Youth baseball and softball ramping up

It’s only January, and much of North America is under the grips of Old Man Winter. But behind the scenes, the volunteers are coming out of hibernation to begin plans and preparation for the spring 2018 baseball and softball seasons. It won’t be long before we see them on the fields raking, digging, seeding and watering. If you happen by and offer to help, you won’t be turned away!

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Six Ways Youth Athletes Can Keep Each Other Accountable to the Team

Kids can be held accountable by coaches and parents, but in great sports teams athletes hold each other accountable. Here’s how it works in youth sports. Courtesy, our friends at TrueSport.

Epic Little League scrimmage

Cubs analyst David DeJesus and White Sox analyst Scott Podsednik showed up at Garfield Park Little League located in Chicago to challenge players to a fun game. Take a look at the video here, courtesy of NBC Sports.

What is your youth sports New Year’s resolution?

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Have you already broken them? Well how about a youth sports resolution to take their place? Maybe this will be the year you can help out as a volunteer. Offer work on the fields, coach a team, be an official or a board member. There is so much that needs to be done and whether you have a lot of time to give or just a little, the rewards far outweigh the effort.

Quote from Martin Luther King

Honoring; “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

Happy MLK Day from CoachDeck.

How to use CoachDeck

CoachDeck was designed to be used in a variety of ways. If you are a coach that likes to plan your practices ahead, take some time to go through each card and think about the drills and how they fit your team. You can group cards together to form practice plans far in advance. Or if it is everything you can do to just get to practice on time, it’s perfect for that. While players are arriving, getting their arms loose, it takes less than a minute to crack open the deck, pull out three or four cards and “stack the deck” so you’re ready to go. Some coaches also like to reward a player by shuffling the deck and letting him choose the next drill.

Be sure to utilize the “Make it a Game TM” feature on every card because kids find drills to be boring, but love playing games and competing. Plus, turning each drill into an exciting competition prepares them for the real games coming up.

The cards are broken into four, color-coded categories, (hitting, infield, outfield and base running). Ideally, for a 90-minute practice, you could choose one card of each color and spend 20 minutes per drill. Another great feature of the deck-of-cards format is that you can use the cards to break the team into smaller groups and rotate through stations. Give an assistant an outfield card and have him take a group to the outfield. Give another assistant an infield card while you work on hitting with your own small group, etc. Be creative and have fun. There should never be a coach who has a CoachDeck who stands on the mound and just throws BP to one kid while the rest of the team wilts out in the field. The bottom line is that kids want to have fun. If they get into the car and their mom says, “How was practice?” and they say, “It was boring,” there is a good chance that kid won’t come back to play next season. If they say, “It was so fun!” that player will be back for the next practice and the next season. And above all else, your job as a coach, is to make sure every kid comes back to play again next year. Regardless of wins and losses, regardless of how many “fundamentals” you taught, if every player shows up at registration next year, you were a success. That is the thought process behind CoachDeck.

How Coaches Build Cohesive Teams

From our friends at TrueSport: Boys and girls tend to value and prioritize relationships, competition, and hard work differently, which means coaches use different strategies to build a cohesive boys’ team compared to a cohesive girls’ team. Sport Psychologist Roberta Kraus, Ph.D., explains these differences to help parents and coaches better understand what they’re seeing and hearing during practices and games. Read Article