You know my phrase “Learn, Fun, and Win” This is of the utmost of importance at this level. I always taught and stressed player development. Your goal is to have each of your players to play to his maximum ability. The fundamentals have to be taught the proper way. There has to be a lot of drills, with repetition.
I am a baseball practice freak. I really do enjoy it as much as the game. I love the work, fun, and bonding with the players in practice. On the field the players have to say to themselves, hit it to me! You have to want it, and you the coach has to instill this in them.
The players all have to expect to make the great play or get the big hit! We have high expectations for our athletes. When you are on the diamond always hustle, never walk, and always jog to the mound to talk to your pitcher. Hustle is contagious and expect the same from the coaches. You will see that your players will follow suit. In practice run a foot race and laugh and joke with them. Keep all players working and moving. We believe in an all out hustle by the coaches and players.
I had three coaches and several associate coaches. You need to have a hitting, pitching, and fielding coach. Your associate coaches will help out at practice. My specialty is defense and base running. I am also above average as a hitting coach. In practice you have to give a lot of individual attention to your players, with a lot of drilling and repetition! Show a lot of enthusiasm, and hustle, it is contagious.
You will need to get your parents involved; this is your baseball family. Before the first practice you need to have a parents meeting. What has to be discussed is parents responsibility, players rules, and fund raising.
If you have new parents, introduce your staff and what their responsibility is on the team. There is a need for a parent or two who will be your score keeper.
Also there has to be someone that acts as a travel agent for all the travel. They will be in charge of finding the best hotels, and help with arrangements, so the team can all stay in the same hotel. I would try to whenever possible use a Big Dog Baseball USA advertiser. They have interest in baseball and will probably give you a discount.
There has to be help from all involved on the subject of fund raising. Everybody is expected to help and put in their time as we are a family and everyone has to help. I had a lot of help with very good coaches, and awesome parents.
Your first practice if you have new players, they all have to say who they are and where they are from, what positions, and who their last coach was. The coach can add in some comments and have some fun with the situation. You need to state the team rules on attendance, hustle, listening, and what is expected.
Here is an example of what can happen if you put into effect some of the advice, I am sharing. The teams that I coached in Missouri were all local players and we traveled all over Missouri. It is a city of about 16,000 residents in South Central Mo.
Some of the teams we played were from St. Louis, and some were tryout teams. We competed very well in our tournaments; we won some, had some real close games, and always competed to the maximum.
I talked to a coach from a team in St. Louis that we had played three times in three years, what part of STL they were from? He said that he had tryouts and had players from all over STL. The first three times we played them, we lost by a run all three times. The last time we played this team we lost by 3 runs. The tryout teams were always real heavy with pitching, but we were always right there. This same scenario happened quite a bit. In conclusion, go through my information and I promise you that your players will improve!