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Coach Larry

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Everything posted by Coach Larry

  1. Coach Larry

    Bad Parent Decision

    Wow wild man, That's rough. I really feel for you. I've been fortunate so far to not have this situation, but I usually ask at the first parent meeting, what the primary goals are for the team and how playing time is determined. That way, I can work with my kids to make sure they get as much playing time as possible. If my child was in this situation, I agree with derekd that at some point I would have had my child approach the coach after practice and just ask what they could do/work on to possibly get more playing time. That would be a great learning experience and also lets the coach know that the player wants to play and is willing to work for it.
  2. Coach Larry

    Batting Cage

    I use the jugs lite flite machine with lite flite balls. Then I use a pop up wilson backstop. The lite flite machine is easy to carry and will run for several hours. The lite flite balls are great for batting practice and using as a safe ball at baseball practices.
  3. Coach Larry

    Coaching A Ball Next Year

    Hi Mvd, I wanted to put my two cents in: If you put the focus on winning, then you are starting out on the wrong foot. Too many coaches stress winning as the primary goal. The primary goal should be teaching the kids to give their best effort and have fun. Even in competitive leagues, you will end up winning more games and returning more kids if you teach them baseball with an emphasis on effort and fun. My recommendations on your questions are as follows: Practices: 2-3 per week. I schedule 1-2 mandatory practices each week and then have an extra practice each week. Too many times, kids have life outside of baseball and if you only go with 1 practice per week you will be limiting valuable practice time and player development time. I ran mine about 120 minutes with a game and water break every half hour. I would set up 3 stations per 30 minutes and rotate the players through. If you keep them all involved and having fun, they will ask for longer practices. If they are all standing around and bored, then you need to re work your practice agenda. Player Positions: Start out the season asking the kids what position they would like to play. Then help develop them at that position throughout the season. Also give them a chance to play a position you think they might be better suited for. Most kids want to play Short and Pitcher. But a lot of them should be playing 2B. Use their desire to play a position as incentive to practice at home and other times besides practice. For safety reasons you may not be able to put players at some positions, like 1B. Parents will understand. Pitching: Practice pitching, every, every every every practice. Parents are great to help out as your practice catchers. Catching: Practice catching and blocking balls, every practice. Baserunning: Practice baserunning every practice. These are three overlooked and critical skills at this age. If you set out your expectations in a parent letter, then you will minimize complaints. I send out a letter at the beginning of the season stating that playing time is not only based on skill, but practices made, effort given and parent help. The more parents you have helping the smoother your practices and seasons should go. Also, you need to decide and inform that parents in your letter or at your parent meeting if you are running a more competitive team. Let them know what to expect and if what criteria you are using to choose starting players and positions. When they know what to expect, they will be a lot less likely to complain. As Derek said, there is plenty more, but this should give you a good start! Have a great season!
  4. Coach Larry

    Developing Our Young People

    To all the Christian coaches out there. I wish you guys a blessed New Year. We know there is nothing magical about January 1st, but since it is the start of a new year, let us start some new habits that will help us as Christians and coaches. I hope everyone commits to a devotional and study time each day with God. Start out with something small, maybe 5 minutes a day if you've struggled with this in the past. God will reward you and you will be blessed for it. He says in Joshua 1:8 - This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Isn't that what we all want? To prosper and succeed in God's eyes, so that when we are all done He can say "Well done good and faithful servant." Here's to a new year and new habits and disciplines that will help us with our family and our players.
  5. Has all of his players want to return for the next season.
  6. Just my two cents, What is your goal for your son playing football? If that goal is not being met, then you may need to make some changes. Here are my thoughts- 1) I think many parents have an inflated perspective of their children's skill level (myself included). Sometimes, a coach truly cannot see talent differences when it comes to their kids. 2) As a Little League coach, I don't always start the best players at every position there are many factors for determining player's playing time. I take into account practices made, attitude, parent's helping out, etc. 3) If my son was put on a team that had the potential to get him hurt through negligible safety practices, I would remove him instantly. 4) If he was put on a team where he wasn't having fun or I felt he was being discriminated against, I would have him finish the season and use the season as an opportunity to teach him that Life isn't always fair and you need to do your best with a good attitude no matter what and follow through on your commitments. 5) I would sit down with the coach and have a heart to heart about your concerns. Take the coach out to lunch. Do not be accusing but rather make an effort to "Seek to understand and then be understood". If I felt the coach was being underhanded, sneaky or dishonest, I would go through the proper procedures that the league has to let the board know. 6) If I didn't agree with the coach, I would either coach a team next season and take my son, or move him to another team with a different coach. If this is not possible, I would move him to a different league or a different sport. Someone said the best way to show a coach that he made a mistake is to play your heart out against him. I agree. Don't ruin your son's love for the game.
  7. Coach Larry

    Developing Our Young People

    Schann, You have a great post here and I hope it continues. I have some thoughts on Christian Coaching. I agree that youth sports has lost a lot of what I believe the original intent was. I doubt the original intent was to Make Tomorrow's Professional Players. And like you said only a very minute amount of kids actually make it to the professional levels. Youth sports is supposed to be fun, help the kids get exercise and learn values and principles that will help them with their lives in the future (teamwork, discipline, dealing with failure) etc. As a Christian I look at coaching as a ministry. We have the opportunity to influence tomorrow's leaders through coaching. In the same way that Christ died for us and teaches us through the Word and modeled the way we should live in his life, we too have that same opportunity for our players. Some leagues may forbid the name of Jesus or proselytizing out in the open, but we can still show Jesus' love through our words and deeds. I coach Little League and their motto is "I trust in God". This give me an opening to talk about the Little League pledge and what it means to trust in God. I also wear different shirts and hats that have Scripture or Bible Verses on them and when I coach I teach about eternal principles that come straight from the Bible. That being said, we should never lose sight of our roles as husbands and fathers. We need to minister to our families as well. God is calling us in Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers To turn our hearts to our children. We cannot neglect them. We have to teach them. We can teach them to play and watch baseball via a biblical perspective. Youth sports is a great vehicle to do this. But, we need to be teaching them not only on the baseball field but always - Deuteronomy 11:18-21 "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..." We need to be teaching them at all times. Not just in baseball but always. Throughout their lives. I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop here for now. That's my two cents and I'd love to hear what others have to say.
  8. Coach Larry

    8 Yr Old Not Watching The Ball

    kimbercarry, If the problem is with him watching the ball, there are a couple drills you can use. Have the player stand at the plate against live pitching, but instruct him to watch the pitch all the way into the catchers glove. This means he will have to turn his head and watch the catcher catch it. This will get him used to tracking the ball all the way, instead of losing it half way. Alternate, between having him swing at some and then tell him to just watch it to the glove. Also make sure he is starting his swing then stopping to watch the ball go by. After a couple days of this, you can graduate to pitching two different color balls. Tell him to hit the red ones and watch the white ones go by. This will get him used to picking up the ball early and watching it all the way. Another drill is use several different colored balls, you can use a permanent marker on baseballs and color half or the whole ball and then have him call out the color as he hits the ball. This also will train him to watch the ball. I agree with David, in that a short compact swing and timing will be critical. The timing remains close to the same with soft toss, but can vary widely when facing live pitching. Other things to watch for- Swinging at bad pitches (teach him to swing only at pitches over the plate. This will increase his odds of hitting incredibly) Stepping in the bucket (foot should take a short step directly at the pitcher) Swinging too early Moving his head or bouncing when the pitch is on its way (can cause difficulty hitting the ball) Remember that patience and positive reinforcement are key. Do not try to correct too many things at once. I recommend working on one, possibly two maximum every couple of days. Hope this helps!