First Time Coach FAQUpdated Wednesday February 21, 2018 by Mason Little League.
MYO gets dozens of new coaches each year. Many of them have the same questions. Hopefully this page will help answer most of those questions.
I'm not a coach yet. How do I become one?
Check the Beome A Coach page. Basically you'll need to sign up when registration opens, complete a simple online coach training course, including concussion training, and pass a background check.
How are teams formed?
When registering, players can choose to play for the same coach they played for during the previous season. in 4T and 6U, players are randomly assigned to teams by the division VP. In other divisionst, players are drafted onto a team. There are no tryouts or evaluations, so it is almost random picks unless you happen to know some of the kids on the list.
Any advice for how I should run a practice?
MYO typically offers at least one coaches clinic before the Spring season with a lot of good tips and drills to try with your players. For new coaches at the younger age levels, we recommend starting with the Little League TeeBall Program guide and the Coach Pitch Program Guide. They have full detailed practice plans with lots of fun drills for the younger kids. You can also find a lot of good informaiton on Little League University. And, of course, the internet is full of good informaiton if you search the web or Youtube for baseball practic eplans or Little League baseball drills you will find a ton of awesome material.
Do we get to pick our own team names?
4T and 6U divisions don't have official team names, just a solid color jersey with a sponsor logo. Those jerseys typically come with numbers already on them. Coaches are free to let the kids pick a team name to go by to make it more fun and interesting. For 8U divisions and up, the coach can choose his team name (from MLB teams) and players can choose their jersey numbers. Those unfiorms will consist of the MLB hat of the chosen team along with a sponsored jersey color that fits best with that teams colors.
Do the kids really need to switch positions every inning?
In 4T, 6U, and 8U divisions, our league rules require that each player plays at least 2 innings in the infield and no position more than one inning. The goal of this is to get the kids familiar and comfortable with the roles of each position in the field. We realize that planning a lineup where you have to rotate 9 or more players around several innings without repeating a position can be challenging. To help you with this, MYO has created an Excel spreadsheet that does most of this for you. You can download it here.
How are scores kept?
For 4T and 6U divisions there are no umpires and no score is kept. It is up to the coaches to fairly call outs and keep the game moving along. Even at 8UA there are no umpires at games, but it is up to the home team to keep track of the score and report it on the website afterwards. And then for 8UAA and up there is at least one umpire at each game to call balls & strikes as well as outs at bases, and it is still up to the home team to keep track of score and report it afterwards. Here are just some of the options for keeping score:
Who will setup the fields?
Short answer is - you! The home team is responsible for getting to the fields early enough to setup bases and run the chalk lines, etc. You'll need to run chalk along the first and third base lines. You don't need to chalk a batter's box, but can give it a try if you want to. If you need assistance or want someone to show you how to do any of the setup, pleae e-mail your division's VP or another board member.
Which dugout should my team use?
The home team should be in the 1st base dugout while the visiting team should use the 3rd base dugout.
When is the season over?
For the Spring season, practices start early April, games start late April, and the final regular season games are the first or second week of June. For the 8U divisions and higher, there is a post-season tournament which typically lasts one week. Then finally there is an end of year celebration and All-Star game, which is usually the third or fourth weekend of June.
Do we get trophies?
The players in 4T and 6U divisions all get participation trophies. For 8U divisions and up the top 2 regular season teams get trophies and then first and second place finishers in the tournament get trophies.
For the machine pitch, what settings do we use?
Machine pitch is used for 6U, 8UA, and 8UAA. You can get an overview of the pitching machine and how to use it from this video. There are three pins on the pitching machine which can be adjusted to control speed and height of the ball. Here are the settings to use for each division:
|6U||30 ft||3||3||3||26 mph|
|8UA||40 ft||4||4||3||30 mph|
|8UAA||40 ft||6||4||3||34 mph|
How do I pack all of that equipment into the field boxes?
Please use care when packing the field boxes! Often times coaches will shove and jam equipment into them or slam the lid shut in order to try to get everything to fit. This causes damage to our pitching machines! Please take 2 minutes to watch this video on how to pack things in there without damaging them. The key part is to pack the pitching machines in first and then pack the rest of the equipment around them.
Why are the pitching machines so inconsistent or often times broken?
See the question above. Often times these machines get jammed and slammed into the equipment boxes, which can damange them and impact performance. Please take care of the machines. Other than that, try to use the exact same types of balls for each pitch. Also, try to use the cleanest balls you have - small chunks of dirt or mud on a ball can affect the flight of the ball and cause it to spin and curve. And finally, try to be consistent with how you position the bal on the machine, orienting it the same way each time. We recommend positioning the ball on the machine similar to how a pitcher would throw a 2-seam pitch.
How Do I Contact My Team?
League Toolbox has a built-in communications manager. You can find instructions for that and many other things, such as how to customize your team's website with logos and colors, etc. in the League Toolbox Help section, which you can get to from the Coach Resources menu on the left side of the page.