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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Baseball

Overview

Are you ready to coach the Cubs to a championship victory? How about a little league or T-ball championship? Not ready for either one? We can help! Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Baseball is a beginning youth baseball coach's ultimate reference guide. Your practice time is probably already limited, so don't waste it trying to figure out what to do. Plan ahead with our easy-to-follow chapters that cover: identifying your roles and expectations as a coach, tailoring instruction to your age group, ...

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Overview

Are you ready to coach the Cubs to a championship victory? How about a little league or T-ball championship? Not ready for either one? We can help! Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Baseball is a beginning youth baseball coach's ultimate reference guide. Your practice time is probably already limited, so don't waste it trying to figure out what to do. Plan ahead with our easy-to-follow chapters that cover: identifying your roles and expectations as a coach, tailoring instruction to your age group, creating a safe playing environment, knowing how to coach effectively during games, celebrating victories and much more. Our book web page will be a coaching resource as well, with downloadable practice plans, emergency information cards, injury reports, awards and certificates, and season evaluation forms. Go into day 1 as if its day 1001 of your coaching career with the help of Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Baseball.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789733573
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 4/19/2005
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Hanlon has 19 years of professional writing experience - as a journalist, editor of two coaching magazines, curriculum writer for a coaching division of a publishing company, and book writer and ghost writer for nationally-prominent authors. Tom ghostwrote Teens Can Make It Happen (Simon and Schuster) for Stedman Graham; this book made the New York Times bestseller list in 2000. He has written all or major portions of 39 other books, including seven sport officiating guides, and numerous coaches' guides (including baseball; softball; soccer; basketball; and volleyball, among others). Tom has played numerous sports himself and has experience as a youth sport coach.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

How This Book Is Organized

Special Elements

I. COACHING BASICS.

1. Your Coaching Approach.

Your Coaching Philosophy

Physical Development

Mental Development

Emotional Development

Social Development

Some Final Thoughts on Your Coaching Philosophy

10 Attributes of a Good Coach

Take Your Role Seriously

Be Comfortable with Being in Charge

Be Dependable and Stable

Be Patient

Be Flexible

Enjoy Getting to Know Your Players

Desire to Help Kids Learn and Grow

Be an Encourager

Be Willing to Learn

Have a Sense of Humor

10 Keys to Being a Good Coach

Know the Basics of the Sport

Plan for Your Season and Practices

Conduct Effective Practices

Teach Skills and Tactics

Correct Players in a Way That Helps Them Improve

Teach and Model Good Sporting Behavior

Provide for Players' Safety

Communicate Effectively

Coach Effectively During Games

Know What Success Is

Final Thoughts on the Keys to Being a Good Coach

What to Expect As a Coach

What Is Expected of You As a Coach

Equipment and Insurance

Last, But Not Least: Why Kids Play Baseball

2. Rules of the Game.

Basic Youth Baseball Rules

Field

Equipment

Players

Pitching Rules

Hitting Rules

Fielding Rules

Baserunning Rules

How the Game Is Played

Terms

Signals

Umpire Signals

Coach Signals

Keep on Learning

Teaching Rules to Your Players

Situational Plays

Practice Games

Brief Discussions

Players' Experiences

3. Communication Keys.

10 Keys to Being a Good Communicator

Know Your Message

Make Sure You Are Understood

Deliver Your Message in the Proper Context

Use Appropriate Emotions and Tones

Adopt a Healthy Communication Style

Be Receptive

Provide Helpful Feedback

Be a Good Nonverbal Communicator

Be Consistent

Be Positive

Communicating with Parents

Preseason Meeting or Letter

Preseason Call

During the Season

Be Understanding-and Set Boundaries

Challenging Situations

Communicating with League Administrators

League Information

Coaches' Meetings and Clinics

Questions and Concerns

Communicating with Opponents and Umpires

4. Safety Principles.

Communicating the Inherent Risks

Being Prepared

CPR/First Aid Training

Chronic Health Condition Awareness

First Aid Kit

Providing Proper Supervision

Plan Your Practices

Inspect the Field and Equipment

Provide Proper Instruction

Supervise Each Activity

Responding to Minor Injuries

Cuts and Scrapes

Bruises

Sprains and Strains

Responding to Emergency Situations

Heatstroke

Heat Exhaustion

Respecting the Weather

Heat Guidelines

Lightning Guidelines

Severe Weather Guidelines

5. Practice Plans.

Planning Your Season

Purpose

Tactics and Skills

Rules

Adjusting Your Season Plan

Sample Season Plan

Planning Practices

The Best Option: Simultaneous Stations

Player Safety

Coaching Instruction and Feedback

Sample Practice Plan

Conducting Your First Practice

12 Keys to Conducting Effective Practices

1. Be Prepared

2. Set the Stage

3. Involve Parents

4. Be Active

5. Be Active with a Purpose

6. Make It Fun

7. Provide Instruction

8. Give Feedback

9. Be Encouraging and Supportive

10. Promote Teamwork and Camaraderie

11. Discipline Players As Necessary

12. Wrap Up the Practice

6. Player Development.

The Process for Teaching Skills and Tactics

Set the Stage

Show and Tell

Practice the Skill

Provide Feedback

Six Keys to Error Correction

Be Encouraging

Be Honest

Be Specific

Reinforce Correct Technique

Explain Why the Error Happened

Watch for Comprehension

7. Game Time!

The Practice Before the Game

Game Particulars

Game Focus

Before the Game

Team Warm-up

Lineups

Last-minute Words

During the Game

Your Approach to the Game

Score Sheets

Player Substitutions

Appropriate Behavior

After the Game

Team Meeting

8. Ingredients of a Successful Season.

A Tale of Two Coaches

Evaluating Your Season

Did Your Players Have Fun?

Did Your Players Learn New Skills and Improve on Previously Learned Skills?

Did You Help Your Players Understand the Game and Its Rules?

Did You Communicate Appropriately and Effectively?

Did You Provide for Your Players' Safety?

Did You Plan and Conduct Effective Practices?

Did Your Players Give Maximum Effort in Practices and Games?

Did Your Players Leave the Games on the Field?

Did You Leave the Games on the Field?

Did You Conduct Yourself Appropriately?

Did You Communicate Effectively with Parents and Involve Them in Positive Ways?

Did You Coach Appropriately During Games?

Did You Win with Class and Lose with Dignity?

Did You Make the Experience Positive, Meaningful, and Fun for Your Players?

II. SKILLS AND TACTICS.

9. Offensive Skills and Tactics.

Hitting

Bat Selection

Grip

Stance

Picking Up the Pitch

Stride

Swing

Common Errors in Hitting

Bunting

Sacrifice Bunt

Safety Squeeze Bunt

Suicide Squeeze Bunt

Drag Bunt

Push Bunt

Common Errors in Bunting

Baserunning

Running from Home to First

Taking Leadoffs

Sliding

Running from First to Second

Taking an Extra Base

Running from Third to Home

Stealing

Hit-and-Run

Tagging Up

Common Errors in Baserunning

10. Defensive Skills and Tactics.

Throwing

Other Types of Throws

Common Errors in Throwing

Catching Throws

Common Errors in Catching

Pitcher Skills

Position on the Mound

Grip

Full Windup, Pivot, and Delivery

Pitching from the Stretch

Fielding the Position

Keeping Baserunners Close

Common Errors in Pitching

Catcher Skills

Positioning

Catching the Ball

Blocking the Ball

Throwing

Catching Pop-ups

Fielding Bunts and Slow Rollers

Common Errors in Catching

Infielder Skills

Being in the Ready Position

Fielding Ground Balls

Holding Runners On

Covering Base on a Steal Attempt

Tagging Runners Out

Making Force Outs

Making Double Plays

Executing Rundowns

Receiving Throws from the Outfield

Common Errors in Infield Play

Outfielder Skills

Being in the Ready Position

Catching Fly Balls

Fielding Ground Balls

Making Throws

Communicating with and Backing Up Teammates

Common Errors in Playing the Outfield

11. Games and Drills.

Infield Games

Game One

Game Two

Game Three

Game Four

Game Five

Game Six

Game Seven

Outfield Games

Game One

Game Two

Game Three

Team Defense Games

Game One

Game Two

Game Three

Hitting Games

Game One

Game Two

Baserunning Games

Game One

Game Two

III. APPENDIXES.

A. Sample Letter to Parents.

B. Medical Emergency Form.

C. Injury Report.

D. Season Plan.

E. Practice Plan.

F. Season Evaluation Form.

1. Did Your Players Have Fun?

2. -Did Your Players Learn New Skills and Improve on Previously Learned Skills?

3. -Did You Help Your Players Understand the Game and Its Rules?

4. -Did You Communicate Appropriately and Effectively?

5. Did You Provide for Your Players' Safety?

6. Did You Plan and Conduct Effective Practices?

7. -Did Your Players Give Maximum Effort in Practices and Games?

8. -Did Your Players Leave the Games on the Field?

9.Did You Leave the Games on the Field?

10. Did You Conduct Yourself Appropriately?

11. -Did You Communicate Effectively with Parents and Involve Them in Positive Ways?

12. Did You Coach Appropriately During Games?

13. -Did You Win with Class and Lose with Dignity?

14. -Did You Make the Experience Positive, Meaningful, and Fun for Your Players?

Index.

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Introduction

Introduction

It all began so innocently.

Just as the youth baseball league administrator asked for a volunteer to coach your son's team, you scratched the top of your head. All the other parents were studying, with sudden keen interest, their thumbnails or shoelaces. No eyes, except yours, were looking forward.

The administrator saw her chance.

"Excellent! We have a new coach!"

To your astonishment, you saw that she was pointing directly at you. Parents, with relieved looks on their faces, turned to look at you. Some smirked. A few chuckled. All were joyful.

"Relax," one parent said. "The season doesn't start till next week."

"My kid's a slugger. You ought to see him smack that ball. He always bats cleanup," another parent said as he gave you a good view of the bulldog tattooed on his bicep.

"My son plays center field," another parent added, as if he bought his son the position from Major League Baseball, which had granted the boy sole rights to play center field on your team.

"I never knew you could coach, Dad," your son said as you walked to your car.

"Sure I can coach," you said. "How difficult can it be?" You hoped you at least sounded convincing.

Every spring, all across America, youth baseball leagues swing into action. Every year, thousands upon thousands of new coaches are tabbed to guide the players. The majority of those coaches have little or no experience coaching.

If you are one of those coaches, this book is for you. It is intended primarily for coaches of players from 6 to 12 years old, but it is applicable to coaches of older players as well. Use it as your rudder to guide you through your season. Use this bookto

  • Understand your role, and know what to expect, as a coach.

  • Know the keys to being a good coach.

  • Realize why kids play sports and consider how this should affect your approach to coaching.

  • Bone up on the basic rules of baseball and learn how to impart those rules to your players.

  • Provide for kids' safety and respond to emergency situations.

  • Learn the general principles of teaching skills and tactics.

  • Teach individual skills and team tactics.

  • Coach effectively during games.

  • Make the sport experience a meaningful and enjoyable one for the kids.

  • Communicate effectively with parents, league administrators, umpires, and players.

  • Form positive alliances with parents, involving them in various ways.

  • Plan for your season and your practices.

  • Discover the keys to conducting productive practices.

  • Celebrate victories and learn from defeats.

  • Keep it all in perspective.

This guide presents the foundational concepts that effective coaches follow, and it shows you, step-by-step, how to incorporate those concepts, plan your season, and conduct your practices. It provides many forms you will need, including sample and blank season and practice plans, a sample letter to parents, an injury report, an emergency information card, and a season evaluation form. It has games and drills you can use to teach your players the skills and tactics they need to know. It details how to execute the fundamental skills and tactics, so you will know what to teach--and it lays out how to teach. It is also replete with practical tips that will help your season be a success.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized in two parts. Part I, "Coaching Basics," provides guidance in a number of areas, including your basic approach to coaching, communication keys, safety principles, and practice planning. Part II, "Skills and Tactics," delves into the specifics of the skills and tactics your players will need to learn, ending with an entire chapter devoted to games and drills you can use to teach those skills and tactics.

Following Part II are six appendixes you should find useful. This material includes a sample letter to parents, a medical emergency form, an injury report, blank season and practice plans you can use for your own planning, and a season evaluation form you can use at the end of your season.

Special Elements

Throughout the book you will find the following special elements:


Caution - Cautions give you a loud "Heads up!" regarding issues or situations you want to avoid. These point out pitfalls, potential safety hazards, and any other items that could pose trouble to you or your team.


Note - This is a note element. Notes give you relevant information that doesn't necessarily fit in the text flow.


Tip - Tips are given to help you do something more efficiently or to give you the "inside" view on how to accomplish something related to coaching baseball.


Warning - Warnings are always safety-related, and are used with issues or situations of more serious consequence than those associated with cautions.


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