How to be a Good little League Baseball Coach
I am a baseball coach and until recently have played baseball since I was a young child. To be a good Little League Baseball coach you must first understand that you are dealing with children thus it is crucial that you do not stress winning at all costs. These types of theories should be designated for older ball players. Yes, winning is nice but these kids are sensitive and at this age are generally playing because they love the game.
A good Little League baseball coach is sympathetic to his young players and to their various personalities and skill levels. Let the kids have fun. As far as skill development is concerned hold practices designed towards the development of specific skills such as a 2 hour practice where you pith to each player on your team. Give them pointers and constructive criticism based on what you are seeing from each player. If your players or their parents think you are too tough they may simply quit and that robs a young kid of the opportunity he craves.
Have practices that are fun, perhaps bringing food or treats as rewards to your kids for their cooperation and development. Positive reinforcement will make the child want to play even more and will send the message that you care about them.
Never yell at your players, they may get yelled at when at home but they sure will not want to come play the great game of baseball to be yelled at. Baseball is supposed to be fun at this age not a dreaded event. Remember you want your kids to get better and move on up through the ranks. A kid growing up never forgets his coaches and how they affected their lives.
When it comes to developing talent create your practice agendas at home and give ample time and consideration to each aspect of the game. What I mean by this is schedule enough time for pitching, fielding, and hitting and design your practices in a unique way that will be fun as well as challenging and rigorous. You will always be giving your players positive feedback throughout the practices and games.
Regarding practices you should either pitch 50 pitches to each hitter during a hitting practice or give them an equal amount of pitches from a pitching machine at a batting cage. Have hitting practices twice week. Spend about an hour on fielding practices for infielders, outfielders, pitchers and catchers. Remember you will always be continuous positive reinforcement to your kids during practices.
Have your kids run a couple laps around the field before and after practice. A young player can get much better when his body is in shape. Make things fun for the kids and ask them to play baseball with their friends in their spare time if at all possible.
Practice running the bases and teach your kids signs. Signs can be difficult so make sure to make that a fun process. The key to being a great Little League coach is caring for your kids so let them know you care and also let them know that they could make it to the Big Leagues one day.
Finally. when you are in game situations remember to conduct yourself in a completely respectful manner towards the umpires, the opposing team, and to your own players. Congratulate your players when they do something good and pat them on the back when they make mistakes. Respect the game and your players and they will have the best chance at developing into champions. Remember, winning is nice but at this age it is about the love of the game for the kids. Your kids will never forget you and this time in their lives. Good luck.