Posted on: May 3, 2008 4:21 pm

Trials and tribulations of coaching Little League

Once again, I find myself being called "coach".  Another successful basketball season has come and gone, coaching 4th and 5th grade boys (son included), and now have been called into service as "head coach" for baseball this year.  The past few years, I was "assistant coach" and was selected to step up to the next level this year.  We live in a rural area and our district is made up of 3 school districts. At the minor league level we stressed fundamentals--batting, fielding and teaching the game of baseball. As our kids grew, we moved with them to the "official" little league level and continued to teach and coach.  I may be naive, but as a kid growing up, by the 3rd grade all the kids in the neighborhood could catch and throw with some efficiency.  If they played ball, a routine grounder or pop fly was no problem;  the throw from ss/3rd to 1st may have been weak, but it was accurate.  It seems the coaching team now spends more time on dicipline than coaching somedays. I asked my mom when she phoned recently what she thought, and she blamed the video game age--stating kids just don't go outside and play ball anymore, they are more interested in gaming and staying in front of the TV. I am beginning to think she may be right.  I remember my dad, my grandfather and on occassion my mom playing catch with me in the yard, showing me how to throw the knuckler and palm ball (no curves!) and enjoying every minute of it.  I continued the tradition and played ball with my son (and daughters) and it is difficult for me to understand how some kids haven't learned these simple basic principles of the game by the time they get to Little League.  We should be spending the majority of our time improving the kids skills and fundamentals, making an adjusting here, tweating there--sublet reminders to keep your elbow up, run through the base, not baseball 101 or cops 101 day after day.  Maybe its just me, but sometimes the joys of being the policeman outweigh the joys of coaching.
Category: MLB
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