e-book The Baseball Starter: A Handbook for Coaching Children and Teens

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Like any modern sport, you need some equipment to play baseball. And you need some extra equipment for certain practice drills as well. And for the love of all that is good and lovely, we hope your uniform style comes pre-selected for your team.


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You do NOT want control over that, trust us. But if it is forced upon you by the hand of fate, see the "How To Handle Parents" guide in Chapter 1. Always remember that safety is your number one concern, especially when working with young athletes. Injuries are the worst part of sports. At higher levels, they are somewhat unavoidable, even with proper care, but at the youth sports level, most injuries can be avoided with a solid pre-game warmup routine.

Warmups and cool downs help athletes keep their muscles in optimal condition. Create a collection of warmup exercises your team will love using the following resources.

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At the end of the day, coaching is all about helping kids improve their game. And that means helping them master the essential baseball skills. Batting is one of the primary skills every young player needs, and the best way to help them improve is through teaching proper batting technique and running them through effective batting drills.

Batting is a full-body movement. From head to toe, every muscle contributes to a successful swing. These resources will help you teach your kids to drastically improve their batting game and maybe even master the art of the swing. Pitching, like hitting, requires good technique, practice and body control.

Be patient and prioritize proper form over immediate results.

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Playing Catch - Throwing The Baseball

The single best way to coach up a winning youth baseball team is to minimize errors on game-day. Like batting and pitching, training your kids to field well consists of demonstrating the proper technique and then drills, drills, drills, drills, and more drills!

Coaching Beginner Baseball - How to Catch (Pro Speed Baseball)

Teach fielding to your team first and practice it as often as possible. You can use any of the fantastic drills and strategies outlined in the below resources.

It all comes down to this. As head coach, you are responsible for managing every aspect of this game, from pre-game warmups to post-game snacks. At its entry level, the sport requires players to leave their communities for games more often than before. But in poorer cities Many parents lack the means to easily transport them to and from neighboring towns.

And this article doesn't even get into how early specialization is resulting in a spike in overuse injuries and treatments, including Tommy John surgery , in young players, ending their careers before they begin, or sending players to the majors with year-old bodies and year-old arms. But let's forget about Major League Baseball, which is financially strong and should be so for many years to come, and talk about youth baseball and softball.

The Ultimate Resource For Coaching Youth Baseball

Based on my personal experience as a youth coach and parents, including two sons who abandoned baseball pretty quickly themselves my year-old daughter played softball through age 13, and my 9-year-old daughter will keep playing for the foreseeable future , here are some other theories I have for the decline of stick-and-ball participation:.

Baseball has long stopped being the default starter sport for America's youth. That's soccer, where kids start younger and learn the game's basic concept quicker. No offense to soccer people, but at least with a 5-year-old you can point to a net and say, "Kick the ball into that.

Baseball also has suffered the most from a long decline in kids playing pickup games, in part because it's no longer like explaining calculus if you'd had a chance to play it with buddies in the neighborhood. It's not that organized sports killed the neighborhood game. It's that organized sports got stronger as people had fewer kids and moved to suburbs with bigger yards, thus creating a situation where it required organization to get enough kids together in the same spot to play a game. Baseball, like every other sport, faces a lot more competition. I mentioned soccer in point No.

But in many places, kids can choose from sports many of their parents never played or heard of, such as lacrosse, or get swept up at earlier ages in intense programs for theater, music, dance, art or scads of other activities. Look at the options your children have at earlier ages, and compare that to the choices you had.

Baseball - Wikipedia

It not only can crowd out baseball, but for any sport or activity, it means a child will try it for one season and move on, rather than do it for a few years just because that's where all his or her friends are, or because there's nothing else to do. I haven't blamed video games, which often comes up in these conversations, such as this Wall Street Journal story talking about participation declines in multiple sports.

And I won't blame them. It's not as if kids who play sports don't play video games. I just don't see a connection. However, I will blame adults , though not as the primary factor. In my experience, a child excited by a sport will suffer through jerkface adults trying to ruin it.