WYC 091 – Youth Baseball – Paul Niggebrugge talks Empowering Kids and Be Your Best Academy

Paul Niggebrugge was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil and moved to the United States when he was about 6 years old, not knowing a bit of English. He fell in love with the game of baseball, and went on to coach Caravel Academy Baseball Team for 30 years, won 4 State Championships and Qualified for the State Tournament 27 out of 30 years. He is 4th all-time in Delaware with 400 wins and in 2016 was inducted into the Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame.  He is currently a Nationally recognized trusted authority in Batting, Pitching and the Mental Game Coaching – Clinician, Evaluator, Educator and Coach providing instruction or information in over 30 states and 2 countries. And maybe the most impressive stat: Paul has been Married for 36 years and raised 6 happy & healthy children!

Website: www.BeyourBestAcademy.com

Facebook: /Be-Your-Best-Academy

Twitter: @BBABaseballDE

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‘Yell and tell is out. Empowering questions are in.’

Coaching your own kids

  • If you are aware of the pitfalls, it can be a great experience
  • Paul once had a coach who overreacted about issues with his own kid, and he decided it was best to not to continue to have him coach

My Cringe Moments

  • ‘I thought I knew it all’ and that my way was the only

Teaching Skills

  • ‘You can be critical without being negative.’ Whatever you feed grows.
  • Less ‘yell and tell’ and more empowering questions and sharing
  • There is not a right and wrong with their mechanics, it’s just where are you right now in the progression
  • 3 key elements every person is looking for:
    • 1 – Adventure – great experiences
    • 2 – Grow – mentally, physically, socially
    • 3 – Contribute and share what they’ve learned
  • Fun games:
    • 1 kid is at home base, 1 at 2nd  – and they race
    • Throwing/catching games – They start up close with a partner, then keep taking 3 giant steps back, once they drop a ball they’re out – but even after they’re out they can keep throwing (so they’re not standing around)

Mental Toughness/Achieving Peak Performance

  • It’s all about empowerment: Focus, Feel, and Feedback (Funergy – Fun positive energy)
  • Kids love the classroom – Get away from the ballfields and ask open ended empowering question: why did we lose, what did you feel, how did you handle pressure
  • PEACE: Performance and Execution After a Critical Error
    • ‘You can’t teach a drowning man to swim while he’s drowning’ –
  • Before every practice and game – they spend 5 to 15 minutes connecting their mind and body – Coach Paul has created some sound waves they listen to with positive affirmations – Link to article about Neuro-training tool

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • No one is above the game.
  • We will not tolerate: SPEND: Sloppiness, Pouting, Excusitis, Non-verbals, or the Disease of Me
  • After our games you should not be able to tell whether we won or lost
  • 3 phrases they use: Game Hugs; Gamechanger; VIP passes(which can get them out of doing something they don’t want to)

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Paul had two different players who you never would have thought would have been able to be good baseball players, but they stuck with it and both ended up having great seasons

The One that got away

  • Paul makes it a practice to immediately evaluate losses, then

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • From Coach K – Go learn everything you can, but then make it your own. ‘You’re going to write your own story, make sure you use your own pen.’

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Book: Emergence– by Derek Rydall – Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens through you
  • Quote: ‘Not making a mistake is a big mistake. As long as you don’t repeat the mistake.’

Be Your Best Academy

Parting Advice

  • Yell and tell is out. Empowering questions are in.

Related Episodes

WYC 080 – Youth Baseball – David Klein talks Living a Legends Life

WYC 045 – Youth Baseball – Mark Linden from BaseballPositive.com talks practice planning and the pace that kids learn


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