Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tips for Coaches and Parents - Jack Perconte


Take me out to the ball game. . . .

The sun is shining brightly, and parents’ expectations are high. Once again, it’s time for the kids to grab their bats and gloves and head out to the field to play a game of baseball.

But before they do, have you talked to the coach?

Moms and dads all have high hopes of their little player having fun, doing his or her best, and of course, knocking a few outta the park. And as we all know, a lot of this falls onto the coach’s shoulders.

After 12 years of playing professional baseball, including seven seasons in the Majors, Jack Perconte knows how important parent/coach relationships are. In fact, after his retirement in 1987, Perconte opened a baseball training academy in Naperville, Illinois. He estimates that he’s given more than 60,000 hitting lessons here. Plus, Perconte has written a book entitled The Making of a Hitter. This book details the ways in which you as a parent can help your little-leaguer learn techniques to “hit more homers.” Perconte also teaches coaches how to better teach their young players, as well as how to communicate with the parents more effectively.

Jack says that “the key to a successful parent-coach relationship is having a mandatory pre-season meeting between parents and coaches,” which he “encourage[s] both parents to attend.” Jack goes on to say that “this meeting is important because it will give them the opportunity to learn your philosophies and guidelines (as a coach) and give them the chance to ask questions.”

Mr. Perconte gives a few suggestions to coaches on how to run a successful parent-coach meeting:

1. Tell the parents your background, playing experience, and/or coaching
experience. Be honest.

2. Express your philosophy of coaching.

3. Discuss how you plan to run playing time, batting order, and playing positions. Basically let parents know how you will run the team.

4. Discuss when and how you as the coach are to be approached during the season to avoid any unnecessary and potentially embarrassing confrontations.

5. Make sure parents also reiterate your coaching philosophies to the children.

6. Become a role model for and teacher to your players.

To learn more about Jack Perconte’s book The Making of a Hitter or to order a copy, check out his website at

This would be a great Father's Day gift for your little leaguer's dad or coach.

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