Everything You Need to Know to Coach Youth Baseball
It’s an old story: Busy parents sign up for coaching little league but then struggle with what it is they should do exactly.
Some have various conceptions of how it will be, but they lack experience. They have signed up to jump out of airplanes, but there will be no class on how to do it.
The first experience for most parents will be when they hit a little league field, and suddenly it will dawn on them that they have no clue about how to run a drill, how to teach throwing, what the proper stance is for a certain fielder, or even what equipment they should have.
Being a Successful Little League Coach is Not Hard
My goal here is to help with all those questions and problems. My goal is to describe how to TEACH the fundamentals without a lot of complexity, and to give coaches a good idea of how to run the right drills to make practice fun rather than something that has to be endured.
Coaching youth baseball is not that hard if you simply know what to do. But knowing what to do at a baseball practice is not always common sense.
Many new coaches think the secret is to just take a bat and hit ground balls to players. This works in an environment where you have 4-5 hours for a practice. In today’s world, however, most coaches are lucky to get an hour or two with their players once or twice a week.
In a good practice, you want to maximize quality repetitions of key mechanics. This means lots of small stations (not more than 2-3 kids at a station) with a bunch of assistant coaches who all understand the basics of a drill. No grand expertise is needed to run these drills, but a coach who learns how to maximize quality repetitions will find that practice can be fun and that players will improve far faster than if you just have them standing around waiting their turn for a ground ball.
How This Site is Different
You may notice that some other sites in this arena are from professional coaches with professional training. They aren’t parents and frequently they don’t have kids or if they did, it was a long time ago. Moreover, they rarely know how to teach. Worse yet, they are all in bed with various equipment sellers.
So what differentiates me from the competition?
I am a “regular” parent, they are generally professional ballplayers
I have 15 years experience actually coaching youth baseball – some competitors have done it but to get a book published they will have played major league ball and of course gone on to coach a team in the Little League world series. This is pretty far removed from the “regular” coach.
I have been a teacher for 25 years. I know how to explain things in simple, succinct terms as coaches tend to be people with small kids which means they have next to no free time.
I have two kids age 7 and 9. My competition doesn’t. This means that I know what its like to have small kids and all the various demands they place on a coach. I also know what its like to coach your own child.
I am student of baseball, my competitors are no different, but I think I am a little different as I love caring about mechanics. I love watching frame by frame of how to throw a ball, catch a ball, hit a ball. I think there are some common themes that will generate success.
Some competitors do indeed focus on this, but not all of them are real students of mechanics. I remember asking one MLB pitcher if he lands his front foot on the ball of his foot or more toward the heal as I have seen both — he stopped for a second and said, “I don’t know, let me step through it a few times and I’ll tell you.” He was able to answer, but if gives some insight into the reality if that if you are in the top 600 players in the world, you may be a very extreme outlier who may not have a very deep clue about mechanics.
It may not matter if you are in the top 1 percent of the top one percent, but if you have regular athletic abilities (e.g.; the kids that most of us will coach) you really can only maximize those abilities with good mechanics. If you get a freak of nature who can dominate the game without knowing much about mechanics, that’s fine, you don’t need a book to tell you how to coach that kid. Just throw him the ball and get out of his way.