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Needing a little guidance from Coaches...please.

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  • Needing a little guidance from Coaches...please.

    We are moving up a level this year to coach pitch and I am helping with coaching our team.

    How intense at this level have you that have coached or have had children play in this level gotten?

    For example.

    * Just try to get fundamentals down.
    * Do you try to incorporate signals from 3rd to batters at this level? (someone told me they like to start basic signals like hit away??)
    * Describe run down plays with basemen?



    Just curious as to how intense it should be for these 7-9 year olds with different baseball i.q.'s


    Thanks for all the help this site is great.

  • #2
    If they are ready for basic signs, then they may really like it...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bluefan89 View Post
      How intense at this level have you that have coached or have had children play in this level gotten?
      When we played at this level two years ago, some teams took it as an extension of teeball while others saw it as extremely comptetive.

      I believe that they kids need to start learning it is going to get competetive (wanting to win), while still teaching them the fundamentals and basics of the game (learning the game is more important than winning).

      * Just try to get fundamentals down.
      * Do you try to incorporate signals from 3rd to batters at this level? (someone told me they like to start basic signals like hit away??)
      * Describe run down plays with basemen?
      Funamentals are #1 priority, period. Even if the kid is catchiung well, they probably aren't doing it the correct way which will hurt them in the future. I had kids at that level that were very athletic that could catch a fly ball with their glove at their waste catching it "basket" style. But they had no clue how to get underneath the ball and catch it properly. It all depends on how you want to play. For me it was, I could prefer they miss a few pop ups trying to catch it the right way then stick with the wrong way and get a few outs. At this level it is about teaching them how develope further for the long run, rather than the quick win.

      I would incorporate signals in a very basic way. One sign with no indicator and many times the other coaches knew what I was calling for (i.e. hit away, steal (on pass ball), etc...). But it didn't matter, because strategy is not that effective at that level. If I wanted I could yell it out to them to hit away, but that did not teach the kids anything.

      Rundowns were tricky because the kids loved to play pickle. I would show them how to set up for a run down but to throw it once to the bag in front and have that person run them back to the bag (ex. runner going to third, second baseman runs, throws to third baseman, third baseman runs the runner back to second, play over). I didn't care if they got them out or not.


      Just curious as to how intense it should be for these 7-9 year olds with different baseball i.q.'s
      Our practices ran from 90 to 120 minutes. Some say this is too long at that age, but I felt that we spent the first half of practice doing drills, fundamentals, etc, and the second half of practice playing scrimmage games against eachother (12 man roster, plays 6v6 with coaches in the outfield). As far as I could tell, the kids loved playing the scrimmages and would do that for 2 hours straight if they wanted. But if you dont do the scrimmages I would keep the practices to 90 minutes or less.
      Last edited by jbolt_2000; 03-14-2008, 10:16 AM.

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      • #4
        I would make up a pro contract up just for kicks and giggles for the parents to sign off on. Ask for food and drink and plenty of help to teach the basics.



        drill
        Yogi Berra was asked by a reporter "How do you catch a knuckle ball?" He came right back and said "When it stops rolling"

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        • #5
          7 to 9 can be a pretty wide gap both in baseball skill and knowledge, so I'd keep the main focus on fundamentals (throw, catch, hit). You could also include basic defensive positioning, including cutoffs in order to get the kids to understand that everyone has a job on defense.

          Regarding rundowns - it's worth teaching and the kids usually enjoy it, but I can't recall having a rundown in any of our games.

          Regarding signs - go for it, but don't expect the kids to always understand them, especially the younger ones.

          Full disclosure - I almost quit baseball at about that age (7?). My coach would make us run if we missed a sign during practice. One day I didn't have a clue what the signs were and was too afraid to ask, so I spent the afternoon running to the fence and back. I was so upset I never went back. Luckily, my dad got me to join a different league w/ a more laid back coach and I've loved the game every since.

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          • #6
            Do you try to incorporate signals from 3rd to batters at this level?

            What signs? Every pitch is down the pipe. See the ball, hit it.

            We focused on proper footwork and basic fundamentals in hitting, fielding and throwing. On run downs we taught throwing lanes, get the ball in front of the runner, then run him back (getting him out was a bonus).
            Last edited by TG Coach; 03-14-2008, 01:23 PM.

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