to first base for the out is just performing an expected act.  No reason to jump off the bench and applaud.  Do you often find yourself so happy with video that has accurate color and decent audio that you lavish praise on the students who recorded it?  Don't.  Put that stuff under "Doing what is expected."  It is a subtle way to raise the bar.

Coaches...push a team when it is going well, and encourage a team when it is struggling.  I used to be hard to live with when we were winning.  Never satisfied.  That was because when you start patting yourself on the back, you can lose your edge.  If your kids bring in a big award, have pizza and cake the next day, then move on.  Shift into "coach mode" and ask them what's next?  

Coaches...take the heat off their kids.  If a player makes a bad base running decision and it costs us a game, as a coach, I take the blame.  "I shouldn't have sent him."  Your broadcast kids might do a poor story, full of lazy writing or bad video, and maybe receive criticism for it.  You might need to shoulder the blame a little.  "I was going to help them clean it up, but I ran out of time.  We will do much better next time."  Kids can get discouraged easily in sports, or in broadcasting.  There is always a fine line between letting them grow by handling criticism, and preventing them for losing heart.  

So there are some coaching techniques that definitely translate to your video classroom.  It is up to you to decide which ones work.  From personal experience I can tell you most of my HTV students felt they were being "coached" a lot more than they were being "taught," and I am okay with that.