Simply put, a coach is a leader. Our coaches hold positions of great responsibility when it comes to the development of the kids in our league – on the field and off. As the coach, you’re a teacher, a leader, a role model, and the one to help instill structure, a love of the game, and respect into the children on your team. That’s why it’s important for us to help you, the coach, succeed. We want to provide resources for you if you choose to develop your knowledge of the game or just brush up on some basics.
2022 Rule Changes
For information on rule changes for the 2022 season, please visit: https://baberuthleague.org/latest-rule-changes/2022-rule-changes.aspx
Tips for Coaches
If you’re a first-time coach with some questions of how to start or if you’re just looking to expand your knowledge, these links can be a great resource. While the people on the GYB board are always here to help you out, you may find some benefit in checking out these tips:
- Age Specific Goals (Ages 4-15+) (PDF)
- 11 Tips for First Time Coaches (PDF)
YouTube is a great source for fundamentals, bat stance, practice drills, and other information. If you need any specific advice, please ask us!
Safety for our kids is our number one priority and we want to make sure it’s yours as well.
It is important for each league to set workload limits for their pitchers to limit the likelihood of pitching with fatigue and subsequently, injury. Research has shown that pitch counts are the most accurate and effective means of doing so. MLB pitch smart (https://www.mlb.com/pitch-smart) is a good guide for home use, but we follow Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth League rules for all of our practices and games. Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth League pitching rules must be strictly followed. Refer to Cal Ripken Baseball Rules and Regulations in the Babe Ruth League, Incorporated Rule Book for the most current information about the specific pitching rules for your division. If you have questions about pitching in GYB, please let us know.
League Approved Bats
Use of improper bats in our league is not permitted. Bats may be inspected at any time to ensure that proper rules are being followed. To view Babe Ruth rules, please visit: http://baberuthleague.org/bat-rules.aspx.
For a complete list of league approved bats by company, please visit: https://usabat.com.
Here are some great tips and a sample agenda of what to go over. It’s important for you all to be on the same page when it comes to your team and its goals. This will help if you need somewhere to start. Visit this page for tips and the agenda: http://devzone.positivecoach.org/resource/article/parentguardian-meeting-agenda-coaches.
If you would like to receive a Coaching Certification, an online course is available. Babe Ruth League, Inc. requires this certificate for all of our regular season Managers and Coaches as well as All Star Managers and Coaches. To take the online course, please visit: https://us.humankinetics.com/products/coaching-youth-baseball-the-babe-ruth-league-way
Free online training for concussion safety is available through the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/training/index.html
Player Cell Phone Use
Keeping players off of their cell phones before, during, and after practices and games is a good goal for a lot of coaches. First, determine if there are legitimate reasons for players to have access or a need to be on their phones. Location changes, unexpected time changes such as long practices or delayed games, or parental information are all good reasons. Once you know this information, determine your own reasonable limits for their use and set the terms. Explain your reasoning, such as getting them to work better as a team. Encourage them to take personal responsibilty and respect your limits. The ultimate goal is here respect for others and respect for the game. Encouraging team leaders to help you enforce this can also help increase a self-enforcing team culture.
Players Coping with Grief
When a player is dealing with grief such as the loss of a close loved one, it can affect the whole team. It is definitely a difficult situation and it’s important to rally around this player and show support. You may want to extend this support to the player’s family as well. Something as simple as dedicating a game to the player’s loss or just taking a moment of silence during a practice can mean a lot. Dealing with tough situations is a part of life, but having support from those around us is what helps us get through those tough situations.
Dealing with Over Exuberant Parents
Parents can be an effective part of their child’s youth sports experience. But some parents need a little ‘coaching’ in that regard. One way to get parents to act in their player’s best interest is to include them in your goals and even see what their goals are. Do they want to focus on exercise for their player? Is fun the goal? Are they looking to develop skills? Maybe they just want their child to make some friends or gain some self-confidence. Parents may even choose all of these. Once you know their goals, ask them how they would want spectators in the stands to act if these were their goals instead of their player’s goals. Most parents may claim these goals, but when they are watching, they tend to focus on the win and not the player’s goals. Life lessons for their child in a league setting are great, and winning can definitely be one of them, but it’s important that they act accordingly for them. Here are some tips on howe to get parents on board with good attitudes:
You want every single person in your organization to understand what is expected of him or her so set the bar. Use communication to let them know how you expect things to be.
Creating order lessens chaos. Being a leader ensures that others will notice and will work towards a positive culture. Make sure that parents understand the limits and that crossing the line isn’t acceptable. And as always, if issues arise beyond your control, please contact your Division Manager for assistance.
In youth sports we always commend the players for their performance, but there’s nothing wrong with showing praise for parents that go above and beyond if you choose. Whatever you decide to do for your team, your players, and your parents to maintain your positivity will offer benefits for everyone.
When Your Best Player Has the Worst Attitude
Players with bad attitudes tend to bring others down with them. But regardless of the talent, it’s important to try to maintain a positive culture throughout the team. Age can be a big factor with this one so whether you chat with the parent or the player, trying to find out what is causing the attitude will help you understand how to proceed. Earning trust helps with receiving respect. This can be done in a general level with something as simple as asking how school is going. Reinforce positivity when you see it, showing that it is preferred over the bad attitude. This will help make the connection between praise and attention rather than the opposite. And always be sure to be fair with discipline. Don’t let your bad attitude player get away with things other wouldn’t. Make an effort to treat all players fairly and they will respect and trust you more.