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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, ...
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.
How This Book Is Organized
I. COACHING BASICS.
1. Your Coaching Approach.
Your Coaching Philosophy
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
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
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
How the Game Is Played
Keep on Learning
Teaching Rules to Your Players
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
Provide Helpful Feedback
Be a Good Nonverbal Communicator
Communicating with Parents
Preseason Meeting or Letter
During the Season
Be Understanding-and Set Boundaries
Communicating with League Administrators
Coaches' Meetings and Clinics
Questions and Concerns
Communicating with Opponents and Umpires
4. Safety Principles.
Communicating the Inherent Risks
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
Sprains and Strains
Responding to Emergency Situations
Respecting the Weather
Severe Weather Guidelines
5. Practice Plans.
Planning Your Season
Tactics and Skills
Adjusting Your Season Plan
Sample Season Plan
The Best Option: Simultaneous Stations
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
Six Keys to Error Correction
Reinforce Correct Technique
Explain Why the Error Happened
Watch for Comprehension
7. Game Time!
The Practice Before the Game
Before the Game
During the Game
Your Approach to the Game
After the Game
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.
Picking Up the Pitch
Common Errors in Hitting
Safety Squeeze Bunt
Suicide Squeeze Bunt
Common Errors in Bunting
Running from Home to First
Running from First to Second
Taking an Extra Base
Running from Third to Home
Common Errors in Baserunning
10. Defensive Skills and Tactics.
Other Types of Throws
Common Errors in Throwing
Common Errors in Catching
Position on the Mound
Full Windup, Pivot, and Delivery
Pitching from the Stretch
Fielding the Position
Keeping Baserunners Close
Common Errors in Pitching
Catching the Ball
Blocking the Ball
Fielding Bunts and Slow Rollers
Common Errors in Catching
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
Receiving Throws from the Outfield
Common Errors in Infield Play
Being in the Ready Position
Catching Fly Balls
Fielding Ground Balls
Communicating with and Backing Up Teammates
Common Errors in Playing the Outfield
11. Games and Drills.
Team Defense Games
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?
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.
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.
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.