What’s in your coach’s bag?
Most coaches have a bag or two they use to carry various items. Typically, one bag has items such as lineup cards, a clipboard, maybe an eraseable board to post the lineup, a scorebook, pens and pencils and assorted other items. The other bag might carry a glove, an extra ball or two, a stopwatch and maybe a bat.
But after nearly 15 years of coaching, I’ve found there are a host of other items that can come in handy. Throw them in your bag and, like a Boy Scout, you should be prepared for just about anything.
- Dandelion puller — This tool comes in handy if you’re using the breakaway bases with the thin post. A little dirt gets in there after a slide and the base won’t sit right. If there’s no ground crew around, the dandelion puller will help you.
- Resin bag — On a hot, humid day it can be tough for pitchers to get a good grip on the ball. A resin bag can help keep the pitching hand dry. Some pitchers like them whether it’s hot or not because it helps them get a little extra spin on the ball.
- Towel — Into ever life a little rain must fall. Every coach should have a towel handy to dry off the ball when it gets wet. Sure beats using your shirt.
- Duct tape — You folks from the South know what I’m talking about. Duct tape can fix just about anything. Have a shoe falling apart? Duct tape it. Lineup board blowing around on a windy day? Duct tape it. Water bottle leaking? Duct tape it. Is there anything it can’t do?
- Glove repair kit — In a perfect world, all your players would take great care of their equipment and inspect it regularly. Doesn’t happen. You can’t do much about a dented bat, but if a player comes to you with a broken glove what are you going to do? Loan her a glove she’s not familiar with? Not good. But if you have a lace pulling kit you can make a quick repair and get her back on her way. Be sure to have some spare lacing just in case it isn’t just out but broken.
- Glove cream — Ok, so she decides to get a new glove and it’s not broken in. You can help get her on her way with a little glove cream. Just remember to do it after the game or practice, not before.
- Tape measure — I have been on fields that just didn’t quite look right. But unless you can prove the pitching rubber is set too far or too close, or the bases are the wrong distance, you can’t get it corrected. A 100′ tape measure doesn’t take up much room, but it can be a life saver. It’s also good for measuring pitching distances during warn-ups, too.
- Spare batting gloves — Let’s face it — kids lose things. If one of your hitters loses a batting glove you can come to the rescue with a loaner.
- Sunscreen — You need it yourself, but also make sure your players are wearing it. If they don’t have any you can loan them yours.
- Insect repellent — Shouldn’t need it during the day, but if you’re playing at dusk, or on a field with lights, you’ll be glad you have it.
- Fold-up jacket or poncho — When the rain starts you’ll want to be protected. After all, you’re not 14 anymore.
Those are many of the things in my bag. What’s in yours? Did I miss anything? If so, add them to the comments below.