Updated January 30 , 2004
, you've decided
to be a volunteer coach.
is a privilege.
But, regardless of your reason, we congratulate you on your effort. We hope to make it a bit easier to be a volunteer coach, and answer some common questions, give you some tools and information, and just make it a bit more fun.
Your two biggest concerns when coaching kids at the lower levels (pre-teen) should be :
the experience fun
That means fun for the kids, and fun for you too. If everyone is having a good time, you're doing something right.
There is a multitude of books on the finer points of coaching, teaching skills, drills, etc. Take the time to read these or just continue clicking through the proceeding pages,
One rule of thumb when talking to a young player one-on-one (as simple as this sounds) is to not stand over him and talk down to him. Bend over so you're face level with him, or even kneel down, so he is even with you or a little above. It's amazing how this will prevent intimidation, and rivet his attention.
Keep in mind that your highest goal at this level is to instill a love for the game in your players, so they'll want to continue playing for years to come.
We all like to think of ourselves as pretty capable at our day jobs, but when it comes to coaching kids in baseball, lack of experience can be a source of frustration and bad feelings all around.
While it helps to have played a lot of baseball yourself at some point in your life, it's not a prerequisite to being a good coach. Just like in the sport itself, coaching has certain fundamentals.
Many people believe that the only qualification needed to coach is to have played the sport. It's helpful to have played, but there is much more to coaching successfully.
Coaching is as much a skill as bunting, sliding or throwing a curve
- to be learned, practiced and improved.
As a youth coach there a number of important things to remember.
you haven't played the game before, you can still learn to coach
successfully by following this basic
caught up in only working with your
Helping them to succeed at the basics of the game, so that they're better at the end of season than when they began, is more important than any number of wins.
The two things most wrong with baseball today is the strong emphasis on winning versus the emphasis on development of strong players at the youth level and the lack of good coaching at the youth level.
are three more items of prime importance to be effective as a coach,
which makes for a more successful team:
A) Require respect
Kids sense a pushover, and will take advantage and walk all over you . You'll get no drills done, no practices will be productive, games will be sloppy. The key is to set the ground rules right at the start, preferably in writing. Point out what you expect from your team, and what they can expect from you. And stick to it. Just like you must follow through with your threats of punishment with your own kids when they push it too far, you must be gentle but firm with a team.
B) Be prepared
Like a good scout, a good coach is prepared. That means you come to practices with a specific plan as to what you will be working on that day, right down to the drills and stations.
Always have your equipment, plenty of practice balls, as well as first aid, an ice chest with chilled soft blue ice (for bumps and bruises) and even a cooler of ice water for hot days (give water breaks).
For game days, have your line-up and fielding rotations figured out the night before and charted on paper. Have a few alternatives in case some kids don't show, or get hurt. There's nothing more annoying than a team taking the field with seven players as the coach scrambles madly to figure out who played three innings, who played all game yesterday, who sits, who replaces who....while everyone stands around and waits.
C) Communicate with parents
The parents can make coaching a joy or a chore. Distribute a roster with phone numbers. Assign duties, such as snacks, field maintenance, etc. Let them know your game and practice schedules, enforce pick-up times (you're not a babysitter), and have them voice concerns to you, not behind your back.
Keep these simple concepts in mind this coming season, and you'll do just fine .
Little League has teamed up with world-renowned baseball trainers Al Herback and Al Price (Al & Al) to bring you the Official Little League Manager/Coach Educational Program.
The Al & Al Coaches Clinic is the best instruction available to prepare you for coaching youngsters in Little League. The one-day clinic will cover all the fundamentals of catching, throwing, fielding and hitting. You will learn how to develop a pratice plan, run specific teaching drills, and how to be a good role model.
The clinic will show you how to teach these skills to players at the TeeBall through Major divisions of baseball and softball.
Instuctors Al Herback and Al Price will share several years of experience and teach you how to work with young boys and girls. This will include how to teach the skills you've learned, and what you can expect from ball players at games and practices.
Please be rest assured that this clinic is as entertaining as it is informative!
Who Should Attend:
IF YOUR CHILD'S LITTLE LEAGUE
DOES NOT UTILIZE THIS CLINIC,
For more information on the Know
Your Baseball program,
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