Somehow during practice last night I was crowned king of the misfits and will be the main coach of one of the three teams in our area. I last played in 3rd grade summer camp. I remembered xxxxxx played Little League, I wasn't sure if this was something you couched or not, but I thought you might know of some resources online or have some advice for a novice coach. Anything at this point would be awesome. Most kids have played a little - but not a lot, i.e. they can at least catch the ball in self protection. And to top it off - they pitch this year, so I've got to find a couple kids to fill that spot as well -yikes!
Here is my reply.
First off, thank you for giving your time. I will list a few things for you as a brain dump and in no particular order or importance.
* Long catch for arm strength - if they can play catch from 60-70 feet then pitching from 46 will be easy.
* Hitting off a tee- builds muscle memory.
* Run stations with assistant coaches keeping the kids in small groups.
* Keep them busy and moving, they will become distracted and lose focus.
* Scrimmage at the end of practice, but use a tee and not live pitching. it is faster and the fielders are forced to make plays. play 3 outs and clear the bases but play for 6 outs before switching offense and defense.
* Teach them how to turn away from a ball thrown at them while batting. Keep them safe.
* Have fun, if they are not having fun, they will not practice, therefore they will not get better.
* Be positive, no one likes a negative person.
* During games get the ball to the pitcher as fast as possible.
* Never throw behind a runner - always to the next base.
* Teach struggling hitters to bunt. They will gain confidence.
* Your pitcher and catcher are the most important, but give every kid a chance to play each spot.
* Check out http://www.littleleaguecoach.org/ here you will find great information that can benefit a coaches of all age groups.
* If you have a harder throwing pitcher then second base is more important than your short stop as the kids will swing late therefore more balls will go to second.
Best of luck and let me know if you need clarification,