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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Coach Larry

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Everything posted by Coach Larry

  1. Spanish Runner Does The Right Thing

    was that the right thing to do? I'm not so sure. My pastor has asked me this question, "If Jesus was a linebacker, would he lay you out when you came through the line, or would he softly tackle you or let you run by?" I personally believe he would lay you out, then help you up. He wouldn't celebrate or degrade you, he might point to the Lord and say a thankful prayer. If Jesus was running that race, I think he would have passed the guy that slowed down. But, that's just my opinion. Have a blessed 4th of July and "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
  2. Pitching Machine Vs Pitching For Batting Practice

    Just my opinion, I use both. Purchased a Lite Flite pitching machine and use it for instruction and give players the opportunity to see A LOT of pitches and hit a moving ball plus learning to bunt on a lite flite machine is the way to go. Players can get a lot of confidence and start to develop muscle memory by hitting a lot! I also use an L-screen to teach players to pick up the ball out of the pitchers hand and get a read about the pitch starting from the release point. Unfortunately as age wears on me and my arm I start to get tired trying to throw 30-40 balls per practice to my players. So, I like both!
  3. Hi, Just got roped into coaching a Friday Night Lights 7th/8th Grade team. I'm probably going to look like a fool for a while, but if anyone has any suggestions for defensive play as well as alignments and adjustments, it would be greatly appreciated! The league rules is that the rusher(s) have to start 7 yards back from the ball, although anyone can cross the line immediately after a handoff. Also QB cannot run ... Thanks in advance!
  4. All Star Manager Selections

    I manage a little league team. All Stars is coming up and our league uses standings as the criteria for selecting All Star managers. The first place Major's manager is selected (subject to Board approval) to manage the 11-12 all star team. The second place Major's manager gets the 10-11 all star team. What do you think about that? In my opinion, the best managers are not always the manager's of the first place team. This system seems a little too "performance" based. A lot of times the first place team is the team with the best talent, even if the manager is not great. I'd like to hear how other leagues select their managers. (fyi - our team won the first half, so by default I will either be coaching the 11-12 or 10-11 team)
  5. All Star Manager Selections

    Funny how time flies! Can't believe I posted this a year ago! Anyway, our league has switched over to a new system and I'm excited about it. We are in the same district as Ocean View Little League and spoke to them about how they selected their All Star Managers. They let the players select the All Star Manager and it just so happens that the All Star manager for the LLWS champions was the last place manager in the league for that season. I thought that was pretty interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to us this season.
  6. Travel Teams / Competitve Sports Parents

    It's a shame that parents who are supposed to be looking out for their children's best interests are instead putting their children at risk. Baseball is a wonderful game and unfortunately like a lot of good things, can be turned and used for someone's profit. Kids should be encouraged to play "multiple sports" and participate in a diverse collection of athletics. This not only prevents the over development of certain muscles, but allows the player a chance to "step away" from the game and come back with a refreshed mind.
  7. Draft And Practice Plans

    Anyone have a good draft? What about practice plans, anyone have a good resource for practice planning?
  8. Draft And Practice Plans

    Hi Hank, Thanks for the input. Stations are usually critical in any successful practice and as you stated in another topic, pre-planning of your practices is essential to running a great one. One thing we like to do with our warmups - Run a pole, Dynamic Stretching (8 exercises), Jumping Jacks, Arm Stretches (4) then play catch. At the younger ages, kids may not like the arm stretches but, if we can teach kids arm care from the very beginning and make it a habit, they will be much better off throughout their baseball career! I also like to always end the practice with some sort of game/competition. The players are always wanting more when we are finished and it keeps them motivated to be there next practice.
  9. Fun Baseball Drills

    This is probably the all time favorite drill for the teams that I've coached- The Bucket Game - Set up a stack of two buckets on home plate. Divide your players into two teams. One team goes to play the 2b position and the other goes to the SS position. Have a coach up the 1b line rolling grounders to SS and a coach up the 3b line rolling grounders to 2b. Teams compete to try and field the grounder and make a throw to hit the buckets. If they knock the top bucket off, they get 3 points. If they hit either of the buckets in the air, they receive 2 points. If they hit either bucket on a bounce they receive 1 point. You can choose any number to try and score to for the win. Usually we do 15, but lower it based on player skill level, or you can move players in to the cut of the grass, etc. to make the throw easier. We have added some additional rules- you must try to get rid of the ball quickly. If you hold it too long or take too many steps toward home, your throw does not count. If you miss the ball, you must go get it and make the throw from where you pick the ball up. And -5 points if you hit a coach(has not happened yet).
  10. 2Nd Year Coach Needs Advice!

    Hi Dave, This is not an uncommon problem and can take some hard work to fix things up. My ultimate recommendation is to take the PCA (positive coaching alliance) Double Goal Coach program. They offer outstanding tools and information to help coaches manage the "mental/psychological" side of coaching. I also offer the following advice- 1) Set expectations to your players and their parents- As the manager of the team you need to set expectations of how players are expected to act on the field. This should include consequences for ignoring the team rules. PCA talks about Honoring the game and R.O.O.T.S - Honoring Rules, Officials, Opponents, Teammates, Self. 2) You need to enlist help - Other coaches and parents to help you enforce team rules (No negative talk, Paying attention, etc.) Each time a player breaks the team rules they need to be given the consequences immediately. Whether its running poles, taking a lap, being taken off the field to sit the bench for a certain amount of time, asked to leave the field, whatever. It needs to be 100% consistent for it to work. 3) Another process you can try and use is the team concept of discipline. When one player acts up, the entire team has to run, do the exercises, etc. This can be effective and players can learn to self regulate their teammates. However, it can also cause resentment between players if one player just wants to clown all the time and never takes anything seriously. I wish you luck and I hope some of this helps!
  11. No problem. Doesn't really matter how "I" feel about your post. It's just when someone comes in here and drops 5 links in a post with really no input about them and one of them links back to their own site and then the other ones lead to feeds and not really a website, it just seems suspicious ... What do you like about each of the sites you've listed?
  12. Spring baseball is around the corner (our tryouts/draft occur in January). Does anyone have any special tips or tricks that they use for their draft? What about season planning? I'm managing a Little League Majors team this Spring and I have a Season Plan from which I derive my practice plans. I'd be interested to see other Manager's plans ...
  13. This looks suspiciously like a SPAM post ...
  14. My Nephew (11) Is Throwing Curveballs

    UPDATE: I just found this really good article on the Little League website -http://www.littleleague.org/media/newsarchive/2011/May-Aug/YouthBBPitchingStudyShowsOverusePrimaryCauseofArmInjuries.htm In a nutshell it talks about how overuse is the #1 cause of arm injuries. I'm not advocating having young kids throw a breaking ball, but I do think this article fits right in to this discussion. And I do think that the majority of kids that throw breaking balls are the same kids that pitch almost year round. At least that's been my experience. The kids that we've worked with that only throw fastballs and change-ups are the kids that only pitch during the baseball spring season and don't have the time to learn the proper way to throw a safety curve. The kids that come to us already throwing curve-balls are the kids that pitch on travel/tourney teams and put a lot of wear on their arms. One other thing I noticed is that travel ball does not (at least in the big tourneys in So Cal) limit the number of pitches a pitcher can throw. They do limit the number of innings, but this can still be very harmful to young pitchers (for instance 12u) that throw 60+ pitches in three innings and come back the next day and do it again. Adult Major League relievers don't throw 60+ pitches over several days. How could this be good for children? Over time this can definitely do some damage to the arm - just like the article states ...
  15. Little League All-Regional Teams Announced

    I coach for Westminster Little League in District 62. Our two TOC teams faced Danner and Salzman in the first round and it wasn't fun. Those kids are great ball players! Go Ocean View, they look strong enough to take the whole thing!
  16. Bad News

    AMEN. So many times we let this junk that the world feeds us, permeate our minds. I love Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will. We need to actively read God's word and avoid conforming to what the world has to offer. Let's focus on the good news and use that to renew our minds.
  17. What Are We Teaching Our Children

    2adirondack, This is probably a little late as your season is probably over, but I wanted to make a few comments. I agree with you that there is an issue with the other team's disregard of the rules. However, as unfortunate as it may be, this can be found in most sports and youth sports. My questions would be- Isn't there some sort of Board or League President and safety officer that you can take this up with? As hollad said, if this is a safety issue, then your kids should NOT play. If it is a safety issue, then whoever has organized the league, needs to be made aware of it. I believe most football leagues have pretty strict rules on age/weight of players in each division. This looks like something that needs to be explored. If the organizers of the league are unwilling or do not address the safety issues, I would have no problem "declining" games against that team or pulling out my team and playing in a league that was safer.
  18. Baseball Defensive Strategies

    Winterball is over and as I prepare for Spring ball I was curious if any coaches out there have a baseball play book that they are willing to share? What I'm asking for is defensive alignments and thoughts on where to go with the ball in certain situations. I have developed tendencies over the years based on watching baseball and trial and error, but I've never seen anything formally written on this subject. If you coach High school or college and have a playbook that you are willing to share, that would be great. If not, and you can recommend a book that would help as well. Thanks!
  19. When To Push For Fundamentals When Throwing

    Orange is right. Do not "PUSH" a five-year-old to do anything sports wise. Instead make up games and have fun with him. Two games I play with my players to help them throw more overhand. To help prevent the arm from coming down rather than throwing over the top- 1) Play catch with them in a swimming pool. Kids love to dive for a pickle or whiffle balls and make the catch. If you make sure they are standing in water that is chest deep - (deep enough to force them to throw the ball back overhand). The elbow will not be able to come down because the water will mess up the sidearm throw. 2) Have them lie down flat on their back. Then see how many times they can throw a pickle ball straight up into the air and then catch it with the same hand. By being on their back they cannot drop the arm down on the side. They are forced to keep their elbow up and use the proper throwing motion with their forearm and wrist. Make it a game and try to get them to do 10 in a row or beat their last score. You should do it with them. This is a little harder for 5 year olds. If they start to get frustrated, move on to something else.
  20. Coaching Style Conflict

    Spearhead, Holding players accountable for their effort is not a Christian/Non-Christian thing to do. God holds everyone accountable for our actions. The difference between a Club team and a faith based team is usually the emphasis put on winning. Club teams are usually winning/performance focused. Parents are paying (sometimes a lot) of money and want results. They want their kids trained to compete at a high level. Faith based programs are usually more character focused. Now there is definitely overlapping between the two. But in the grand scheme of things, faith based programs do not have the emphasis on winning as much as on the competition and the lessons to be learned within the framework of the sport. Parents still want their kids to win, but the goal of having fun and character lessons are the primary goal. The goal of any sport is to win. But, especially with kids, this goal can be reached in different ways. I argue that if kids have fun and learn/practice sound fundamentals, are taught to give 100% of their effort 100% of the time, and are held accountable for their actions, they will be far better off in the race of life than kids who are taught that winning is the only thing. As Coach Rob said, find out what the philosophy and mission statement are for the league. If you have expectations and goals based on effort and learning fundamentals you will be far better off than expectations about winning the championship. Pray about it and see if that is what God is calling you to do.
  21. Baseball Defensive Strategies

    thanks dblink. That is what I'm looking for but only in paper form, so I can hand out to my players. I may just have to create one on my own.
  22. Head First Slide

    Orange, Is this little league baseball? If so, the rulebook states that the only legal headfirst slides are back to the base. Also, I agree with you in that they did make the right call. The runner should never be "trucking" a player who is trying to make a play on them.
  23. Advice On Mental Hitting For Youth

    I'm even later than concerned parent, but I think the mental aspect is in every way just as important as the physical aspect. I would echo ConcernedParent. Try to find out what's wrong by talking with the player. Is he afraid of getting hit? Is he afraid of strking out? Those are two of the most common problems. If the player does not know (or is afraid to admit) then you need to do some investigative research. Like CP said, have kids pitch to him in practice to alleviate the fear of facing youth pitchers. There are a lot of kids that crush off the coaches, but get antsy and dance in the box, or set up so far away from the plate that they won't hit anything, or they will just freeze. If he is afraid of striking out, let your kids know that it is OK to strike out. Even the Major Leaguers strike out. One thing I do to prevent the "negative thoughts" is to give them a positive thought to take with them up to bat. The current one we use is "See the ball, hit the ball" or "See the ball, hit it hard". This focuses the kids on an action and a positive thought as opposed to a negative performance affecting one like "I don't want to strike out again", or "I really need to get a hit this time". Just my two cents.... Also curious if he got out of his slump ...
  24. My Nephew (11) Is Throwing Curveballs

    I think the last post was right on (U10CoachJohn). There is NO REASON to risk injury to a child just to throw a curveball. That being said, there are ways to get movement "curve" on the ball without twisting the arm/snapping the wrist. Safety curves are very popular in our district nowadays, it is more of a dropball. Also, just by holding the ball across the seams and dropping the arm down a little bit, a pitcher can get some safe movement on the ball.
  25. Little Leagu Rule

    That is definitely not fair. Our league uses the "unlimited" LAST INNING. That means both visitor and home have the opportunity to score runs. I don't know what he is thinking only giving the Home team the ability to score 10 in the last inning. Doesn't make sense at all...
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