So You’re The New Baseball Coach

Written by Coach John Peter

Continued from page 1

Get all of your parent’s email addresses and use them for two things:

Communicate – Communicate – Communicate. Not necessarily lengthy, just frequent. Subscribe all your player’s parents (and maybe players, if they are a bit older) to our Baseball Tips Newsletter. It is a quick read 2 times each month. We do not rent or sell their names and just want to supply our 14,680 (at last count) baseball families with some added knowledge and fun. Of course, they can delete us easily if they so choose. (You can add them individually. The sign-up box is just below our logo onrepparttar home page). Rule #8 –Good Teams Practice Well! Every league is different. Some restrict practice times. Others have limited fields. Some coaches have limited time as well. HAVE A PLAN! Plan tomorrow's practice today. Plan next week, this week. Planning isrepparttar 150878 operative word. I don’t think that any drill should take longer than 20 minutes! (OK, excluding BP – more on that later).

TIME ANYTHING & EVERYTHING! If you will keep a watch, you can get their blood flowing even more. More as in, “OK guys, 10 more minutes, let's do it right. Pick uprepparttar 150879 pace…Ok, 5 more minutes…Keep it going”…you getrepparttar 150880 idea. And it becomes more fun! The blood is pumping,repparttar 150881 kids are focusing. Just be sure to tailor it to your player’s age and skill level.

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW! Teach something new each practice. As importantly, review and drill a particular skill taught in a previous practice using one of your 20 minute segments.

Quality repetitions are vital and incredibly important! Too many coaches teach a skill and then next season, they teach it again; once a year…need it or not! If you think about how counter-productive this is, you will never do it…or do it again.

ARMS – ARMS – ARMS! There are more throwing errors than fielding errors! It may not sound correct and it is not my opinion…It is a fact! Teach proper throwing and work on arms every practice.

Have them constantly throwing to or at a target. (The exception will be when teaching one of your pitchers a new pitch.) You begin by throwing to a tarp, net or fence. The reasoning is that accuracy will not be great until a skill like a new pitch is learned. Accuracy will follow proper mechanics and you can avoid unnecessary shakes in confidence.

THE LAST 10 MINUTES OF PRACTICE IS JUST FUN! Preferably doing something that requires players to use oxygen. Leave them with their tongues hanging out. I learned this many years after I began coaching.

Many players think baseball is boring…and that is why they leaverepparttar 150882 sport too soon. They are kids…and kids want to run, play games, have contests, run races, hit balls, etc. You know…fun stuff.

Well, drills can get boring if that’s all there is to a practice. But drills are really important, vital lifelines to improvement and success of both player and team…or not!

But let’s not forgetrepparttar 150883 fun aspect andrepparttar 150884 prime reason most kids play. (It is play ball, not work ball, right?)

Get creative! Here are some of my ideas. (Do not limit yourself to these, got it?)

Relay Races – ½ of team at home plate and ½ at 2nd base with hats on backwards. 1 simple relay race. Then 1 race backwards, then 1 final race for allrepparttar 150885 marbles, running sideways (or heel to heel side-kicks like basketball teams may have some better variations).

Ball In The Trash Can – Find a trash barrel fromrepparttar 150886 dugout or nearrepparttar 150887 practice field and place it on home plate on its side. Now take your team to a distance where most all players can throw torepparttar 150888 target at least on a bounce or two.

Now toss them a short fly ball where they can make like they arerepparttar 150889 centerfielder throwingrepparttar 150890 runner out at home. They ooh, aah and cheer on close throws (there are always a bunch of these). I have no idea why but they really like to do this…Go Figure!

Home Run Derby – Find a spot where about ½ or more ofrepparttar 150891 team can hit one overrepparttar 150892 fence and soft toss 3 per each player (soft toss, also known as flip drills, isrepparttar 150893 drill our automated Wheeler Dealer machine does automatically. It can be seen on our training aids page if you are still unsure how to do this.) Have a second round, then have a finals. Mayberepparttar 150894 player who comes in 2nd gets to go after allrepparttar 150895 homers. Watch ‘em cheer for each other.

Basketball Game – If there’s a court or a hoop nearby, simply produce a hidden basketball AFTER dividing them up into teams. Announce a 10 minute game. Watch ‘em go. Totally unexpected…and a lot of fun

Water Balloon Toss – Pick a hot day and have a supply of filled baseball-sized water balloons (make sure they are small balloons to begin with so they remain taut). Partner them off in lines (like you do when warming up their arms) with players about 6 to 8 feet apart and with a partner on one row havingrepparttar 150896 balloon.

USE 2 HANDS! Express to players that in baseball, every ball you can catch with 2 hands should be caught with 2 hands. Also, display howrepparttar 150897 pinkie fingers of both hands should be near and parallel to each other with hands being parallel and held belowrepparttar 150898 waist.

SOFT HANDS Explain that all infielders must have soft hands. This begins when both arms are outstretched (elbows are not locked) and then cradled towardrepparttar 150899 body asrepparttar 150900 underhand toss comes toward you. Water balloons will require special focus on soft hands to keep from breaking.

READY…GO! On coaches command… Player underhand tosses to his partner who catches and holdsrepparttar 150901 balloon. His partner then tosses it back to his partner.

After 2-4 rounds, teams with a full balloon step 2 feet further apart. Repeat. Then 2 steps further apart! Keep going until you have a winner.

Once you have a winner, coaches produce as many extra full balloons as there are coaches andrepparttar 150902 winning team gets to “blastrepparttar 150903 coaches.” Yes, turn around coach…and do use typical precautions as boys will be boys. (Now you tell me that 10 or 20 years from now those players won’t remind you of how much fun that was?!)

It’s not all about baseball…but it is all about fun!

Thanks for reading. Best of luck this season. Now get out there and Have Some Fun! ----Coach JP

Get your free instructional articles at

John Peter, presently aged 50 something, is a lifelong student of the greatest game on earth. After being asked to find a more suitable occupation at age 26, many seasons after donning his first uni at age 7, he has transcended his skills into the much more important role of coach and especially as an instructor! He prides himself as never having charged any player or coach for a single lesson!

Fall Baseball – A Great Time To Really Coach

Written by Coach John Peter

Continued from page 1

So, again, play ‘em where they think they can play, along with where you already know they can play. If they stink, don’t worry, they will know it before you do.

Always remember… Players get better. Help them make it happen!

Tough Tip – Bench your kid in game one and maybe other games too Many amateur coaches have their own son, their “favorite player” onrepparttar team. If you simply keep your son onrepparttar 150877 bench forrepparttar 150878 first innings of your first game, it will display to all that you are indeed sticking to your guns about playing time, new position opportunities, etc.

Hint – Consider making your son your bench coach to show him that this is not punishment- you certainly can make this a pact between he and you alone. Sit him right next to you inrepparttar 150879 dugout and give him a real duty such as watching and helping position your defenses or maybe giving you a few quick tips on upcoming batters he may know – get creative. Show him you trust and need him! – Build a memory along with a team.

You can even hold out another of your better players too. Refrain from also placing your frontline players inrepparttar 150880 positions they always play inrepparttar 150881 first inning.

Your lesser players will play for you and maybe pay huge dividends come spring! The fact is that you may not be able to make all-stars out of all-stars. They will do most of that by themselves. But you sure can turnrepparttar 150882 lousy player into an average player,repparttar 150883 average player into a very good player. This even happens in pro ball, just check out Marcus Giles, a former 53rd round draft pick, who is now an all-star second baseman forrepparttar 150884 Atlanta Braves.

Finally, remember that almost every World Series winner has one guy who unexpectedly made a difference. Team guys who were not all-stars or superstars! Rememberrepparttar 150885 names Bucky Dent, Craig Counsell, Gene Tenace, Aaron Boone, Mark Lemke, David Eckstein, and Jim Leyritz?

So, takerepparttar 150886 high road, even if and when others do not. It is their loss...and their players are who ultimately payrepparttar 150887 price with a lack of improvement or leavingrepparttar 150888 game prematurely. It’s not “daddyball”, it’s just smart fall ball!

Take some risks, show some courage, park your ego, then kick some butt onrepparttar 150889 scoreboard! You may end up getting more out of this experience than your players!

*Note: This article is aimed and read by many coaches and players of many age and skill levels. If your fall schedule is a win-at-all-cost league, some of this article is not for you. With that said, enter these leagues knowing that your players may be missing some very important instructional time forrepparttar 150890 long term, possibly even contributing to their premature departure from this greatest of games. After all, when do you allow a player to try a new position or switch hit or break out a new pitch…if not inrepparttar 150891 fall? Exceptions – If you are coaching a group of prospects looking torepparttar 150892 coming year’s pro draft and/or college ball, your goals are obviously different. Much ofrepparttar 150893 above still applies, however you certainly will play these players at their positions of greatest potential.

Get your free instructional articles at

Coach John Peter, presently aged 50 something, is a lifelong student of the greatest game on earth. After being asked to find a more suitable occupation at age 26, many seasons after donning his first uni at age 7, he has transcended his skills into the much more important role of coach and especially as an instructor! He prides himself as never having charged any player or coach for a single lesson!

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use