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Well, I am going to be a new coach for my son in the Orange County area and can use some pointers. I have never done this before and could use some ideas on practices and how to present yourself well with the parent. Anything would be appreciated. Thanks, Tim

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Tim,

Call a parents meeting so that you get a chance to meet the parents and get a feel for their expectations. This is also your chance to convey to them what your focus for the season will be and goals and philospophy for your team will be and how you will handle discipline.

This will help cutdown on problems you may encounter with parents as the season progresses in regards to playing time and position opportunities.

You need to be organized and ready to go before every practice begins. Know what skills you want to focus on and what drills you want to run and for how long. The last thing you want to do is waste time and have a bunch of kids standing around waiting to do something.

Keep it simple, focus on the fundamentals and just have fun.

Good Luck!

Schann

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First of all congratulations on your decision to coach! This is a great opportunity to interact with your child and his/her friends and parents. I previously coached my sons tee ball team, last year I did not get to coach his rookie team. However, I used it as a season to help coach and to learn from other coaches. I will be coaching his team this year and here are a couple of items that I am implementing.

Parents meeting. I am not completely sold on this. An alternative approach that I am considering is a one page handout for them. I may use the meeting and handout as well. Just depends on the team I get.

Practice - Again here is my approach I am not telling you how it should be done. Every practice will have a theme. Base Running, HItting, Throwing Fielding etc. Note that each practice will have many different drills.

Games - I am not going to keep score. At this level kids should learn, be safe and have fun. No need to introduce winning and losing this early.

Clinics - I am going to offer "clinic" type sessions every Sunday through the season. Note that these are not practices nor are they "mandatory" I just intend to give kids the opportunity to explore the different elements of baseball.

Just my 2 cents and I would enjoy hearing from others and learn from the more experienced coaches.

Good Luck!

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Tim I agree with the coaches meeting, I would call one before the first practice just to introduce yourself to them. You should also give them a copy of the rules for the league. Let them know your expectations of their child for example...

1. Rule #1 is to have fun.

2. You should expect every kid to pay attention to you when you are teaching them new drills or instuctions (like double plays etc etc)

3. Give them your background. Dont be afariad of telling them this is your first year coaching

4. No name calling/ fighting among players. Let them know if you hear it that it will not be tolerated on your team.

5. If you don't have a assistant coach ask for volunteers to help in practice and games.

Keep them busy in practice. Break them up into smaller groups 4-5 per group and work on diffrent drills. That is where help from the parents comes in handy. You dont want the kids to get bored.

I have a great practice document if you would like it. This doc is geared more twords younger kids, t-ball and rookie, but works good for older kids too.

I hope this along with the suggestions from the other coaches helps you out and best of luck on the upcoming season!!!

-john

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I would concur with what the others have noted in their posts. However, I would add the following in terms of specifics:

btw...How old are these kids?

1.) Fielding ground balls...teach them to "gator" the ball with their throwing hand above their glove and to use their glove like a dust pan. Watch Edgar Renteria, textbook example.

2.) Hitting...weight shift! Front stride foot at 45 degrees coming down on toe and lift back heel when front heel drops and rotate hips...back foot should be on toe with laces towrad the pitcher.

3.) Throw...Sort of what I call gunsight "L". Point the glove elbow toward the target as a sorta gunsite and then get the throwing arm into an "L" position to throw.

4.) Catching...if they can't catch, throw to the side until they gain confidence then work toward their front (assuming little kids).

5.) Baserunning...run through first, stop on second and third, run through home plate. You'll be surprised how confused the little ones are on this. Get a coach in the 1B coach's box and in the 3B coach's box and have the learn to pickup the 1B coach and learn when to go to second. Then have them learn to pick up the 3B coach and teach hem "hold up" (arms in the air), slide (arms going to the grown) and go on to the next base (windmill arm motion). I usually end practice with baserunning and the kids actually LOVE it and can't wait to run. It also helps wear them out for the parents.

I will have them get in gator position then shift into the throwing positon in steps slowy and well work on each step, step by step until they get it and then go to live ground balls.

Be sure to keep it simple and break it down for them...again assuming little ones.

Most of all HAVE FUN and make sure the kids are having fun too. If they're not then back up and make sure you haven't gone overboard! Good luck.

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I too am being a head coach for the first time. My son's team is a machine pitched league for 9-10 year olds. I have been an assistant coach to 2 very organized head coaches and as practice time nears, I'm nervous about having the right practice schedule. Any help with pracitce format docs. or game line-ups etc. would be greatly appreciated.

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Congrads on your 1st year managing. I too agree with the team meeting idea and also the team rule handout. The meeting gives the parents an opportunity to ask any questions they may have. Parents want to see your passion for coaching so just be yourself and express how you feel. One thing I believe coaches sometimes forget is that most parents are passionate about their kids in sports. Especially if they are very young kids. Some are single moms who are trying to get their kids involved in sports and do not have fathers in their life. So be patient and remember a coach is not just a baseball teacher, but a role model so try to make the entire season an enjoyable one.

My goal is by the end of the season to have them as ready as possible for the following season as I can while having lots of fun. Having fun is always priority, but teaching them the fundamentals is essential for future success.

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