Posted on April 17, 2015 by coachdeck
Just a friendly reminder: If you’re coaching youth league games this weekend, it isn’t life and death. Don’t put too much pressure on the kids, or yourself for that matter. Yes, it would be great to win, but it won’t be the end of the world if the team loses either. Focus on how well they play. Did they execute the things worked on in practice? Did they improve in some way since the last game? Tell them ahead of time that is what you’ll be looking for, not the end result, and everyone will play (and coach) much more relaxed. Set a positive example when interacting with the officials and opposing coaches. Smile. Have some fun. Win or lose, enjoy the time on the field and the weekend.
Filed under: Working with Players | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 16, 2015 by coachdeck
This is an email we received:
Hello. I have read several of your articles and they are very helpful. I wonder if you might help me with a problem I am having. I am coaching Little League, Tee Ball, and it is very difficult to get my players to pay attention. They are 5 and 6 years old and I know they have short attention spans but I also feel like it is my job to teach them the fundamentals of baseball, like how to field a ground ball properly. But when I put them out in positions and hit balls to them most of them can’t stand still long enough to wait their turn. Any advice you have would be appreciated.”
Thank you for your note and for volunteering to coach a team in your league. Coaching players at that age it can be very challenging, but also very rewarding. I’d recommend keeping two things in mind, the first of which will probably take care of the second. Number one, at this age, these kids don’t care about improving, about proper technique or fundamentals. They only want to have fun. So a good coach will simply make sure that every practice is a blast, but within a baseball context. A great coach will be able to actually teach fundamentals and make the kids better players, but while making practice something fun and that they look forward to. Our CoachDeck is a deck of cards containing 52 good, fundamental drills, many of which are appropriate even at the T-ball level. Each one contains a “Make it a Game” feature that turns an ordinary drill into a fun and exciting competition kids love. Take a look at Cap Buttons and Triangle Drill, for instance. Around the Horn could be modified to roll the ball instead of throwing it. These and many more are exercises you can do with your players that they’ll enjoy, but will also make them better. Kind of like sneaking vegetables onto a plate of food they love!
And the second thing to keep in mind? Your number one job this year is to make sure that every kid wants to come back and play again next season. If you accomplish nothing else, you’ve done great. And by making every practice fun and filling them with games and competition, you can be sure that not only will your players want to come back to each practice, but they’ll want to return again next year.
Again, thank you for writing and for giving your time to these kids. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did.
Filed under: Working with Players | Tagged: coach-pitch, Coaching T-ball, Coaching Tee Ball, little league coaching, Machine Pitch, t-ball, Tee Ball | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2015 by coachdeck
Its one of every youth sports parents greatest fears. The high school sports tryout. What if my son or daughter doesn’t make the team? What will happen then? And the worst thing is feeling that there is a chance the tryout might not really showcase the players who are truly most deserving. In sports such as wrestling, tennis and golf, it is more clear-cut. Beat your opponent and you win the spot. Similarly in sports such as track and field and swimming, the fastest time or the farthest throw or best jump wins. It is cut-and-dried. But in baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, football and other sports where there are few measurable components to a child’s performance, the decisions are very subjective. And this is when disappointment, resentment, anger and despair sometimes come in. What ideas do you have to make the process more fair so that there is no politics, nepotism or other factors including the coach just simply getting it wrong, when selecting a team. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you have a story to tell about a tryout one of your children was involved in? Send that along as well.
Filed under: Parents and Children | Tagged: baseball tryouts, high school tryouts, youth sports | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 13, 2015 by coachdeck
We always hear about or see pictures of beautiful Major League, Minor League or college baseball stadiums. But we also know there are some terrific Little League, PONY, and Babe Ruth complexes out there as well. Do you have photos of your local “field of dreams” you would like to share? Send them to email@example.com and we’ll post them for all fans of youth baseball and youth baseball parks to see!
Filed under: Sports World | Tagged: Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, Little League baseball, PONY Baseball, Youth Baseball field | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 11, 2015 by coachdeck
Posted on April 10, 2015 by coachdeck
Some thoughts to ponder going into the weekend: We’re wondering what you would like for your child to gain from his or her youth sports experience? Is the goal to simply have fun? To learn about competition and striving to win but learning how to lose? Is it the life lessons that can be learned in sports? Lessons of perseverance, tenacity, the reward of hard work, getting up and dusting yourself off after failure? Do you wish for your child to have social interaction? Learn to be a part of a team? Are you more interested in tangible outcomes such has improving at the sport with an eye on making a high school team, playing in college or even professionally? Let us know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have your input.
Filed under: Parents and Children | Tagged: competition, fun, scholarship, youth sports | 1 Comment »