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Thread: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

  1. #16
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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Last edited by BigJohn; 03-24-2010 at 10:33 AM.

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJohn View Post
    Hey, no prob, you're free to disagree.


    But the league I am coaching is the equivalent to what is called the Minor Division in the link you sent, which also has strikeouts and walks.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    It is the first year of kid pitch, no? Your league needs a competitive farm league like the link I posted then. The first year of kid pitch should be no walks.

    Competitive Farm Division: If you feel your child is ready for a more competitive style of baseball, try our Competitive Farm Division for 8 year olds or players who have played one year in our Farm Division. In this division, players will pitch with a no walk and no stealing rule. Scores and standings will be kept and the games are played with a real baseball. Players are expected to confidently catch and throw a baseball in this Division.

  5. #19
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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJohn View Post
    It is the first year of kid pitch, no? Your league needs a competitive farm league like the link I posted then. The first year of kid pitch should be no walks.
    This is the league that is available to us and the rules allow for walks, not much I can do about it.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    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 12:46 PM. Reason: additional info

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Sure there is, you choose not to. Encourage your kids to swing the bat, act like walks aren't a bad thing but, encourage them to hit the ball!

  8. #22
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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJohn View Post
    Sure there is, you choose not to. Encourage your kids to swing the bat, act like walks aren't a bad thing but, encourage them to hit the ball!
    I do, if the ball is over the plate, otherwise I don't want them to. Why should I encourage the kids to swing at bad pitches?
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    I have seen many coaches have kids that they know can't hit, take pitches, lots of pitches instead of trying to get a hit. That is what I am saying. Don't say, a walks as good as a hit. We want to swing the bat, encourage them to swing even if they strike out. That is all I am getting at. When you have bases loaded and bottom of the last inning you still want them up there taking their cuts!

    That is what I am saying. I still think walks should be banned the first year kids play kid pitch. Talk to your league about it, you just might get them to go along with it!

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    The goal isn't to encourage kids to swing at bad pitches. Rather, it's to encourage them to be more aggressive with borderline pitches. The first year that my older son did kid pitch, you'd see so many instances where the kids would look at strike one and then strike two, and then would hack at a bad pitch.

    My philosophy is "If the pitcher is going to give you a walk, by all means take it. But don't go up there with that as your plan."

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    I coached for several years, and the advice of keep it fun is key!

    One thing I always did was take the last 10 minutes of practice and let the kids play wiffle ball with the biggest bam bam bat that I could find (teaches to be aggressive with the bat). We would move the bases in about half the distance of normal and then divide the kids in to two teams and the team in the field did not get to use gloves (teaches to use two hands). I would pitch for both and each batter got 3 pitches, if they didn't put the ball in to play they were out.

    We called it BubbaBall, but the key to it was to end it after only one inning, or 10 minutes whichever came first (make sure all kids get a chance to bat though). The philosophy was always end practice with them not wanting it to end. One time during practice the kids were being inattentive and wasting alot of time, so when it came time to play BubbaBall I told them that we weren't going to, since I had to make up all the time that they wasted durring practice. You better believe those kids were perfect little angels the next practice.
    "I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." Stephen Hawking

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Basically the kids should go up to the plate with the mentality of Brandon Phillips, if the pitch is in the zone he is hacking. You just don't want them taking 2 strikes in an at bat. I agree you don't want to have them swinging at bad pitched just to swing.

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Kids need to learn to hit before they can learn the stirke zone. That is why they need to take a lot of batting practice off coaches, so they learn to hit strikes. At this age, you should always pitch down to a kids level, so he can learn to hit. Once a kid has confidence in his knowlledge of what pitches he can hit, he will learn how to take a walk.

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    Best thing I did to teach hitting (to the kids who struggled making contact) is the toss drill where the coach crouches to the side of the batter and tosses a ball up in front of them and you have the kid hit it into a fence or net. I had a kid who just wouldn't swing in games and another who swung but never made contact. I did this with them both and had instant success the next game.

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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach


  16. #30
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    Re: First Season As Youth Head Baseball Coach

    The first practice is in the books, and things went very well. The kid who is supposed to be my top pitcher wasn't there, which I knew ahead of time, because of school commitments, but things couldn't have went smoother.

    I had my assistant take the kids 3 at a time to the batting cage and take 3 turns each hitting about 10 pitches and also hitting off the tee. I handled the infield practice and base running. One of my parents who is a former college pitcher, took each kid one at a time off to the side and worked with them pitching. One of the parents very kindly offered to catch, and caught every single kid. I hope his knees are ok today

    Base running I worked with each kid sprinting through the bag at first, and then we worked on listening to the firstbase coach by either sprinting through the bag, taking a turn, or going to second. I'm a big believer in working on baserunning.

    Next practice, myself and the assistant will switch duties. I'll work with the hitters, and he'll look at the fielders so we can both get a good look at everyone.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.


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