These are two of the most popular youth sports out there, especially in the United States. This is why there are literally thousands of available resources for players and coaches that are available in print, streaming, and multimedia. These include books, manuals, magazines, guides, websites, blogs like this one, video games and apps like the one built by Hustle Training. Most of these are great, with some better than others. But what very few of them manage to do is provide help to those brave youth sports coaches who decide to take on both sports knowing that if their team makes the basketball championships they may end up with double duty.
That said it is not an impossible task; though it may be a challenge. For those who take that challenge on we have put together this brief piece - to cheerlead and aid you in successfully coaching two different youth sports teams from very different sports. In addition, we strongly encourage you to follow our blog and download our app to take advantage of all of the resources we have available, including a lot of different drills to use in practice.
Kids Play Multiple Sports
There is a growing trend of parents providing multiple sports opportunities for their children. This is less true in the case of elite athletes and those who end up on varsity teams, than those who play in leagues, however even in those cases there are stand-out kids.
For instance there is the story that Sports Illustrated published in 2015 about a kid who is in the NCAA Sweet 16 and who refused to specialize, despite the pressure to. Instead Connaughton continued to play both baseball and basketball and excel in both! He was drafted by the Orioles to play baseball in 2014, but returned to college at Notre Dame to play basketball. There would likely be many more of these superbly talented young athletes that could continue to play more than one game that they love if the adults around them, including their coaches, encouraged it.
There is evidence that it is actually good for people to participate in multiple sports. It keeps them sharp, exercises muscle groups, and helps to prevent sports injuries. In fact, even the National Federation of State High School Associations and CBC have given this some attention, publishing stories about it and its list of benefits. Clearly for the large majority of kids who will not go on to collegiate sports or professional sports it is much better to not push overspecialization. And even for those athletes who go on to be the best of the best can benefit from the type of cross training that additional sports offer.
So if it is good for our athletes, the logic goes, it should be good for the coaches.
The Differences Between Baseball and Basketball
The only similarities between baseball and basketball really are that they are both played by teams with a ball and the team with the most points at the end wins. There are some peripheral similarities that translate into some skills like passing, catching, and running. However, in large part anyone playing or coaching both sports really has two very different games to master.
One of the best descriptions of the differences that we have found comes from a site called Brilliant Term Papers. Don’t take the sites name as an indication of the value of the information, take our word that is serves the purpose of describing this well. In summary:
Basketball and baseball comprise various differences based on their features. For starters, the grounds or fields that each sport is played in different with respect to each sport. Another difference between basketball and baseball is the mode of play. Despite both games possessing the same goal of scoring and winning, both games are structured differently in terms of mode of play. For instance, basketball involves the act of throwing or shooting a basketball through a basket positioned horizontally. Usually, two teams that comprise five players each compete on the basketball court with each rim on each side marking the goal points that should be scored. Baseball, on the other hand, involves two teams comprising nine players each. The objective of the game usually involves hitting a baseball that is thrown by a pitcher and at the same time running around the field in order to touch the bases, which determines the score. Unlike basketball, which involves two different posts of scoring, the four bases in baseball are usually used by both teams in order to secure a win over their respective competitors.
So with such dramatic differences, how does a youth sports coach become flexible enough to coach both a basketball and a baseball team?
Practice, Study, Flexibility and Diligence Make a Good Youth Sports Coach in Any Sport
It may be a difficult transition, but remember most people are capable of learning both english and math. The key is to have good tools, like the Hustle Training app, that provide support and education so that you can learn and master the ins and outs of both sports. Anyone coaching both can expect to occasionally have moments where we confuse the lingo, or a play - but if we are dedicated to the game and to our players it can serve the same purpose that cross training does for the athletes. Embrace your decision to coach and be the best you can be.