Baseball Coach Job Description

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A baseball coach is someone who organizes and leads a baseball team. That includes everyone from the players to scouts to pitching coaches to batboys. Baseball coaches plan and organize practices, signal strategies during games, give motivational pre-game speeches and post-game talks and are expected to give their clubs the best possible chance for victory. Depending on the level at which the club plays, baseball coaches might even recruit players, or drive the team bus and wash the uniforms.

Basics

  • Baseball coaches at all levels institute a philosophy and basic strategy for their team to follow. Most teach their players the basics, including fielding and hitting, and must assign lineups based on their players' strengths. They decide on everything from the batting order to the pitching rotation to who plays the various positions in the field. During games, they also have to decide when to have a player bunt, when to take a pitch and when to swing away, and when to replace a batter with a pinch hitter. And, of course, when to chew out an umpire over a perceived missed call may be the most carefully weighed task of all.

Skills

  • Baseball coaches must be strong communicators, explaining to players not only how to be successful, but how to overcome obstacles--or in some cases, why players are being benched or why pitchers are being pulled off the mound. Baseball coaches should possess an ability to delegate and motivate, understanding not only how to improve the team as a whole, but individual players as well. On top of those things, baseball coaches must be capable problem-solvers, identifying obstacles and figuring out ways for the team to overcome them.

Background

  • Requirements to become a baseball coach vary by level of play. Almost all have had experience playing the game. Many start at the Little League or American Legion levels, working their way up as they gain experience (and mostly, wins). Most high school coaches and all college coaches need a bachelor's degree. Other than that, the best way to land a coaching gig is to network with other coaches and prove yourself as a capable manager at various levels. In the major leagues, the best resume is a track record of success.

Prospects

  • As long as there are Little League, high school, college and professional teams, there will always be a need for baseball coaches, with plenty of opportunities certain to arise each year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in all sports are expected to increase by 23 percent through 2018, which is a considerably faster rate than all other occupations. Baseball coaches likely share the same positive outlook.

Earnings

  • Salaries for baseball coaches are wide-ranging and depend largely on the level at which they are coaching. Some even coach on a volunteer basis. Meanwhile, college coaches can earn up to $500,000 per year (or more, depending on program), while major league coaches can earn $1 million, or twice that much, each season.

References

  • Photo Credit baseball in glove image by leafy from Fotolia.com
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