Putting on the game face while coaching

As a general rule, I strive to keep myself out on the front end of the softball world. I’m constantly looking for new information and new ways of doing things.

There is one area, however, where I am pretty much “old school” – how I view opponents when we’re playing. Normally I’m a pretty friendly person. But when I’m coaching I tend to be rather, shall we say, focused and intense.

I am a competitor. I always have been. As the Billy Beane character says in the movie Moneyball, I hate losing more than I like winning. So when my team is playing, I’m not particularly interested in meeting new people and making new friends.

In fact, I can’t really understand those who are. I’ve seen plenty of coaches who like to come up and chat as though we’re just hanging out at a bar somewhere watching a game neither of us has a stake in. I’ll respond politely, usually. But I still don’t get it.

When we’re playing I’m not interested in being your friend or chatting about the weather. I’m interested in figuring out how to beat your team and not a whole lot else.

I dunno. Maybe it’s a character flaw. But at this point in my life, and my coaching career, I don’t see it changing.

So what about you coaches? Do you like chatting with the opponents? Or are you more like me and view them as an obstacle to be overcome and dispatched without prejudice?

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on July 18, 2013, in Coaching. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. All my focus is on my team and any time diverted away, short of “hello coach”, diverts my attention. Same is true with “blue”. They much rather see coaches preparing teams then chatting away with them. Finally parents or fans sticking their head in the dugouts. They can drop off water, but that’s it. This weekend we had a fan, not even of our team, trying to carry on a lengthily conversation with another coach during the game! Wow.

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  2. Yeah. I suppose it would be nice if the team could run on autopilot and the coaches could just chat with whoever comes along. But that’s not usually the case. Plenty of time to talk in the off-season.

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  3. For the pre-game and everything, its all business for me. I don’t have time to talk to them. Once the game is going though and when I’m coaching on the basepath, I don’t mind chatting it up a bit, but only with a coach or blue. Its amazing how much info some coaches will give away about their team. You find out about who is hurt, or their #1 pitcher was gassed last game or whatever. I try to provide only info that’ll concern the other coach. As for the blue, I love talking to those guys. I don’t agree that they don’t want to talk to you. I find most of them love to talk. Can’t tell you how many asked about and then loved our ‘Castaways’ concept this past year. Did it buy us any calls? I think we got one or two here n there. When I watch my kid and I’m just a fan or scorekeeper, I love to talk to the other coaches – if it helps distract them, then so be it. That’s their fault.

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