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Did I make a mistaking offering to coach 12u? Tips and advise needed

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  • Did I make a mistaking offering to coach 12u? Tips and advise needed

    I'm hoping I have made the right choice here. Our league was in need of coaches and it was the day before tryouts were scheduled. Reluctantly I offered to help if they couldn't find anyone else. They have emailed this monring and I'm getting a team. This will be my first time as a head coach, I did assist a couple years ago. However, I'm really second guessing myself now.

    I have spent alot of time working with my son and other kids on his teams. This is going to be my sons last year of little league so I really hope I don't mess up his last season. He will be playing travel ball as well, I definitely would not want to be his only coach. I have decent knowledge working with kids and playing the game but I have never been totally in charge.

    I guess first step is to recruit some good help. I am kind of nervous about getting pushed around in the draft. I do not know their setup but I do not plan on recruiting a weak team. My son was on the all star team so I have some knowledge of the better kids in the league.

    I probably wouldn't be so nervous if they were younger but being 12u puts their development a little further ahead. My son does a bit of lessons so I bring the philosophies and techniques from those coaches with me.

    There are alot of I's in those sentences so perhaps I am too focused on myself at the moment so hoping to get a little positive feedback now or convince me to run J/K. Many more questions will come to me soon so hopefully this will all work out and everyone can have a good year of baseball. Also hoping this doesn't bring any tension between my son and I. Not looking to be the best team in the league but at least want to be respectable and hopefully win a few games.

  • #2
    I wish I could help. You are much braver than I am. I almost feel I will just stick to assistant coach forever. I too am reluctant to put myself on top and be responsible for the entire team. Good luck to you! I will be reading the responses.

    Hopefully you keep at it too!

    Comment


    • #3
      Be organized, on time, composed, consistent in your actions, honest and don’t favor your son. Don’t be harder on him either. You volunteered to second you said ‘if you can’t find someone else.” At that moment they stopped looking for someone else.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
        Be organized, on time, composed, consistent in your actions, honest and don’t favor your son. Don’t be harder on him either. You volunteered to second you said ‘if you can’t find someone else.” At that moment they stopped looking for someone else.
        That is why I waited until pretty much the last minute to offer assistance. It was reluctant.

        Those are things I stick to regularly. I'm focused on kids having fun playing the game. I do not want them afraid to make mistakes.

        I'm a planner so I plan to have the drills and practice pretty well scheduled out before every practice. I have some connections for scrimmages so I'll try to work that in as well.

        In regards to my son I am hoping to not create issues mostly on the pitching side, pulling him too early or him getting down on himself if it goes bad because he doesn't want to let me down. He takes things way too hard as it is even though I have told him 100 times it is just a game and I don't really care if he makes mistakes. My philosophy is always focus on the effort not the result. If you try hard and fail that is just the way it goes sometimes. Practice up and try it again.

        Well wish me luck I am out of the office on the way to get my son and setup the tryouts. Really hoping they don't push me around in the draft room.

        Comment


        • #5
          In the draft room, watch out for the trades if you have no knowledge of the kid. Package deals can get you one good player, but one terrible player. Sometimes better to stay with two average players. Remember you are drafting the parent as well, so weigh that as well on how good the kid is. Keep a happy dug out and the season will be fun for your child and you.

          Comment


          • #6
            You will be fine. The fact you care puts you above many already. Ask someone on the board how the draft works. Often, there are behind the scene deals, such as assistant coach kid. Dont let someone take a 1st round kid lower in the draft. Once you get past the draft and securing practice times, it is fun. Im on my 6th year coaching LL after I said could help if needed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by steven-sq View Post
              I'm hoping I have made the right choice here. Our league was in need of coaches and it was the day before tryouts were scheduled. Reluctantly I offered to help if they couldn't find anyone else. They have emailed this monring and I'm getting a team. This will be my first time as a head coach, I did assist a couple years ago. However, I'm really second guessing myself now.

              I have spent alot of time working with my son and other kids on his teams. This is going to be my sons last year of little league so I really hope I don't mess up his last season. He will be playing travel ball as well, I definitely would not want to be his only coach. I have decent knowledge working with kids and playing the game but I have never been totally in charge.

              I guess first step is to recruit some good help. I am kind of nervous about getting pushed around in the draft. I do not know their setup but I do not plan on recruiting a weak team. My son was on the all star team so I have some knowledge of the better kids in the league.

              I probably wouldn't be so nervous if they were younger but being 12u puts their development a little further ahead. My son does a bit of lessons so I bring the philosophies and techniques from those coaches with me.

              There are alot of I's in those sentences so perhaps I am too focused on myself at the moment so hoping to get a little positive feedback now or convince me to run J/K. Many more questions will come to me soon so hopefully this will all work out and everyone can have a good year of baseball. Also hoping this doesn't bring any tension between my son and I. Not looking to be the best team in the league but at least want to be respectable and hopefully win a few games.
              Many here know that I coached my daughter in TB softball as an AC. I became her HS coach as well. If I may, I hear people who coach say that they were harder on their kids than ... That is a recipe for disaster. Treat your son the same as all others on the team. Laugh some with them. Teach fundamentals. I know a guy who's motto in coaching is "I'd rather win kids." That is a pretty good motto for all coaches if it comes down to game wins or doing what is right for you players. Good luck!
              Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

              I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies. The tryouts and the draft have been completed. I think I have a decent team. Hopefully I can bring up some of the weaker players I have quite a few question marks at the end of the draft.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You are already ahead of the game because you care. As others stated, have a plan for practice and stick with it. Get help, you will be surprised by the parents willingness to jump in good and bad. Be consistent with discipline and as Jet said, don't be too hard on your kid (I did that, luckily they still talk to me now). Most importantly enjoy this journey, you will be impacting these kids. They may never tell you, but you will be a memorable positive influence if you do it right.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    the good points have already been made. jett is totally right that the second you said that you would do it if needed, you were assigned a team in somebody's head. i ran a division for a couple of years and knew who i could guilt into doing it and i always got that "yes".

                    caring sets you apart. a youth coach who cares and has some insecurity about what he is getting into and wants to do it right and asks for advice is going to do fine. a guy who is a d-bag and has bad motivation (winning or ego or clearing a path for his kid) is always going to be "that guy", imo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      steven-
                      Does your league allow you to bat the whole order and move defenders in and out of the game? (free substitution)
                      Skip

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        First of all, I think 12-14 year olds are the worst. Having said that, they are getting to the point where they can understand some stuff, which adds something to them. I find that I need to be persistent on the fundamentals, as they often will get lazy with them (often the better players). Also, I think it is important to coach kids up at that age. I allowed all kids to play some infield early in the season (the first half), and some of them developed into decent players at those positions. In the second half, though, there were some I didn't put out there. Also, I tried to have every kid pitch who could. On my 13-14U team last year, 7/10 kids pitched. I made a deal with each kid if they can throw strikes in practice, and can hold runners (not sure if that is important for 12U in your league, as we did open bases then), they can pitch in a game. I could find that most kids with some work could throw for an inning before they started to get erratic. Also, I try to be positive, encouraging, etc. (they make fun of me for yelling loud, but it is in an encouraging fashion). However, there are times that they may try and take advantage of that. If a kid doesn't take something seriously in practice, I ask them to do so or take a break. I don't make a big deal about it, but if the kid doesn't want to put full effort, I tell them they don't need to do the work. Most get the hint, and I find it a good passive aggressive way to get them back on task.

                        After the season is over, often the parents of the middle of the road kids and some weak kids will thank me the most, as I give the more opportunities than others, and I never belittle them, and nearly always keep a calm demeanor when correction is needed.

                        The toughest things for me are this.
                        1) I keep the darn game with me through the next game. I always second guess myself, think of how I could have done this or that better... I usually don't sleep well after games.
                        2) My own kid can be a challenge. They act differently with Dad coach, and no matter how much I try, I don't treat him like any other player. It is best to have another coach handle your kid. This is much easier as an assistant coach. Also, "Daddy Ball" always seems to show up. It is tough to move your assistant's kid to the bottom of the lineup. Also, in regard to my kid, there are times I should have started him in big games on the mound and I didn't, always trying to give others a chance. I'd say I lost a game due to this.

                        As you can tell, you will second guess yourself, but overall, with all the bumps, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives. I see kids I coached years ago who talk about the impact I had on their lives. There is a kid in the 'projects' that I would drive a lot who keeps asking me how he can do more baseball. Great kid, and while baseball isn't in his future, I am hoping success will be.










                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I got roped into a deal like this when one of my kids was 9. "Somebody better step up or these boys won't have a team!" So I stepped up. We had a great time, and coached them for three years. Then I started right in with my youngest at age 7. We are about to have our age 10 season. 11 of 13 players returning from last year, so I guess that's success??

                          Be honest and be you. When you are the coach, you get to do things your way, for better or worse.

                          I would say, figure out how you are going to do things -- will you play everyone equally, for example -- and make it very clear to the parents from the beginning. Design practices that are good -- keep the players engaged getting reps doing things that will transfer to the game.

                          IMO, there is a lot of power in bringing positive energy -- as long as it's not faked. Tell your team that you enjoy spending practice time with them!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bbrages View Post
                            I got roped into a deal like this when one of my kids was 9. "Somebody better step up or these boys won't have a team!" So I stepped up. We had a great time, and coached them for three years. Then I started right in with my youngest at age 7. We are about to have our age 10 season. 11 of 13 players returning from last year, so I guess that's success??

                            Be honest and be you. When you are the coach, you get to do things your way, for better or worse.

                            I would say, figure out how you are going to do things -- will you play everyone equally, for example -- and make it very clear to the parents from the beginning. Design practices that are good -- keep the players engaged getting reps doing things that will transfer to the game.

                            IMO, there is a lot of power in bringing positive energy -- as long as it's not faked. Tell your team that you enjoy spending practice time with them!
                            All of the advice given so far is good, but I really liked this post. I think if it's rec ball you're best playing everyone equally (and in fact around here some of our best players at this age are playing on several teams at once, so you're not going to be able to, say, pitch them all the time), but the key is being upfront. My son's coach last year said that would be his policy and he followed through. Then when you have those innings where things go awry because you've got some of your less-talented players in there, there will be no, er, less complaining.

                            The last point here is also excellent. Whatever their flaws at this age (and almost-teenage boys are not easy), they can smell a fake a mile away. If you don't know what you're talking about, most of them can tell that too (and the rest THINK they can tell). Come in honest, have a plan, be organized, and you'll get whatever respect they have to give.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by skipper5 View Post
                              steven-
                              Does your league allow you to bat the whole order and move defenders in and out of the game? (free substitution)
                              Bat the whole order, we can move defenders in and out at anytime.

                              Comment

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