Not every player earns a spot on the game lineup card. So what can you do to keep your players in the dugout engaged? One way is to give them a game-time job. Here are some suggestions:
- Get them thinking about strategy – After specific plays, get players to analyze the action: “Where was the second baseman during that play?” “Who’s covering the steal?”
- Give them a task – Ask your athletes to identify the defense the opponent is using or have them chart team goals as the game progresses
- Urge them to share observations that help the team – Challenge players to locate the weaknesses in the opposing team’s defense and find patterns in how the opponent reacts to specific plays
Then encourage players to share their observations with a teammate or coach to see if they picked up on the same information. When you provide opportunities for your athletes to get involved, it helps players feel valued, it boosts team camaraderie and morale, and it leads to a better dugout environment.