Breaking up Conferences

We do not want conferences to interrupt the flow of the game. We can do this by being aware of potential conferences as we are walking back to the plate after playing action – the pitcher has been struggling, 3 or 4 hard hits in a row, long inning, etc. And, we need to be pro-active in breaking up conferences. Here is how you can manage this “visitation schedule.”

Recognize the coach and call time

Take the time to record details of the conference on the lineup card – inning, number of batter, outs
Allow a reasonable time for the conference – have a timing mechanism to ensure equal time for each team:
Do not rush recording the details
Take a moment to sweep the plate
Wait another few seconds, and maybe even longer if it is a big moment in the game.

The trip out

Walk briskly and with purpose; no need to run
Approach the conference opposite the coach so you are facing the coach as you approach, but do not say anything yet.
Let the coach finish his/her thought. If he/she continues talking, interject politely and state: “coach, it is time to wrap it up; we need to play ball.”
Avoid arguments. If the coach starts to discuss balls and strikes or other judgment calls, state firmly that you are not there to discuss anything else. If the coach continues, issue a warning.

Heading back home

Do not leave the meeting area until all players have separated. Then jog back with the catcher and beat her to the plate area.
As you slow to a walk near the plate area, look toward the location of the head coach (even if he/she is in the dugout) and state: “coach, that is a defensive (or offensive) conference.