First Time Coach FAQUpdated Wednesday May 16, 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.
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.
When registering, players can choose to play for the same coach they played for during the previous spring season. After that, in 4T and 6U, players are randomly assigned to teams by the division VP. In other divisionst, players are drafted by coaches to fill out the remainder of their rosters. There are no tryouts or evaluations, so it is almost random picks unless you happen to know some of the kids on the list. For the fall seasons, the division VP will assign teams and make every effort to keep teammates from the previous spring season together.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The home team should be in the 1st base dugout while the visiting team should use the 3rd base dugout.
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
Rained out practices are not automatically rescheduled. You may send an e-mail and request extra field time to makeup for a missed practice. It may be tough to find an open field on a weeknight, but you can generally get an extra practice in on the weekends, especially Sundays. Games for 4T and 6U are typically not rescheduled unless specifically requested. Rained out games for the older divisions will typically get rescheduled, usually on a Sunday.
Players missing games because of vacations, birthday parties, broken bones, conflicts with other sports, and more are very common, especially in the younger divisions. If you know ahead of time that you won't have enough players to field a team (8 players) you can reach out to other teams within your division, as well as the younter divisions, to recruit "pool players" to play on your team for that game. Pool players must bat last in the lineup and cannot pitch. If you are still unable to field a full lineup, you'll have to record the game as a 1-0 forfeit, but you are still encouraged to play the game as a scrimmage. After all, the kids just want to play.
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.