4S Ranch Little League: Coaching

Sunday, November 23
Coach's Corner

Important - Coaching Clinics

  •  Lookouts Clinic Part I - Monday, January 20, 2014 at Moser Field from 5:30PM - 7:30PM
  •  San Diego Longhorns - Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Voak Field from 9:00AM-1:00PM
  •  Lookouts Clinic Part II - Monday, January 27, 2014 at Moser Field from 5:30PM - 7:30PM

Introduction

4S Ranch Little League is very grateful for our managers and coaches. It is our goal to give coaches the resources they need to run a Little League baseball team. There are many resources available for coaches as seen below. However, it is strongly suggested that each manager and coach register with the Little League Coach Resource Center. Many training videos are available there including rules, drills, how to teach skills, practice planning and other very valuable information.

Expectations

Being a Little League manager or coach is an honor with great responsibility. You are being charged with the safety and the responsibility for a group of kids. A lot of what you do will impact your players now and in the future. Little League is a leadership program that uses baseball as a tool towards that goal. You are the example and your players will learn from you and the example you set. The lessons that players learn through sportsmanship, teamwork, competition, success and failure are not just baseball lessons but life lessons. We need to teach all the kids at their given levels and give them an experience that is memorable and teaches those lessons. Each division has a different level of skill and empasis on competition and we always need to be mindful of that.

Division Expectations

T-Ball

  • Non-competitive, the score is not kept.
  • Every player bats in every inning.
  • Teach players the basics; catching, throwing, hitting.
  • Batting order should be shuffled around, even every inning.
  • Equal playing time with full rotation at all positions. Do be careful at 1B. Make sure your 1B can get a glove on the ball.
  • Single A

  • Non-competitive, the score is not kept.
  • 3 outs per inning instead of everyone batting each inning.
  • Build on the basics; catching, throwing, hitting.
  • Players should be taught about which base to throw to based on the situation
  • Begin teaching simple cut-offs from the OF. Master the cut-off to 2B before advancing.
  • Teach basic baserunning based on number of outs.
  • Batting order should be shuffled around every game. Even out the at-bats.
  • Equal playing time with full rotation at all positions. Do be careful at 1B. Make sure your 1B can get a glove on the ball.
  • Double A

  • Beginning competition, score is kept and there is a post-season tournament.
  • Still very instructional
  • Build on the skills mentioned in Single A.
  • Base stealing is not permitted but it might be a fun thing to practice later in the season.
  • Batting order should be shuffled around every game. Even out the at-bats.
  • There is some kid pitch. Give everyone a chance to pitch but make sure they are given time during practice to learn how to pitch.
  • The same player really shouldn't pitch in two games in a row, spread out the opportunities as the league needs to build up pitching.
  • There should still be a lot of rotation at positions. It is not the time to specialize. Practice is the time to learn certain positions so use that time to give kids a chance to learn then play them an inning there the next game.
  • Playing time should still be equal, including time in the infield.
  • Triple A

  • Half instructional, half competitive
  • This division is the one where many kids stop playing after a year of AAA. Make it a good experience for all so we don't lose so many.
  • Base stealing is permitted so that needs to be practice both offensively and defensively.
  • Less shuffling of the batting order but please don't always bat the same kids at the bottom of the order.
  • All kid pitch. Look for opportunities to let every kid pitch at least once. Give every player an opportunity to practice pitching then make sure they can pitch in a game. Some kids might need some persuading but encourage them.
  • A bit of position specialization might begin but when players want to try something new give them an opportunity. The same two kids should not always play shortstop.
  • Playing time is a bit merit based but the same kids should not always play the least. When the opportunities arise try and even out the playing time.
  • Majors

  • Fully competitive
  • Playing time is more merit based but look for opportunities for players to try new things. In Majors lop-sided scores are the best opportunity.
  • It is still possible to let every kid pitch. Work with them in practice, then look for an opportunity to let them pitch.
  • Players do become more specialized at this level but be open to letting them try new things. Work with them in practice then give them a chance to try in a game.
  • Juniors

  • These are teenagers. Establish your authority early.
  • Use Majors info above.
  • Pre-Season Information

    Getting things all squared away early can help your season be successful. Here are some things that can be done before the first game:
  • Attend the manager/coaches meeting on Saturday, January 9 at 6:00 PM at the 4S fire station.
  • Read the operations manuals you are given and get familiar with the rule book.
  • Find a designated coach. Don't base it on just the talent of the player but what the coach brings to the table.
  • Draft players that have parents that can help umpire, coach, score keep, team parent, safety officer and fields.
  • Attend the coaches clinics and the umpire clinics.
  • Once you have a team get an umpire scheduler as most divisions require each team to provide umpires for a few games during the season.
  • Have a parent meeting and discuss:
    • Playing time policies - if you change your policies later in the season send an email. Post-season tournaments might change those policies. Let the parents know beforehand.
    • Practices
    • Behavior expectations for both parents and players
    • The season including post-season and All-Stars, if applicable
    • Volunteers needed
    • No alchohol at the playing fields
    • No tobacco use by coaches at game site, including chew
    • How fields need to be cleaned up and get their help
  • Identify extra help for practices. Just make sure they've turned in a volunteer form.
  • Pitching Information

    The operations manuals and rule book have limits on pitching. These limits are there for safety of pitching arms.  Some guidelines to follow to help prevent arm injuries.

  • Proper stretching and warm-ups. Some good guidelines are here.
  • Not always taking pitchers to the maximum amount of allowed pitches.
  • No more than 100 pitches per 7 day period - this includes Little League and Travel Ball.
  • Coordinate with parents to find out when players have had travel ball practices, games and pitching lessons. Get pitch counts, innings or any other information.
  • As a smart guideline use as a pitching limit the following formula: (years old) * 5 = number of allowed pitches.
  • Soreness in elbow or shoulder should prompt immediate removal from the game.
  • Slight soreness and fatigue in the upper arm usually indicates that the pitcher is tiring. This will especially happen at the beginning of the season. Don't push them.
  • The more a pitcher becomes fatigued the better change mechanics start failing which can lead to injuries.
  • Field Maintenance Information

    Taking care of our fields is a very small yet important job that managers are responsible for. Please, after each practice or game:

  • Drag the infield after each practice. The next team practicing is entitled to a prepped field.
  • Rake around plate and bases. Fill in holes in batters boxes. Spread dirt in sliding areas.
  • Clean up trash in dugouts.
  • Put the bases away. Put the plugs back in the holes.
  • ENSURE KNAACK BOXES ARE CLOSED AND LOCKED!
  • Check that Batting Cages and Dugouts are locked.
  • Resources

    Practice Facilities

    Lumberyard in San Marcos Frozen Ropes JP Longball

    Online Training Resources

    Little League Coach Resource Center Baseball Drills Proper Outfield Cutoffs

    Training Resources

    Baseball ASAP Frozen Ropes Garry Templeton II Individual Coaching
    Big Al Baseball Coach Deck Peak Performance Baseball




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