Softball is a team sport that closely resembles baseball except that is played on a smaller diamond than baseball, with a ball that is larger and softer and a bat that is slightly different in size and weight. Softball is generally played by women and girls, but some adult leagues offer both co-ed and male softball teams. A softball coach works with softball players to teach them skills and strategy.
A softball coach organizes, instructs, trains and leads softball players. The coach holds practices, and is responsible for any equipment and supplies. A coach uses her knowledge of softball to determine the type of exercises, drills and techniques to teach and practice. Coaches evaluate athletes and opposing teams to devise a competitive game strategy. A softball coach manages the team during a game and makes decisions to optimize the team's chance to win and motivates players athletes to play hard. Some softball coaches, such as college coaches, are responsible for recruiting.
Softball coaches can work in youth organizations, all the way up to coaching Olympic teams. Most paid softball coaches work at the high school and college levels. Softball coaches often have irregular work hours and schedules. They often work weekends,m evenings and holidays. Especially during the softball season, coaches can work more than 40 hours a week.
Softball coaches work outdoors and are exposed to weather conditions. Although games are not played during snow and heavy rain, games still take place as scheduled during light rain, wind and heat. Coaches are on their feet much of the time. They need to be physically fit enough to help their athletes practice by pitching, hitting ground and fly balls, and showing them techniques.
Education and Training
Softball coaches normally get their training, knowledge and experience from having played the sport or having participated in training sessions. Coaches must have an extensive knowledge of how the game is played, strategy, and rules and regulations.
Although there is no educational requirement specifically for coaching softball in high school, most coaches also work at the school as a teacher. College coaches often required to have a bachelor's degree. Degree programs specifically related to coaching include exercise and sports science, physiology, nutrition and fitness, physical education and sports medicine.
In addition, some school districts require high school coaches to have various certifications, ranging from coaching certifications to CPR training.
Softball coaches must relate well to others and have good communication and leadership skills. Coaches, particularly those working with children, usually need to pass a background check and applicable drug tests.
Most youth and recreational softball coaches are volunteers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the median annual salary of paid coaches and scouts was $28,340. The median annual wage was $39,500 for coaches and scouts working in colleges, universities and professional schools, $28,720 for those working in other amusement and recreation industries, $25,740 for those working in other schools and instruction, and $22,390 for those working in elementary and secondary schools.
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