Where Did He Learn to Throw Like That?

Learning to throw is the starting point for getting kids into baseball. And, in theory, it should be one of the easiest skills for kids to learn to do properly. After all, as all parents know, throwing stuff is something kids do A LOT as soon as they figure out how to do it. Toys, rocks, smaller siblings…they like to throw. So why does throwing a baseball look so uncomfortable and nonathletic for so many kids?

Dad and son throwing

The simple answer…look at their parents!

Don’t believe me?? Watch this. (more…)

How to Engage Problem Parents

Talk to anyone who has coached youth sports (or thought about coaching) and you’ll hear about “those” parents. It’s the stuff of legend. It’s always been a concern of mine. Whether it’s your first season or you’ve coached for years, problem parents are always something you know you could have to deal with. Fortunately, there are ways to proactively avoid issues during your season.


Problem Parents: Who are They?

Let’s start by identifying what we mean by problem parents. Well, there are several types. Let’s break them down into some common categories. (more…)

Coaching Season Review

About now everyone’s Spring/Summer seasons are wrapping up. How did your season turn out? Are you satisfied with the growth of your players? How about your parent involvement? How about your organization? As a coach you need to be asking yourself a few questions about yourself and your team before you pack up all your equipment until Fall or Spring, I’d suggest you take some time to review the season and see what you can learn from it. Let me give you a few areas that you’ll want to think about.

Good Season Review

Parent Communication Review

As I’ve discussed about in previous posts, parent communication is something that can make or break your season. Coaches who set out clear expectations on things like playing time, practices, lineups, discipline, etc. AND stick to those expectations very rarely have any issues. On the contrary, don’t set expectations and you’re begging for parents to be lined up after games and practices wanting to discuss little Johnny’s playing time.

So, ask your self: (more…)

Have a Plan for Your Practice

When my boys first started playing baseball (before I was coaching) I saw several different styles of practices. I saw some that were very well run and some that looked like they were being made up on the fly. The difference always came down to the coach. Coaches who knew how to teach had a plan and those that didn’t had no practice plan.

What I’ve found after several years of coaching is the more detailed the practice plan I have the more my players learn. Mostly this is a result of the focus that I must put in to developing the plan. It requires that I think about the strengths and weaknesses of my team. Armed with that information I’m better able to help my players improve their abilities.

Map Practice

Start with a Map for Practice

Perhaps the best step is to have a consistent practice template that you utilize. Utilizing a consistent template allows you and your players to develop a routine. And a consistent routine helps your players feel comfortable. (more…)

The Baseball Coaching Super Tool

The Mini-Diamond

One of the greatest baseball coaching tools I’ve found in coaching young players is a Mini-Diamond. As a coach, it allows you to take any drill where the focus is not a full, overhand throw and convert it into something that can help get more quality repetitions in during practice. This is likely something that you will find referenced throughout drills across the site.

So what is a Mini-Diamond? Simple is a 20-25 foot diamond. Think of something like the photo below. (more…)

Why Intent is the Most Important Coaching Tool

Youth baseball has become big business. For leagues, teams, and most certainly for private coaching. Whether your child is just learning the game or is working towards earning a college scholarship, think about the conflict of interest that private coaches face.

  • You take your child to them to teach some aspect of the game or fix some issue in their game.
  • The more lessons your child has the more money they make.

Now I have nothing against private lessons. Another set of eyes and viewpoint is almost always beneficial. The issue I have is that the approach used by a lot of private coaches has become more and more common in youth coaching. The issue is not that what is being taught is necessarily wrong (although sometimes it is).

Throwing with Intent