Coach Training & Information
Coaching is as much a skill as bunting, sliding or throwing a curveball.
It must be learned, practiced and improved.
Managing a Little League team requires organization and commitment. Field practices, batting cage time, and game preparation are all part of delivering a quality experience to the kids. Below are some resources that may help you in managing or coaching your team.
Skill Development & Instruction
These sections contain many videos and other instructional materials that demonstrate good fundamental technique in baseball and softball that will help the kids improve in all areas of the game.
Understanding the rules is vital to being a good coach. You not only need to make sure that you teach your players what they can and cannot do, you also must understand the rules to ensure you act in the best interest of your team during game play. Use these resources to hone your skills.
• Rule Myths
• Rules Quiz
Communicating with your parents is vital to your success to ensure they are up-to-date on practice and game schedules and changes, and the general happenings of your team. Each coach has a team site where they can manage that communication.
Additionally, it’s vital to have a parent meeting prior to your first practice to communicate your management style and goals for the season and gain volunteer support for the year. Lay out your philosophy on play time, where kids play, how you plan to manage the team, and how issues or concerns should be addressed. The more clear you can be up front, the fewer problems you’ll encounter throughout the year.
Practice time is when skills, knowledge, and sportsmanship are taught. Young players are limited in their mental bandwidth, so practices should be well planned and efficient. Break practices up into individual drill stations versus conducting a one hour scrimmage. Limit stations to small, manageable groups and rotate stations every 10-15 minutes. Every practice should focus on both skill development drills and live situations. Avoid having too many kids standing around doing nothing. For example, avoid having a coach pitch to one player while the rest are just standing in the field waiting for a ball to be hit. Discuss with seasoned coaching how they manage practices for assistance in keeping the kids moving and learning.
Approach to Coaching
Teach at practice; coach at games.
During the game you want your players to focus on the next out or next hit – so should you. You can’t teach a pitcher a new pitch on the mound or teach a kid to bunt in the seventh inning. No instruction should be provided during the game – instead, make mental notes for post-game talk or a special clinic during the next practice. Games are to execute what has already been learned.
Practice for Games
Practice what you expect to see and do in games and eliminate the wasteful activities.
If you want it, then teach it.
You can’t expect players to do in games what they haven’t done in practice.
One fix at a time.
Keep players focused on one fix at a time. If you see three things that need improving in a batter, rather than discussing them all at once, focus on the most important and drill that improvement a while before taking on another fix.
Practice with Intensity
Plan every practice – on paper – against the clock. Keep things moving, keep them focused. It’s the only way to build a team with the desire to out-perform.
Some drills to consider: http://www.webball.com/cms/page1151.cfm