Coaching Little League; Need some pointers.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by NICO, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. rwahl

    rwahl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    119
    Give a little extra attention to the lesser skilled players during practices. You'll be amazed at how much they can improve if someone will work with them. This is where a coach can really make a difference.
    #21
  2. Jamming

    Jamming Desert RAT

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,927
    Location:
    Buckeye AZ.
    This very thing happened to me during Fall ball a couple of months ago. My Pitcher, a great kid BTW kept moving his shoulder around and taking a long time between pitches. I called time and went out and asked him if he was OK, he told me yes. As I was walking back to the dugout I saw his Dad walking over and he told me he's not right. I agreed and let him throw a couple more then went and got him. The kid was in tears afraid he let down the team, we talked about it and he understood. I will NEVER endanger a kids health to win a game, its a game...period.

    We've already had sign-ups, tryouts are in two weeks and I plan on starting practices in three weeks with the opening ceremony and games first Saturday in March. Play Ball! Can't wait.

    There is so much going on during practices and games you need some help. Our team has some dedicated coaches and the parents are cool too.
    #22
  3. dtirell

    dtirell Dain Brammaged

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,379
    Location:
    The Northwet
    Yelling at a kid for something you didn't teach them is also not coaching.
    #23
  4. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,425
    Location:
    NW GA
    I coached for several years. One thing we did was at the end of each practice, take a white board and discuss some of the finer points of the game, like what a cut-off man is and why you should throw to them.

    Another thing we did related to mandatory play time rules was to bring in our subs at in the 2nd inning until waiting for the 4th or even start the 2nd string. Worked wonders for boosting a struggling player's confidence and allowed us to finish with 1st string players on the field in the case of a close game.

    Had one undefeated year and proud to say that I had one youngster go on to play college and pro ball.

    http://mariners.scout.com/a.z?s=318&p=8&c=1&nid=1243379
    #24
  5. p3ga

    p3ga Rounding Error

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    961
    Location:
    The Home for the Terminally Bored.
    :fpalm

    Oh you poor bastard. Good luck.
    #25
  6. NICO

    NICO Long timer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    26,467
    :lol3

    It's going pretty well so far. Biggest issue is getting all the kids to the practice.

    I guess maybe I should say getting the fucking parents to get the kids to practice. The families who have experience with kids in the better leagues understand how important it is for the kids to have as much field time as possible. The ones who don't manage to find all form of excuses as to why they can't make practice. Again. :bluduh

    Right now, we seem to have 6 solid hitters, kids with great hand-eye coordination. They are all fairly athletic in their natural form. I figure that same hand-eye will lead to them being pretty good with their gloves as well, and we did see that during the fall ball season. Being winter, we're sort of fucked for practicing any sort of fly ball shagging. I can only hope I am right and we have at least a core of kids who can play infield or outfield when called upon.

    As to the kids and families who make half or the practices or less and don't realize the step up they've pushed their kids into (regardless the insight I've tried to provide), those poor souls have a seriously rude awakening coming when we get into the season. I just hope we can get them to the point where they don't crumble.

    Maybe "Oh, you poor bastard." is a fitting reply. :cry

    :lol3
    #26
  7. Veteran Noob

    Veteran Noob Astoundingly Unremarkable

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    434
    I've coached hockey since I graduated from college, everything from learn to play up to college (never a head coach at that level). Impossible to put everything in one online post, and there have been plenty of books written on the subject by people far wiser and more eloquent than I.

    With over twenty years behind the bench, most important lesson I learned; great passion makes great players, NOT great coaching. So take the job seriously, not yourself.

    One more thought; if you're not having fun, give it up. If your charges aren't having fun, change up what you're doing.
    #27
  8. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,304
    Location:
    Coweta Oklahoma

    Boy howdy ain't that the truth........I have had state champion wrestlers who would have been champions no matter who coached them. My most memorable State Champion was a kid that never won a match his first year, only won 2 or 3 his 2nd year but was state champion his 4th year. This kid had no talent, No muscles and was slow and uncoordinated. But he was ALWAYS at practice and ALWAYS did what he was told. He was glad to be there and appreciative of any time we spent with him. For the most part, those who win are the ones who WANT to win.


    Most high school coaches I have seen take themselves way too seriously. Most of them have no interest in seeing a kid do good unless they can take the credit for it.
    #28
  9. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,304
    Location:
    Coweta Oklahoma

    This was the biggest thing I learned in my first few years of coaching. My wrestling practices were loud noisy and rowdy. If you walked into the middle of practice it would look like chaos. But it was organized chaos. I had some parent complain that I didn't control the kids good enough. I told them that we do it like this because this is what the kids like.
    They are kids, the more you talk, the less they listen. I still remember the kid who told me " I don't wanna learn anything, I just want to wrestle". That would be an dumb comment from a high schooler, but it is an insight into the way kids think.
    The more you can make things a game the harder they will work. If you make them run sprints they will whine and complain and put out minimal effort. Divide them up into teams and race against each other and suddenly they are actually sprinting. I used get balloons and have them race across the mat by blowing the baloon ( no touching the balloon), They would work until they nearly passed out and then get up giggling and laughing and want to do it again the next day. Instead of telling them to do 20 situps, say Lets see you can do the most situps. For the kid that can't do a single situp tell him that, -you got nowhere to go but up,- compliments (even for the lazy brats) will accomplish more than complaints. The elementary gym teacher here used to separate the wrestler from everyone else because it was a big deal for most kids to do 20 situps I had wrestlers who could do hundreds and hundreds of situps. And they were eager to show the gym teacher the other kids. This all came from making it a game, not demanding that they do it.

    Before someone chimes in about playing games= not being competitive, let me tell you that i was the head coach for 12 years. I had over 25 individual State Champions and 10 or 12 National champions. On the team level we were State Champions twice, 2nd a couple of time, and placed 3rd or 4th a few times and placed in the top 3 a few times at national tournaments. But that is not important if the kids aren't getting some enjoyment out of it.

    Make it fun and they WILL work hard and learn. It is very hard to do this and maintain enthusiasm. But it works if you can do it.
    #29
  10. NICO

    NICO Long timer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    26,467
    I like the balloon race idea. Similar to the crab walk race we do already.

    We do have the team races already, but pair them up with one on each side of the field, and they tag back and forth. This lets us pair the slower kids with the faster kids and keeps things close.

    Dodgeball at the end of each practice is a favorite for these kids.

    Sit up "races" are tough because of The Karate Kid. I have to put two 10 pound medicine balls on his chest to slow him down - and he absolutely loves it. :lol3 Kid has rattled off 200+ during a practice and only stopped because I told him he had to. "Daniel San" not allowed to race his teammates during sit ups. :nono
    #30
  11. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bluesman

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Texas Ex-Pat
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mNk4Rj-d8JA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #31
  12. Kris

    Kris Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Illinois
    Make sure ALL the kids have fun, every player is treated with respect not just the top 3 kids.
    The best reference I can give for anyone involved in any kids sports is the presidents message on our youth hockey website. It is written about hockey but applies to any sport. www.pyha.org click on Presidents message. Our son was on a Blackhawk Cup State championship PeeWee Travel team. But the coach was a jerk. That season is all but forgotten , but the year after he played Bantam house and had an excellent coach who treated him as a team leader. It was such a great experience I'm sure it will be remembered as his greatest year in the sport.
    Just remember it is only a game and that it is played for fun.
    #32
  13. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    32,155
    Location:
    Louisissippi Coast

    Good on ya for stepping up. Coaches can play a huge role in not only coaching the sport, but also life coaching. I haven't the patience nor the temperament to deal with parents and respect anyone who is willing to deal with it.
    #33
  14. erinbomber

    erinbomber in awe

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,046
    Location:
    going nowhere
    My daughter is a club level soccer player. Her team has "performance" training built into their practice schedule year round. They work on strength and endurance in the off season, and recovery during the season. The performance trainer also works with some club baseball and softball teams who frequently train along side her. I have noticed that most of them are not good "stretchers". Their trainer had the ball players specifically working on better leg stretches. His mantra is that good flexibility makes you faster. I have to say it has been a huge part of making my kid significantly faster. Lower body flexibility seems to get over looked in baseball.


    Oh, and pass out this guy to your parents...

    http://changingthegameproject.com/
    #34
  15. ST-DocLizard1

    ST-DocLizard1 Serial Monogamist

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    884
    Location:
    Hampton, NJ

    This excellent post is what it is all about. I coached 7 & 8th grade boys in a recreation league for 25 years and I found many issues that should have been addressed in the lower tiers of organized baseball. Too much attention was paid to scoring/winning than to the fundamentals; and by the time they arrived in my league, there were too many bad habits, lack of knowledge, and a basic understanding of the game. Baseball requires patience and then the ability to react quickly depending upon the situation. Very few children today have the patience to sit down and watch a game let alone participate in one and that even includes some of physically talented ones.

    I had travel team all-stars who did not understand the numbers of the positions on the assignment sheet for the game. Concepts such these were never taught:

    1) You only bunt strikes.
    2) Prevent the lead runner from advancing.
    3) Run downs (the pickle).
    4) Check the coach for a sign before each pitch.
    5) Cut-offs
    6) Everybody has an assignment when the ball is hit.
    7) Pitcher has to cover home plate when the catcher is out of the box.
    8) See ball/hit ball.
    9) Primary Vs. secondary lead.

    I had kids who had been all through lower leagues who could not explain the infield fly rule or the difference between a "Tag Play" and a "Force Play when they arrived as a 7th grader.

    Conditioning, keeping it fun, changing the pace of practice/drills all while stressing fundamentals is the way to go. There are numerous books and DVD's on coaching techniques available.

    I never had a problem with any parent in my tenure as a head coach(1987-2011) and had 4 boys whose fathers were High School/College Varsity Coaches. The only problem was with some of the other coaches who bought a "gridiron mentality" to the refined game on the diamond and an occasional umpire who did not understand the rules that were unique to the recreation program .

    All the best.
    #35
  16. slowbike smallpenis

    slowbike smallpenis Tester of Tooheys Old

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    19,877
    Location:
    just above Tasmania
    People who play this need coaching? - It appears to be simpler than Ken ....
    #36
  17. bandit111964

    bandit111964 n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Drill a hole in a baseball (or softball), put a 25 foot rope thru the ball with a knot on the end of the rope. Spin the rope over your head such that the ball spins over home plate (or an equivalent home plate placed in the outfield). Have a batter step up to home plate to hit the ball. Accomplishes several things:

    1. The ball is radically curving...and if you play around with twirling the ball you can add up/down tilt to move the ball up or down. This teaches the hitter to hit a ball with motion in it. Once you can hit a moving target, you can hit anything.

    2. Altering the speed is easy to do by speeding up or slowing the spinning. Gets hitters able to handle speed changes.

    3. When they hit the ball, it does not go anywhere (tied to a rope)...so very easy to get the ball spinning again and the hitter gets way more reps. Repetition is key to improvement.

    4. The batter will be standing in front of you giving you a side view of their stance. Allows easy visual critiques of their batting stance as well as quality and levelness of their swing.

    5. Knowing they get more than one chance to hit the ball (a miss and the ball will be swinging back again in a moment) really helps develop power. Instead of "make contact" the hitter can really work on "killing it"...this is a key attitude to have.

    This does take one-on-one individual time...but is something an assistant coach out to be able to handle....a few kids each practice gets the whole team hitting better in a few weeks.
    #37
  18. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,721
    Location:
    Utah
    Give EVERY kid on the team a chance to pitch during the season :deal
    #38
  19. NICO

    NICO Long timer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    26,467
    Yes, penis, 9 year old kids need coaching for this game.

    I like the ball on a string idea. Just need the fucking snow to melt so we can access some fields. That plan would use most of the gym we practice in. :bluduh

    Our plan is to not only give every kid a chance to pitch, but to play them at every position. It's the only way, far as I'm concerned. (To an extent. Some just aren't ready to catch yet, for instance.)
    #39
  20. Hodag

    Hodag native

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23,824
    try to learn as much from the kids as you expect them to learn from you
    #40