How do I prepare for my first coaching experience?
Cruz asked: Hi Rick,
Our son is 6yrs old and beginning his first coach-pitch baseball season in 2 weeks!
As a Family we are so excited and as a parent I want to do anything and everything to support our son and his league.
So here's the kicker, I've been selected as Team Manager/Coach and I have no previous coaching experience (!).
What are the best ways for me to prepare for this experience and give these children the reinforcements/instruction they deserve to be successful?
Thank you for your time and support.
The Rookie Coach
Cruz, thank you for your question.
You and your family are headed on a great adventure, one that will create memories that last a lifetime.
Pre-planning is a great place to start. Sitting down and creating a list of skills you feel your players will need at their level will make it easier to organize your practices.
With the age level you will be working, stay with the very basics. You will find they are enthusiastic and excited to be outside and hitting and throwing the baseball. It is special to watch.
You will be their block builder for some of the skills needed as they move forward, throwing, catching, hitting and base running.
Attention spans are short and they are easily distracted. Roll with the flow, stay positive and do everything in short segments, move on to the next. Repeat the next practice.
Below are a few links on the site you may find helpful:
At first glance it may seem a bit overwhelming; but it comes together nicely.
If in doubt, keep it basic and simple, allow them to feel comfortable one small step at a time.
Stay tuned in to their body language. If it appears they are losing interest, move on to something entirely different. Create some fun baseball related games and competitions within your practices, they will love them.
Teaching them how to protect themselves when they might be get hit by the ball" will alleviate some stress they will be facing, when they move on to kid pitch.
Having a plan to limit the damage will build confidence and allow them to concentrate on seeing the ball, rather than worrying about the ball hitting them.
What they learn this season they will use to build on next season.
Good luck as you go forward. You will have a great experience. There is nothing like baseball and kids.
If you run across additional questions, please let me know. I would like to know how it is going for you and your team.
Yours in baseball,
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