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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

ctcoach

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About ctcoach

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  1. Advice On Mental Hitting For Youth

    Hi Skelly, This actually a pretty common problem with kids especially some of the very talented ones. It sounds like he is "locking up in the box" as I call it with my kids and actually my daughter did it for a 2 years before I finally got some advice on it. Kids (especially the really talented ones) can get a bit picky and it could just be as easy as he just being to picky and trying to find the perfect pitch to hit. When a kid is that good they will sit on good pitches hoping the next one will be a HOME RUN pitch. The other thing he may be doing is while keeping his head on the ball his eyes can still be coming of the ball a little to soon. The way I tried to fix both of those with pretty good results so far this year is by challenging the player to try and aim the ball to the opposite field in batting practice and then in the following game. Some kids may take a few practices to get confidence with it but if this kid is a good athlete it probably won't take long. Hope this helps. It helped my daughter and 2 other players last year.
  2. Non-glove Hand

    Coach, I have always been taught and teach my players to use the alligator method on ground balls to keep the ball in the glove and also to prevent the ball from bouncing out and hitting them. When fielding fly balls the non-glove hand should be behind the glove on the thumb side to first help close the glove on the catch and the hand is close and in position for a quick transfer for faster throws. It also helps to have them line themselves up on their throwing hand side so they don't need as many steps to make a fast and accurate throw. Hope this helps.
  3. Otter, I have read your post and the responses and all good points were made. I was just wondering if the coach had any assistants with him during games and practices. The reason I ask is a lot of times the coach doesn't have time to work with or see every kids potential. Without another set of eyes and minds or two the job of getting these kids in playing shape(especially at this young age) can be a tad overwhelming. I guess if you really wanted to you could offer lending him a hand in addition to asking about his philosophy. I know from experience that you can't tend to every kids needs during the little practice time we get and it can get frustrating in itself. It is impossible to expect every kid to progress at the same pace and the extra time to help the less skilled kids is not always there. I hope this helps and don't forget that helping your kid practice at home makes a world of difference as well.
  4. Need Help To Stop The Bleeding

    It sounds to me that you have everything under control except they are losing focus when the throws matter and I completely understand your frustration in that case. Is it possible that those 2-3 players are maybe getting too cocky and not concentrating after they make thier good plays they just hot dog it for the rest of the game. I whole heartedly believe if what you say is true then maybe just have them make more throws in practice and if they truly are your best players then I think your problem will probably work itself out. Another thing to remeber is that all teams lose a few and how they handle it is key because good coaches turn losses into the best learning tools and are really good character builders. Have faith coach it sounds to me like you have a good team and you have a good coaching philosophy the rest is just game experience which unfortunately is usually pretty limited at this age group. You sound like you will be a good coach so don't get discouraged and the fact that you are on this site shows you are willing to go the extra mile which believe it or not isn't too common with parent coaches. Hope this works out for you coach and good luck.
  5. Can't Throw Ball Straight

    I have always taught the foot should be planted before she throws otherwise she will not be balanced and her throw will still sail on her. If you can get her to hit her targets consitantly then she will begin to adjust her footwork and not be overly concerned about making a bad throw because she will have the confidence in her accuracy and not be awkward or unbalanced. When you watch her footwork just make sure her front foot is pointing at her target and she shifts her weight into the throw, she will throw the ball more accurately and faster. Good luck coach I think this is a problem most of the kids starting out have trouble with.
  6. Need Help To Stop The Bleeding

    Matt, It seems that if they play well most of the game except an inning or two they are probably falling victim to that P word. That is very common especially for a team who comes close to winning but can't seal the deal. The best advice I can give you is what I did with my daughters basketball team last season after an 0-5 start we began to emphasize the fundamentals and don't let them get wrapped up in the score so much. That is the part of thier game that falls on you to control if you get excited under pressure then they will too. If you can keep them calm during the close games and relaxed then they lose that anxiety and have better control. The team will always get thier emotions during the game from you and your assistants if you are calm and relaxed then they will be too. I don't know if this is what you were looking for but it just seemed to me that they were tensing up and that can be controlled by how you handle those tight situations. Like I said my daughters basketball team started out 0-5 but they finished 8-6 and lost in the semi-finals to the reigning champs and we couldn't have been more proud of them. They were more concerned in thier individual goals and at the end of one of the games one of the girls had to look up to see if they actually won or not. If you can develop that kind of attitude I think the wins will happen without them even realizing it until the game is over.Best of luck coach I'm sure that you will do just fine.
  7. Getting Frustrated

    One thing about youth sports is everyone wants to win all the time but losing is unfortunately part of the game and if you handle the loss well and leave the game not necassarily feeling good about it but hopefull and praise their good plays after the game the kids will pick up on that also and learn from thier losses rather than dwell on every bad play they can remember.That should be your job as coach to remember what went wrong and work on those areas in the next practice.Kids with confidence will respond better to bad plays and fix them faster when they aren't as afraid of screwing up as a kid who is depressed about what they did wrong last inning.A loss is a loss learn from it and move on to the next game.If you stay positive(which can be hard at times) the kids stay loose and alert because they are having FUN the wins will happen. The umpiring situation is something you will encounter in every sport.I don't know how your league selects umps but most of ours are parent volunteers which I think is a real pain as a coach because some parents don't know a strike from a ball and you have to hold your tongue A LOT during games.Just remember your team feeds off of your reactions during the games.If the umpire is bugging you it will bug your team especially that young.My advice on that one is talk to your league about the umpiring and see if they can't work to improve the quality of umpires.After last year a bunch of coaches got together and decided to volunteer a couple of saturdays to train parents interested in umpiring during the year and since it was free we had a nice turn out especially for being the first year we did this.Enjoy the rest of your season and good luck on getting that first win.
  8. Help With Strength For 10 Year Old Son

    I also used the tire when I was growing up in little league.Thats not to say it's the best way.With my daughter I was kind of the same boat this year until we started hitting in practice and we had the girls taking batting practice using a basketball to teach them to swing through the ball.I was amazed how much faster thier bat speed and control improved in just a couple weeks.The two things left out in the tire drill are timing and follow through.Those are just as hard to teach and just as important but using a basketball or volleyball they develop the all the fundementals at the same time and they naturally start to drive through the ball and develop POP in thier swing.I'm not knocking the tire drill it worked for me as a youth,but in hindsight I wish someone would have shown me this one when I was a kid.Just because a drill seems to work then you have to go through everything again to develop timing as well as shifting their weight etc.. The best swing in the world won't help if it's early or late all the time.
  9. Can't Throw Ball Straight

    My daughter had the same problem last year and the way I helped her was shortening her throw and slow it down. Most of the time kids will just whip thier arms and forget thier release point or following through to thier target.Also have her stand open or sideways(it helps the arm rotate naturally) from the target and get into her "L" with the glove hand pointing at the target and her throwing arm bent at a 90 degree angle then with a ball and only throwing about 10 feet away have her slowly go through the throwing motion bring the ball by her ear and finish by pointing at her target as she follows through after release.I did this with my daughter for about two weeks moving back 5-10 feet as she became more consistant at the shorter ranges.Just keep reminding to slow the arm motion down if she starts to get wild so she can remeber her release point and the follow through.Like I said it only took a couple of weeeks and the muscle memory was there and she stopped worrying about the throw itself and was able to concentrate on her target better,By the way my daughter is now a starting pitcher and I thank those simple fundementals for it.Individual results may cause you to continue this throughout the season though it happens they throw a little wild and it shakes thier confidence happens in the pros even just reminder her and continue to practice it if need be.I hope this helps it certainly did with me when I was younger and has helped my daughter greatly as well.
  10. First Time Coaching Softball

    Coach c, Thank you for your insight it is a good passive approach that shouldn't damage the team atmosphere which would be terrible.For a young team we have some very talented girls and I think we have a great season ahead of us and I want them to have as much fun this year as possible.Again thank you for you response.
  11. I am in my first year of coaching my daughter and softball. I played baseball for many years growing up and played for the N.A.B.A(National Adult Baseball Assoc.) this will be my first season off in a while, so I can't say I have a problem with teaching the fundementals they were what allowed me to play for so long(approx.17yrs).My problem is that we are only on our 4th practice and I have already been approached by 5 or 6 parents with concerns over the manager of the team. Apparently he was rather loud and hard on the girls at times even after winning thier games. I originally was going to just ignoire them and see for myself if he acts inapropriately but I am now hearing complaints from girls on my daughters basketball team I coached this winter who had girls on his team last year, even the players themselves.These girls are between 9-12 yrs old so some have played for a few coaches already. My lack of experiance in this area is leaving me with some concerns and hopefully maybe I can get some help from experiances some of you might have had. I guess my question is what should I be looking for as the year goes on I have had some tough coaches in the past but my little league coaches were all pretty nice guys and didn't yell a lot so thats how I have coached in the past to my daughter or anyone else.But I can't seem to figure out what are the signs I should be looking for and what to do when I notice anything going on.We have a code of conduct for coaches so I understand those guidelines and plan to enforce them if necassary but I don't want to act prematurely and have affect the team even woprse or backfire onto me. So please any advice or previous experiances that any of you would be willing to share I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You
  12. Motivation

    A tactic that you might also want to employ is instead of running when you notice they are not paying attention just simply stop talking and walk away for a minute. This will allow the girls who want learn and play to shut those girls up for you and you might also find out who your leaders are and who really wants to play, and allow the team to realize that if they don't listen they don't play period.It may not be the best solution but it certainly worked for my little league and also might help the girls in finding unity amongst themselves and maybe make your job easier.GOOD LUCK COACH and don't get discouraged I think every coach has had to battle this problem to some degree at some point of thier career.It's more common than you think.
  13. Streching And Warm-up

    Your not bursting any bubbles, because for every study you show me that says stretching is bad I'll show you four that contradict it. The bottom line is that stretching if done properly will GREATLY REDUCE injuries not cause them.While i like that throwing exercise and hope to try it out in practice this year because that is probably the hardest part to get loose through stretching ignoring stretching is ludicrous there are so many hamstring and other leg injuries today you can't ignore that either and those are risks everytime a runner leaves the batters box or changes direction to chase down the ball."STRETCHING IS IMPORTANT IN ANY SPORT."A quote I belive you will find in most sports health magazine on the market.GOOD LUCK
  14. Bad Sportsmanship

    I really must admitt the lack of sportsmanship at the youth level has been steadily declining to a disgusting level recently. This year at my daughters basketball games we had parents yelling at thier children during the game, yelling at the refs and coaches, and even heckling the girls on the court. F or example we had a game go into triple overtime which in our league results in a shootout, while a girl from the other team took her final shot a man from the crowd yelled miss while everyone else was quiet and the girl missed the shot. Talk about poor upbringing these girls are 8-10yr olds for crying out loud. Then after not winning a game in the first half the season our team ended up in the semi-finals. However I was very upset to see MANY parents in the stands heckling the players on the court and the refs who I thought should have done something just ignored them,the problem with that I thought is young girls don't know how to ignore them yet. We ended up losing the game and after the game I called the director of the league an dasked him to do something about and to that he replied It's just part of the game to which I replied "your full of sh*t if you think that is part of any game". I guess he took my objection seriously because this saeson I have been asked to implement a code of conduct for parents and coaches which will have to be signed before any child is eligible to play.I have also been asked to start a committee of coaches and league officials to review any violations that may occur during games.Finally I have given the refs strict intsruction to remove any disruptive spectators from the gym, and we will be holding the parents directly responsible for any diruptive behavior from peaople they bring to the games with them and repeat offenders will be banned for the entire season.Fortunately our little league already has a comittee in place so those things don't happen and it really works.Parents aren't allowed to even approach us during games or the umpires to contest any calls or playing time they have to put it in writing to the comittee or they could be brought in front of the comittee themselves.Perhaps your league should look into having such a comittee as well. In little league it has worked beautifully and hopefully we will have the same effect in our basketball league this upcoming season Just keep in mind eventually all athletes will encounter heckling to some degree as sad as it is it happens try to talk to them during practices about ignoring anything they may hear from the stand good or bad and focus on you and your coaches only.that is probably the hardest thing to teach even at college levels. GOOD LUCK and worse case scenario buy them some ear plugs ha ha just kidding.
  15. Streching And Warm-up

    I must say that I agree with you stretching is probably THE most important thing in youth sports today. I've come to the conclusion that most of this is over looked do to ignorance on the coaches part,it's tough to teach what you don't know yourself. I would suggest you to ask the parents of the league or your local health clubs someone should be willing to show you or maybe even show up at practice to show the team proper stretching exercises.It worked out to our advantage last year and it turned out one of my parents also managed the local health spa.While that may not be possible all the time I'll bet you might have some parents who do work out on regular basis and may be able to help out. Until just make sure to warm the girls up first with a couple of laps around the field to warm up thier muscles then proceed to stretch out thier hamstrings and calves for lower body(very common injuries in this sport) then work on thier arms and shoulders and try to keep it to 4-5 exercises on each for two reasons,practices aren't very long oyu dont want to take too much time on them,and it is easier for them to remember the routine so they can do them at home as well,even give the girls homework of sorts to stretch every time they practice at home too.The more they do it the more speed and power they will develop without even realizing it. I hope this helps some GOOD LUCK
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