The Importance of Building Team Spirit and Fostering Good Sportsmanship On and Off the Field.
Right at the start of the season, encourage your girls to get to know their teammates. Remind the highly skilled kids that in sports, and in all aspects of life, they will always encounter people of varying skills. A true good sport will try to use her abilities to help the others improve theirs. And good sportsmanship does not only apply to treating our own teammates properly. It applies to our opponents, our fans and the fans of our opponents, the officials, and all coaches.
If you see poor sportsmanship, nip it in the bud (diplomatically) as soon as possible. Take the time to explain to the kids the difference between right and wrong. Similarly, when you see examples of good sportsmanship, recognize it. Praise it! If we are successful in positively impacting these skills we will be very lucky indeed. Not many of the girls will play competitive sports beyond high school, or possibly college. But good sportsmanship, empathy and compassion will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Always remember the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Just use a more modern version when dealing with the kids!
Clarification on Coach, Assistants and Team Helpers
In the TFGSL, we have always recognized the importance of good coaches, and good training for those coaches, in establishing a strong program. A key reason the league and its coaches are so strong is that is that we have always asked for all coaches to have their Rutgers SAFETY certification. For people interested in working with kids, it's a terrific way to get started and gather the basics necessary to do the job right.
However, after a conversation with the TF Borough recreation office, we have learned that you head coaches may have assistant coaches who are not Rutgers certified and who do not participate in the town's background check. You DO need those things to be an officially recognized coach of the TFGSL. But any parent may assist in practice or at a game as long as there is a recognized coach present, and that coach understands that they are ultimately responsible for the safety of their team.
For example, if I have three recognized assistant coaches for my 8U team, and only one of us can make it to a practice, that one coach may use other helpful parents at that practice, as long as the recognized coach (i.e. named to and insured by TFGSL, Rutgers Cert, TF background check completed) is aware that they are in charge and they are aware of where all the players & coaches are at all times. If that official coach must leave early, then practice is over. You may NOT leave the team without a recognized coach. Similarly, when practice is over, the recognized (official) coach must stay until everyone is picked up. No leaving the kids with any random parent. At games, those helpful parents can serve as base coaches; they can even sit in the dugout with your team, as long as there is at least one TFGSL recognized coach present at the game. (Regarding the dugout; please be reasonable about that. There really is no need for more than four adults in the dugout during a game. Any more would simply be superfluous).
It is important to remember that any non-recognized coach who helps out at practice or a game is NOT covered by the league's insurance policy, so if they do something foolish or thoughtless that endangers or harms a kid or causes damage in any way, they may be opening themselves up to a lawsuit. The recognized coach may as well if the person they allowed to do help ends up doing something hazardous.
So think about who you are asking to help out! And always keep this in mind even if you are a recognized coach.
Finally, only the officially recognized coaches will be receiving shorts & hats. That means that each 8U team will receive four hats and four shirts for coaches. All the other levels will receive three hats/shirts per team. But, hey, when it comes time for team pictures, go nuts. You want eight coaches in the picture? Use a wide lens and go for it!
Handouts and Materials
NEW!! Frozen Ropes Handouts:
Following the well attended coaches clinic at Frozen Ropes, we have obtained these handouts that a coach's, new or experienced, can reference for managing practices, games.
Batting Cages: The batting cage behind Hock1 is available for Softball.
Sliding Mat: No this isnt a person. Its a flat vinyl soft mat that the players can run at as if its 2nd, 3rd or home and learn to slide. It really works and provides something different to add to your practices. Contact Mike firstname.lastname@example.org