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During this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I interview Jeff Carlson, Ex-Head Baseball Coach at Elk Grove Baseball in Elk Grove, California. Jeff Carlson shares his wealth of knowledge for father’s that are coaches and have kids playing baseball. Jeff also offers valuable tips on how to communicate openly and accurately with players and coaches, how to handle parents that are concerned about their kid’s playing time, and what have been beneficial strategies for fundraisers.
- How did Jeff Carlson get involved in baseball coaching?
- What advice does Jeff Carlson give to those transitioning from coaching to focusing on family?
- What has been Jeff’s experience with his two sons playing baseball?
- What did the conversations look like with Jeff’s sons when he had to critique their playing?
- Was there ever a time with his sons playing baseball where he had to push them to practice more?
- What was Jeff Carlson’s experience like at Elk Grove when he first started?
- What are some different practical ways that Jeff was able to get players prepared to succeed?
- How did Jeff turn his coaching approach into a system that he could apply?
- What are Jeff Carlson’s thoughts on the power of communication?
- What is the fine line between effective communication and something they may not need to worry about?
- How did Jeff Carlson deal with parents feedback about their kids not playing in games?
- What hard rules did Jeff Carlson set out each year?
- What were his teams’ best fundraisers?
- Did his staff interview with him or through the school’s athletic director?
- What is something they did in practice that his players loved?
- What books and resources that have benefited Jeff Carlson?
3 Key Points:
- Find ways to get your team to spend time together before and after practice, such as having a clubhouse.
- You can’t coach and communicate the same way with each player. It has to be tailored to their individual personalities.
- Informal conversations with coaching candidates have been Jeff’s interviewing process.
- “For your kids, always try to challenge them. Don’t be afraid that they might fail. When they learn failure at an early age, it’s just going to make them stronger and a better person and player down the road.” – Jeff Carlson (04:15)
- “As far as building culture, building communication as a head coach, I think that it is important that when a kid makes a mistake, that maybe you put your arm around him and tell him.” – Jeff Carlson (09:22)
- “My main goal was about developing players, so that they could play at the next level.” – Jeff Carlson (16:21)
- “My philosophy was, ‘If you’re not hitting, you aren’t going to be able to play at the next level.’” – Jeff Carlson (26:03)
- “We always brought the kids in and we would talk to them where they are at and tell them their roles. And we tell the kids, ‘We are going to be honest. You may not like what you hear. But, we are going to be honest to you.’” – Jeff Carlson (33:33)
- “My rule was always, the player can always come to me at the appropriate time and discuss playing time. I was not going to discuss it with the parents, ever.” – Jeff Carlson (40:01)
- “I think our budget when I finished was about $100,000 to run our program, which is a lot.”– Jeff Carlson (46:00)
- “Try to surround yourself with the best possible coaches you can find.”– Jeff Carlson (47:30)
- Ahead of the Curve Podcast
- Twitter: @AOTC_podcast
- Jeff Carlson: Twitter
- Jeff Carlson Email: JEGCarls@EGUSD.net