Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach
I echo the "have fun" sentiment. That is first and foremost. Of course, part of what makes it fun for the kids is having the confidence to go out and play and not be worried about making mistakes or striking out all the time. That means that coaching the fundamentals is important. Also keep in mind that you are not actually coaching baseball at this age - you are coaching something that looks similar to baseball.
It is important to let kids know when they are doing something wrong but try as much as possible to keep it constructive and positive. "hey, that was great the way you got to the ball. Next time, remember to get you glove all the way down and then I think you've got it."
Also, working with the parents is key. Get them together before the first game and nicely lay down some rules. For instance, tell them that when the game is on, you and your coaches need to be the instructional voice the kids hear. "Try to keep your comments positive; be a cheerleader, not a coach." It's distracting and confusing for the kids when their parents are telling them one thing and the coach is telling them something else. And as much as possible, parents need to not be in the dugout or letting their kids hang with them instead of their teammates between innings.
When it comes to practice, though, try to get as many parents involved as possible. That way you can break the kids into small groups and rotate quickly through various stations (batting, grounders, pop flys, throwing). All kids love to bat - so try to work that aspect in early during the practice.
PS: The first year of kid pitch is as hard if not harder on the batters. They are so used to coaches lobbing in pitches where they like them that it is quite an adjustment. They have no idea where that kid on the mound is going to throw it and they get nervous. It's hard to keep most of the kids from being too tentative at the plate.
Last edited by Biff Pocoroba; 03-24-2010 at 01:46 PM.
Reason: additional info