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Thread: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

  1. #16
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    I can't comment on the actual coaching aspects, but 1st thing is, if you don't have enough equipment, don't be shy about pointing it out to your team parents. You never know who may have a bag of balls laying around, a neighbor whose kids grew up playing catcher and have old equipment laying around, extra bats or gloves, etc... You shouldn't demand that parents help purchase equipment beyond the expected, but if you don't at least let it be known that your team is in need of a few items, they won't know to grab that bucket of balls or old gloves out of the garage before dropping their kid off at practice.

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  3. #17
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    While I have coached three levels of Cal Ripken youth baseball over the last seven years, the expectations from parents/players at our park change dramatically when you are involved in coaching at the 'Major' level (age 9-12) of play.

    For the month prior to our first game, we essentially practice 1-2 hours per day. We have a total of three days off scheduled in the month of March. Once the season starts in mid-April, you will play at least two games per week through the end of June. There will be a couple of weeks when you have three games, so you will really have to closely monitor the innings pitched for your players. During the season, whenever you are not playing, you are normally practicing. As the days grow longer and summer break starts, it will not be uncommon to practice until after 9pm on a weeknight.

    Establish a rule with the parents that you will not discuss their children's playing time, position, etc... while at the park. Always make yourself available to speak with parents after practice/games via phone or email. This allows you to set clear expectations without embarrassing any parents/players who are clearly dillusional about their children. Above everything, do not discipline an unruly parent through their child. In situations where the game's outcome is not in question, try to work the bench players in--but only in positions where they have a chance to succeed. Essentially, don't put the kid in at catcher when he is made of glass.

    In addition to your assistant coaches, it is helpful to tap someone else to manage the 'business aspects' of the team. For our team, this includes: circulating schedules, communicating rainouts, ordering uniforms, securing sponsors, organizing fundraisers, concession duties, field prep crews, etc.... This allows you and your coaches to focus on player skill building, game strategy, and basic fundamentals.

    If you can organize several tasks for the bench players to perform during the game, it will make for a happier dugout. Four of our non-starter players are responsible for: keeping pitch count chart for both teams, warming up the closest corner outfielder between innings, collecting the three between-inning warmup balls, and wearing catching gear to serve as a bullpen catcher/warmup pitcher between innings.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  4. #18
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    We had our 2nd practice last night. This is the most fun I have had doing anything since I played baseball. It is very rewarding thus far. The kids are having a blast and the coaches are as well.

    We have had 2 practices rained out, but I just keep scheduling them until I get them in. I think I'm going to practice every other day until the season starts unless we have a tournament to go to.

    As far as equipment, I asked all of the players to get their own helmets. The first practice, many of them did not have a helmet. To my knowledge, they all do now. I also stayed on the league official responsible for my team about getting catcher's equipment. We got a brand new set although I have 4 kids that can catch and 3 of them have their own gear although all but 1 is in kinda rough shape. The new gear will help.

    It was amazing to see how much improved at fielding they were over the first practice. Last night was our first day of hitting and they did fine. I'm anxious to work with them more at the plate. I did notice that most of them want to hit off their front foot. Hopefully we can correct that.

    Having nothing to gauge it on, I believe we will have a competitive team this season. My only 2 concerns right now are finding outfielders and being able to spend enough time with every child. I also have one in the hospital so that leaves me with 10 kids that are healthy and one of those just left for Florida for a week. I also had one just not show up last night. I'm not sure why someone wouldn't bring their child to practice unless they were sick and even then they should call you. Oh well, we will get there.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  5. #19
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    We have an optional hitting practice the next two days and I'm anxious to see who shows up. It would be nice if most of them came. I clearly made it optional, but it would show me a lot if they showed up.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  6. #20
    Blowing away bad memories Redsfan320's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    We have an optional hitting practice the next two days and I'm anxious to see who shows up. It would be nice if most of them came. I clearly made it optional, but it would show me a lot if they showed up.
    Just keep in mind that at that age, its usually more the parents choice to show up (or not) than the kids.

    320
    I'd rather listen to Kelch read the phone book than suffer through Thom Brennaman's attempt to make every instance on the field the most important event since the discovery of manned space flight. -westofyou

  7. #21
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfan320 View Post
    Just keep in mind that at that age, its usually more the parents choice to show up (or not) than the kids.

    320
    yeah, i'm aware. I just had 4 of 9 available that showed up. They hit the ball with authority today. Some of this coaching is paying off. First game is next Friday. Just hope that they all show up. That's my big worry right now.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  8. #22
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    First game this afternoon. 10 kids ready to play and 1 nervous coach. We are having a tournament and received a bye in the 1st round. My goal is to win one game so that we can play, at least, 3 games this weekend. I believe a win would help build their confidence going into the season.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  9. #23
    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    First game this afternoon. 10 kids ready to play and 1 nervous coach. We are having a tournament and received a bye in the 1st round. My goal is to win one game so that we can play, at least, 3 games this weekend. I believe a win would help build their confidence going into the season.
    Good luck, Jpup. You've been given a lot of good advice so far in this thread and it seems that, along with your own knowledge of the game, is going to make this a successful season for you. There's nothing quite like coaching kids. It's such a great experience. Sometimes it seems like you're always doing something but I can't think of a more rewarding use of my time.
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
    -Snoop on his retirement

    Your Mom is happy.

  10. #24
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    Thanks RL. We got rained out today so we'll try again on Sunday. The weather supposed to be nice.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  11. #25
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    Did you say that you open your season with a tournament? I would be curious to know what was your league's thinking around that one.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  12. #26
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie View Post
    Did you say that you open your season with a tournament? I would be curious to know what was your league's thinking around that one.

    Money? I mentioned that this is the most unorganized mess I have ever witnessed.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  13. #27
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching Cal Ripken League Baseball

    We did well in the tournament. We finished in 2nd place of the 5 team double elimination tournament. We won 2 games and lost 2 games. Both wins and losses happened to be against the same teams due to another team having to drop out. The team that beat us has some travel team ringers, but I believe we can beat them and should before the season is over. We probably should have won the 2nd time we played them. We led much of the game. My pitcher got very tired and he admitted he should probably be removed. The child I put into pitch had not threw a pitch off the mound since last season. That's partly my fault, but I only have 9 and I had a kid that isn't allowed to pitch per his mother. We had planned to use him, but I certainly conformed to his mother's wishes. The child told me and not his mother. His father wasn't pleased, but we both played nice.

    It's amazing how proud I am of these kids. They almost feel as they are my own. I just gotta figure out how to get them hyped back up after a loss. I only have 9 kids now, but they all played their hearts out. I also feel like my kids have been "coached" more than the other kids. The other coaches just seem to let them go out there and play without continually teaching them. Encourage and teach, that is my motto.
    Last edited by Jpup; 04-19-2011 at 01:15 PM.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton


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