How to Keep Your Dugout Organized

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If you coach a baseball or softball team, you know how easily a dugout can become disorganized. Between the bats, balls, gloves, water cooler and treats like chewing gum and sunflower seeds, your dugout can look like a hurricane blew through in no time. By instituting a few rules and creating a few key areas in the dugout, you can keep it organized.

  • Create an area for bats and helmets. Some dugouts may have bat and helmet racks, which make your job easier. Otherwise, before the game, lay out the bats and helmets in a specific area. For example, you might ask your players to lean all of their bats against the dugout fence and place the helmets right in front of them.

  • Give the catcher his own space. The catcher always has the most equipment on the team. In between half innings, he may also have to make fast changes, either dressing or undressing from his gear. Give him a little section where he can keep his shin guards, chest protector and helmet.

  • Place the water cooler in the middle of the dugout. This will allow players entering from either side to have the same access to the water cooler. If you provide snacks for your team, place them next to the cooler.

  • Ask players to stow their gear bags. Many players bring bats, extra gloves, batting gloves, sweatshirts and other gear to the games in a bag. Ask them to place their bags under the bench. If there is an open area behind the bench, you can ask the players to store their bags there as well.

  • Provide a trash bag or trash can. Between wrappers, cups and other items players might use during the game, quite a bit of trash is generated. Instruct your players to throw the trash in the receptacle.

  • Give out punishments if the players don't follow the rules. This can be done in a good-natured way, with a warning or two first. If the players continue to put helmets and bats back in the wrong place, or drop trash wrappers, then you should have them run a lap outside the perimeter of the baseball field, or down to the bullpen and back. They'll better remember what to do the next time.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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