Designing a Quality Practice and Creating Optimal Environments


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Coach Caliendo talks with Dodgers Coordinator or Skill Development discusses new ways of organizing your practices to give players a chance to perform better in games.

Shaun Larkin” Dodgers Coordinator of Skill Development

Larkin, 36, spent the last three seasons coaching in the Cleveland organization and made his managerial debut last year with Single-A Lake County. He coached collegiately at Orange Coast College, CSUN and Fresno State before moving onto coaching professionally. He played six pro seasons in the Cleveland organization from 2002-07. He currently serves as the Los Angeles Dodgers Coordinator of Skill Development. Just a week ago presented at the ABCA coaches convention in front of 6500 plus coaches from across the USA and world on Developing skills and Managing Behaviors.

Just some of the topics covered in the talk:

In your years in pro ball from when you started to know what have you changed in your coaching style.

Developing skills and managing behaviors

Motivating players, when to reinforce positive accomplishments

All players respond different

Must know how to handle situations like lack of hustle, not paying attention and more.

Behavior improves players development

Why overcome how

Better to ask players questions then to tell them how to do it, why? Give us some examples.


– What are some key elements of practice design?

· Foundation principles

· Decision making

· Speed Differential

· Stress Consequences

· Technology

– What are some pitfalls that coaches can fall into?

– What does it mean to create the “appropriate” practice environment?

Science behind your practices helps understand if you are accomplishing success

Evidence based practice and practice based evidence

Practice Variability, Outside Comfort zone, No 2 pitches/plays the same

Follow Shaun Larkin on Twitter @Slarkin04

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