This book is a compilation of my observations and experience over the years; it represents my personal philosophy of the game and coaching. As such, against the dictates of proper English language usage I have used personal pronouns ad nauseam because it is my experience and my philosophy.
Much of what I have espoused in this book goes against sound, winning baseball theory and sound baseball strategy, specifically with regard to the batting order and rotation of players through the positions. These are formative years for players and their baseball experience should be fun and of an instructional nature where they experience different positions and test their newfound skills and abilities. The stated premise of this book is to have fun and learn to be good citizens.
There will be plenty of time, later on, to hone skills and settle on one or two positions for specialization and to develop the killer instinct. For now the objective is to acquaint players with the game while having fun and not drive them from it for life by insisting on perfection.
Just because you adopt the techniques espoused herein does not mean you will have a losing season or that you are not being competitive or teaching sound baseball. It just means you are considering the individual as a whole and helping him/her to become responsible members of a team whether athletic or social.
Some players seem to be born with presence while others may have it instilled by their parents at a young age. Finding these rare and stimulating leaders and challenging their abilities in order to stretch their performance level is the coach’s job. Because they learn so quickly, you may teach them more perhaps than you would a player not similarly gifted. This does not mean the accomplishments of the less gifted are inferior to those of the gifted player. Try to challenge each player according to his/her abilities and reward their successful achievements with positive reinforcement.
Winning baseball strategy dictates you place your best six hitters at the top of the batting order: Most consistent at getting on base bats first. Best bunter second. Best hitter third. Next best hitters, fourth, fifth and sixth. Poorest hitters seventh, eighth and ninth. The eighth and ninth slots are usually reserved for the catcher and pitcher. Then place your best fielders at all the key positions and play them there constantly. Rotate your worst players into the game where they can do the least damage and leave them there for the shortest time possible under league rules.
If that’s the way you want to play the game and coach your players, then this book is not for you. Conversely, if your goal is to help small children grow to learn to enjoy baseball at all levels and in the process become good citizens and have fun doing it, then this book may help.
Throughout I have made many blanket statements and stated things should or should not be done a certain way. Please do not misunderstand me; just as “Baseball is a game of inches,” so too is it many shades of gray. Please feel free to adjust and compromise as necessary from time to time for the mutual benefit of both the team and enjoyment of the players. I guess all I have been saying is just try to do what’s right.
I know I have forgotten to include many important details that may have been helpful to your coaching experience, please forgive me. I tried. I hope that this will give you enough information to overcome your fears and give coaching a try.
Thanks for your attention and perseverance. Good luck next season and may you have many successful seasons and dedicated players in the future.