Coaching young people brings with it much responsibility. You owe it to the parents of your players but more importantly to your players that you will “walk-the-walk” and not just “talk-the-talk”. Here’s what I mean by that, most coaches encourage the parents to be good sports and remember that the umpires will often by young and somewhat inexperienced – this varies with the age of your players but in general the umpires are prone to making bad calls. If you tell the parents to have patience and lose your cool when bad calls are made – what message does this send to your team?
All those little eyes on your team are watching the coach and they will take their lead from your actions. Keep your cool and, if you feel that a call is worth discussing, do so in a calm manner. Depending upon the impact to the game, you may want to just call the ump aside between innings and discuss it with him.
It is important that your team sees you as in command of all situations – when you lose your temper it sends a clear message to the players. I had a parent of one of players recently tell me over a cup of coffee that I was able to get their son to respond better than any coach or teacher that their son ever had. He told me that he and his wife were discussing this when they were trying to get their son to respond to something they wanted him to do. His wife asked him the question – how would coach Rod handle this? She told him that she never saw me get upset and I always handled situations in a calm cool manner. She attributed that approach to getting the best response from their son.
I have always been a “get more with honey” than vinegar type coach. Encourage, build up, correct quietly, don’t embarrass your players and ALWAYS be an example that they can all (parents included) can look up to.