I have agreed to take on an 11-12 year old Cal Ripken League team this year. Our draft is on Thursday. I am fishing for any advice you guys could throw my way. I have never coached before and I do not know any of the kids in the league. I eat, sleep, and dream baseball so I think I will be able to do ok with that part of it. I grew up playing baseball, but it was Little League sanctioned and then I played Babe Ruth League from 13-15.
I know the Cal Ripken League is under the Babe Ruth League and has a 50 foot distance from the mound to home plate and 70 feet between bases.
I talk to the director of the league on 2 occasions over the past 2 days and they are excited to have me especially not having to worry about politics with the parents considering I do not know any of them. I am worried about the draft because of that reason as well. They are going to split up the pitchers and catchers between the 5 teams so everyone has, at least, one of each.
A few random questions for any of you guys that can help:
What do I need to buy? I know it depends on what the league provides, but I assume I need a glove, a bucket of balls, probably a bat or two, and a score book. What do you guys use to hit infield/outfield practice? Anything else?
Are there any good training aids, videos, etc. out there that you might recommend?
How do I draft in the blind?
Practice? How many times a week should we practice? I am think about 3 times or so per week until the games start and then 2 times per week during the season. Do I spend the first week or so conditioning or should I just jump into baseball activities?
I'm excited as I have been wanting to get into coaching for a long time and any advice would be great.