Coaching Little League: The Basics
So, you've decided to take on the responsibility of coaching a Whalley Little League baseball team for the first time. Congratulations! You are about to embark on a wild, unpredictable, and sometimes ridiculous journey. But fear not dear coach-in-training, this article will guide you through the basics of how to be a good kids' baseball coach.
You have to look like a Coach
First things first, let's talk about your appearance. It's important to look the part. You should wear a baseball cap, preferably one that has a Whalley logo (available at our online shop, yes it’s a shameless plug for merchandise sales). But don't stop there! You need a clipboard in your hand, and a stern expression on your face. Remember as a first-time coach no matter how many Youtube videos you watch your’re not going to have a clue what you’re doing, you just have look like you do so the parents leave you alone.
Remeber who you're coaching
Now that you look like a coach, let's talk about what you need to do to actually coach. When you're dealing with kids, it's important to remember that they're not professional athletes. They're still learning the basics of the game, so don't expect them to hit every ball because you will have that one kid on your team that will never get close (pray it’s not yours). Be patient and supportive, and don't get to upset if things don't go according to plan. Just remember, it's all about having fun.
Keep the kids engaged
Speaking of fun, let's talk about practice. As a coach, you need to make sure your team is prepared for the games ahead. But that doesn't mean practice has to be boring. Mix it up! Play catch with them, have them do relay races, or even organize a game of duck, duck, goose. Anything to keep things interesting and fun.
Be a supportive Coach
When it comes to game day, it's important to remember that you are not Tommy Lasorda. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, and don't put too much pressure on the kids. Don’t be that coach who yells at 8 year olds and slams stuff on the ground. Instead cheer them on, give them high-fives, and don't forget to shout out some motivational phrases. "You can do it, Timmy! Just like we practiced!" or "Keep your eye on the ball, Emily! You got this!" “Take it for a ride kid!” The cheesier the better.
Set expectations of parents
But, as important as it is to motivate your team, it's equally important to motivate the parents. We all know how crazy some sports parents can be. So, be proactive. Before the season starts, gather all the parents together and give them a pep talk. "Parents, let's remember that this is a game, and we're all here to have fun. It’s important to be civil. A very important Whalley Little League rule is DO NOT question the Umpire’s call. The Umpire will most likely be an 11 or 12 year old kid who will also be learning. Leave them alone!
Keep things fun and take it all in stride
And last but not least, remember to have a sense of humor. Kids are funny, and baseball is no exception. You're going to see some wild things on the field. Kids running to the wrong base, kids tripping over their own feet, kids trying to catch the ball with their mouths. It's all part of the experience. So, laugh it off, and don't take yourself too seriously.
In conclusion, being a good kids' baseball coach requires patience, humor, and a little bit of creativity. You need to look the part, but you also need to have fun. Remember, the goal is not to produce the next Babe Ruth. The goal is to give the kids a fun and memorable experience. So, go out there and knock it out of the park, coach!