White paint

26
Apr

Liam Carroll

One of the best investments our baseball and softball clubs could make this season is some white paint.  You've likely noticed that at the beginning of every Major League game the bases are white.  The same is true at high levels of baseball and softball everywhere.  And with a set of high quality bases costing upwards of £100 it's not as if teams are buying a new set for every game.  The simple and affordable solution: white paint.

Playing games with painted lines, batters boxes and bases improves the experience clubs are trying so hard to provide, so I think it's worth splashing out on a few cans of spray paint every season.  It takes just a few minutes to coat the bases (not forgetting home plate and the pitching rubber).  Just make sure to do it far enough in advance of first pitch that the paint dries!  If you have two sets of bases and play double headers, paint one set for each game.

There are lots of small, inexpensive things that can make everyone's experience better.  I'd like to see game balls kept in a bucket in the home teams dugout.  All the foul balls come back into that bucket, and any time the umpire is running short they can request a few to be brought to them.  Assign someone who is not playing (maybe even a bat boy/girl) to game-ball duty so that the umpire knows who to ask.  This system will keep the game flowing rather than every foul ball going back to the umpire.  If you've ever watched a Big League game on TV you might have noticed the bat boy running from the dugout to deliver balls to the umpire; at a convenient break in play the umpire is simply telling the bat boy to bring him balls. 

Many teams around the country have to do things to get their field ready such as setting up fencing.  Hopefully after every game we're looking after the field by raking dirt areas and perhaps even putting clay down on the mound and in the batters boxes to replace foot holes.  This can all be done much more efficiently by having a field work assignment sheet for every game.  It's worth spending some time to think of every job that needs to be done before and after games.  Assign duties every week and make sure everyone knows how to do every job and then rotate assignments throughout the season.  Being better organised in this regard might mean everyone can arrive at the field a bit later and leave a bit earlier.  Your assignments could even include firing up the barbecue.

During my time coaching at university in America we would often talk about improving the “student-athlete experience.”  Our players had chosen to attend our university and play for our programme over a number of others.  It's similar here – players are choosing your club over others and choosing to pay fees to your club.  Reward their decision by finding small things to improve their experience.  White paint is a great place to start.

tagged under: baseball, coaching, softball, development, bases, common sense, season, paint

Back to blogs

Comments

26
Apr

Brad Marcelino 17:49

Fire up the course. Nice article LC.

27
Apr

Scott Weaver 16:43

Liam,

Good call on the white paint and doing some of the little things to improve the ball field. As you know, here in the states, most players, even at the college level are in charge of taking care of the field. From painting the bases, lining the field and batters box to tending to the mound.

I found this short video on mound and batters box maintenance put out by Little League. Just a few minutes after each game and the field will be in great shape for the entire season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6y2S5MvmXs&feature=related

hope this helps and good luck with your season.

scott weaver

02
May

Coach D 15:13

LC You have a gift! These little things only take a moment but they add class to the contests.As they say “if you don’t have time to do it right when will you have time”





About Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll

Liam was a Regional Coach and then Development Coordinator for BaseballSoftballUK until May 2014. He returned to his hometown of London to work for BSUK in 2010 after stops in Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, California and Nevada. Growing up playing in Britain, Liam made the move to America to study and play university baseball. After figuring out that his future would be brighter as a coach rather than player, he moved to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish his degree and coach college baseball. Since then he’s coached youth and adult teams on both sides of the atlantic and with the Great Britain Baseball National Teams.

Subscribe RSS

Tag cloud

Get in the Game

Sign-up with the BBF to PLAY BASEBALL

Sign-up with the BSF to PLAY SOFTBALL

Out of the Park Baseball 18 - banner
Advertise with us 468px
Follow Us
Sponsors