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View Full Version : New Coach needs help fast..uggh.



spiritandtruth
03-27-2008, 12:36 PM
40 years old. Never been head baseball coach. I got thrown in at last second and want to do it right. Help! ( ha )

I have 9 kids. No more. We have practice Tues. and Thurs. 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

I need some help fast if you guys can.

1. I don't think my kids know how to throw any pitches except for winding up and wingin' it.

Should I be teaching them how to throw some pitches and if so...which ones and where can I find instruction on proper technique?

And should they always be practicing with a catcher so that he gets work? I don't know signs and not sure what to tell the pitcher and catcher to work on together. ( boy oh boy am I hurtin or what? )

These are kids out in a small country town and I don't think they've been taught a whole lot relative to how to do things properly.

2. How many people are to engage in a run down? I have no idea what their assignments are on this. I've seen one diagram on the internet where a guy showed where everyone should go to in the event of a run down and the entire team got involved on some level. I've read other places that only a couple of kids should get involved. I looked and looked for a video clip of how they do it in the major league and I found nothing so I'm clueless on that. Do they peel off or go forward after the throw?

3. I only have 9 kids. If one is out I'm hurting so should all of the kids be doing all of the drills in case I have to move people? So far I will have them do infield drills similar to what greybeard mentioned and then I will have them doing outfield drills.

4. Which batting drills are absolutely essential and with an hour and a half to work with should I do half of the practice on batting drills?

5. The other day I had a coach on 1st and 3rd as runners and told them to try and get them out and it was chaos. Any tips, links, or instruction on that will also be greatly appreciated.

6. What's the best tips for teaching the outfielders? Should I definitely be using tennis balls with these kids?

7. Lastly, how to actually swing the bat? Proper technique on that will also be greatly appreciated. I see some people saying that the pros do open and rotate their hips to gain power and I watched a video online where some guy showed many of them doing it but is this what you guys teach the kids? I don't want them getting into bad habits that are going to hurt them down the road. I'm concerned with them getting taught properly in case they want to play high school ball...college...etc.

If anyone has input to one or all of these before 4:30 p.m. central standard time today it will be greatly appreciated ( afterwards will be fine too ).

I hope I'm not appearing to try and take advantage of anyone. I don't want you guys doing it for me..just to tell me "what" to do. I don't mind getting in there and sweating with the kids. I love kids to death and want the best for 'em. I'm coaching many kids from broken homes.

TG Coach
03-27-2008, 12:55 PM
What age group?

Should I be teaching them how to throw some pitches and if so...which ones and where can I find instruction on proper technique?

The first pitch they need to learn is a strike. This will come from proper technique and concentration. Then they need a change. The nastiest change is the knuckle curve. The circle change is great but some little kids don't have the hands for it.

http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pitching_grips.htm

How many people are to engage in a run down?

Assuming the skill level is low, get the ball in front of the runner (next base) and run him back. Get him to commit to going back and it takes one throw. The mistake kids make in chasing runners is running at speed of the runner. Go get them! The fielder with the ball should hold the ball up so the receiving fielder can see it. The thrower needs to be to the side of the runner as well as the recieving fielder so the throw doesn't hit the runner in the back. If you do rundowns properly there's no peeling off. There should be fielders backing up the bases.

If the talent level is low your goal should start with making sure you make the runner return to the previous base. You don't want to be throwing the ball around. You will need to practice rundowns between first and second with a runner breaking off third and how to react.

If one is out I'm hurting so should all of the kids be doing all of the drills in case I have to move people?

Kids should learn two or three positions. They should understand them all. Once again, what age? At 7/8's I rotated everyone around all the positions over the course of the season.

Which batting drills are absolutely essential ...

The three basics ... 1) tee, 2) soft toss, 3) BP. Have them work in this order in paractice.

. The other day I had a coach on 1st and 3rd as runners and told them to try and get them out and it was chaos.

This is where communication is required. A player with the ball can't watch two runner. If he tries he won't get either. He should run at one to create a rundown. Then someone need to be watching the runner behind him (asuming he goes after the trail runner) to yell "home" when the runner is committed. At lower levels sometimes it's better to get the out you can and let the runner score. I don't remember too many 1-0 games at the lower levels of play.

What's the best tips for teaching the outfielders?

Use a pitching machine. They will know where the ball is coming down and be able to work on the basics of catching the ball. Then start spraying the ball with the pitching machine (loosen the pivot screw).

Lastly, how to actually swing the bat?

If you try to learn this from a discussion board you will get nothing but confused. You're going to need to buy a DVD on hitting or find someone who knows hitting to help.

TG Coach
03-27-2008, 01:03 PM
Spirit ... Check your private messages.

spiritandtruth
03-27-2008, 01:24 PM
The age group is 11-12 year olds. I may have one 10 year old and I know I have one 14 year old. He's huge and has always banged it over the fence but he's very heavy and can hardly run to be honest. I think I clocked him at like 6 seconds from home to first when I was timing the kids. He was the slowest on the team but when you hit homeruns you don't have to be fast I guess. He's a good kid too.

spiritandtruth
03-27-2008, 01:30 PM
Which DVD on hitting do you guys suggest?

I've also been perusing www.baseball-excellence.com and posted there for help but people don't post as often there it seems. Do they have good products?

stejay
03-27-2008, 01:35 PM
Hi, I am a new coach too. I actually have a hs job lined up. Anyways, first, how old are the kids you have? This could help me out a lot. But here goes.
1. Pitching, if they are older than 10, teach them to use the slider. If older than 13, then teach them the curve ball. Otherwise, leave them to heave it in, just teach them control, and accuracy. Do this by getting some t-ball, and drawing a small mark on the wall, and tell them to hit the mark. It is old-school, but works well if your team cannot afford the latest traning gear.
2. I think you should always have a player who can go to play shortstop, or at one of the bases. This is vital, as a lot of players can play in the outfield with little problems. Some of the kids can play as a catcher. But the two positions I mentioned are vital that you have replacements to play those positions.
3. Teaching kids the accuracy of hitting, often helped by putting people in outfield, and giving them numbers. Then tell the batter to hit flies to those outfielders. Also, you can organise training matches, and this gives the pitcher confidence, as well as the batter.
4. The best help for outfielders is by using my no.3 of advice. Another way is to tell them to take a tennis ball wherever they go, and just simply throw it against a wall now and then. It will teach them to be alert, and is not too strenous.
5. The hitting problem. If you are near a town where there is a former college, or MLB or even HS batter to come in for one session, and help them hit.

I hope I have been helpful.

jbolt_2000
03-27-2008, 01:38 PM
If you are not too sure of how/what to coach, I would suggest purchasing the books from Cal Ripken Jr. - http://www.amazon.com/Play-Baseball-Ripken-Way-Fundamentals/dp/1400061229

These books really break down practices and fundamentals for inexperienced coaches. I have been coaching for a few years and found them very helpful still.

They cover Pitching, Catching, Infield, Outfield, and Hitting. It is pretty basic for the most part, but great for starting out.

Jake Patterson
03-27-2008, 03:05 PM
PM me your home address I'll send you a package.

Chris O'Leary
03-27-2008, 04:28 PM
1. Pitching, if they are older than 10, teach them to use the slider. If older than 13, then teach them the curve ball.

This is terrible advice.

I wouldn't teach a standard slider to any pitcher regardless of their age because it destroys the elbow.

You should focus on a 2-seam or 4-seam fastball.

Chris O'Leary
03-27-2008, 04:33 PM
Which DVD on hitting do you guys suggest?

I've also been perusing www.baseball-excellence.com and posted there for help but people don't post as often there it seems. Do they have good products?

Here's how I teach hitting...

- Rotational Hitting 101 (http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Baseball/Hitting/RethinkingHitting/Essays/RotationalHitting.html)

BTW, here's how I teach pitching...

- Pitching Mechanics 101 (http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Baseball/Pitching/RethinkingPitching/Essays/PitchingMechanics.html)

TG Coach
03-27-2008, 06:25 PM
1. Pitching, if they are older than 10, teach them to use the slider. If older than 13, then teach them the curve ball.

Horrible advice. First the slider is tough on the arm at any age. I wouldn't teach a curve to a kid who lacks the basic fundamentals of pitching. Thrown incorrectly a curve can be very damaging to an arm, especially a developing arm.

Stejay ... I understand you're breaking into coaching after taking some classes. Did you play the game?

Jake Patterson
03-27-2008, 06:26 PM
1. Pitching, if they are older than 10, teach them to use the slider. If older than 13, then teach them the curve ball.

Horrible advice. First the slider is tough on the arm at any age. I wouldn't teach a curve to a kid who lacks the basic fundamentals of pitching. Thrown incorrectly a curve can be very damaging to an arm, especially a developing arm.

Stejay ... I understand you're breaking into coaching after taking some classes. Did you play the game?
I agree with Chris and TG on this. Terrible advice.

LAball
03-27-2008, 11:37 PM
1) Do some of them have some pitching experiance. Just glide and throw strikes is all that is needed. Two and four seam is all that is needed. A change up is something to strive for. Good warm ups and long toss for the pitchers.

2) A run down should only take a few kids. Done right, it should only be 2 throws. Make sure the other bases are covered. Lots of room for error here. A game of pickle with a tennis ball works well for simulation.

3) Drills are great.. lines are not. Doing drills one at a time means a lot of time standing in line. Try to do circuits or stay in small groups.

4) Live batting is the best. You can have your pitchers do a Little pitching for BP.

5) I dont understand...

6) At that age they can handle hard balls, problems is, can someone hit it out there consistantly for them to catch. Practice the cut off man in this drill.

7) If they hit the ball well ... let them be, even if its just mediocore. The poor hitters you can try some magic and I mean magic, because its mysterious, there are many different view points. One thing i like is the hitting stick. Its great to groove a repititious swing.


Work on steals and base running, especialy at first. sliding and not getting hurt.

Houston
04-05-2008, 03:24 PM
1)
3) Drills are great.. lines are not. Doing drills one at a time means a lot of time standing in line. Try to do circuits or stay in small groups.


Back when I played it seemed like all you did was stand around and you're right, it gets pretty old.

In trying to make my life easy and make sure it would be fun for the kids, I started poking around for ready made practice plans. Of course, you basically get the same promises here as you do with all the other baseball products.

Has anyone used http://www.baseball-practice-plans.com/ or anything else by the author Kenny Buford? Is there any other product that someone has used and would recommend? I did buy the Ripken hitting dvd and a couple of the kinect bats so I can give the book JBolt recommended a try. Not sure if it actually offers practice plans or just a collection of drills though. This is for pee wee baseball (6-7 yr olds).

Thanks

PhilliesPhan22
04-05-2008, 05:06 PM
This is terrible advice.

I wouldn't teach a standard slider to any pitcher regardless of their age because it destroys the elbow.

You should focus on a 2-seam or 4-seam fastball.


AMEN!!!! and a 3 fingered change-up for the older kids. Throw it like a fastball, just grip it with three fingers instead of two.

PhilliesPhan22
04-05-2008, 05:16 PM
and don't forget rule number 1:

HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!:dance