Your first impression is your last impression. Try to get your team on the right track with useful and handy tips for your very first practice of the season.
Either you are just initiating with your first shot at coaching youth baseball or it’s been decades you are in practice, the first practice of the season is a big deal. You will meet new kids players and parents and you have to decide where they fit on the baseball field. You aim that every kid at the season end becomes a player with a strong first practice. Here are a few of the useful tips to get the season off to a great start:
What to BRING:
There are certain basics you must consider to bring into your first practice. First aid items are essential as players do get minor wounds, sprains, and bruises during the game. They are integral for a quick healing process, plus express a feeling of extra care and concern towards players. Drinking water for the entire team is also required, it either be a Gatorade cooler or individual water bottles. Moreover, bats, balls, and other useful baseball coaching equipment must be there.
Leading up to the First Practice:
Numerous leagues begin the seasons with a complete draft of players where they are assigned to which team. Once your team is ready, you must have a list of all players with their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Consider sending them messages, letters, emails, or even a group text to inform them about the team, your contact information, background details, and the upcoming events.
Hold a parent meeting:
Before the first practice, hold a brief meeting with parents. It is arguably the most crucial part of the preseason process. Consider discuss over the certain important following information:
- What Child will need for the season e.g. equipment necessary and optional
- Where games will be played
- Assign responsibilities to parents for the season
- Inform parents about the intolerable behavior and attitude during the season
- Reassure parents that your will guide and assist players and address specific concerns
- Tell parents the significance of bringing their kids to every practice
- Ask parents to make you aware of the child’s special requirements like allergies, medical conditions, etc.
It is significant to set expectations for the season. Try to elaborate that all kids have unique skills. Some will be infielders while others outfielders, some will pitch while others don’t. Inform parents that you will do your best to aid kids in skills development.
Once all the kids have arrived, gather all the players and introduce yourself in a friendly manner. Tell them for how long you will accompany them in the coaching, share your experiences with them. Add on the fun facts about yourself like favorite team, player, role model, food, etc. also, introduce the assistant coach if present. Then go around and have each kid say their name, age and have question and answer sessions with them. Keep it precise and sweet to ease out the players.
Cover the basics:
The younger player always begins with light stretching. It will teach a valuable lesson to the players and will give them a chance to share the itinerary for the daily practice. Inform them about the everyday activities before the session begins, so that they don’t end up asking too many questions. If it happens, the entire focus will be on practice.
Few of the players are there for the first time, focus on basic drills and cover a little bit of everything. Look for the fun and safe drills for the first practice. It will greatly help players and you will witness the strongest, most accurate arms and those who need some more practice.