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Best Youth Baseball Coaching
Ideal Baseball League

Best youth baseball coaching? In this part II page of the Ideal Youth Baseball League I continue talking about ideas for the baseball world.

Kyle Nelson from Cornerstone Coaching Academy put together a survey of baseball people in his circle of influence. After gathering and collecting all the responses to everyone’s ideas to build the ideal youth baseball coaching system Kyle shared with us his findings.

 

If We Were to Start Over

Many of the most common threads were put into a bullet point list. The first half of the list and my comments were listed here at Ideal Baseball League.

The second half of Kyle’s list of suggestions I will elaborate on here. Many of the suggestions on Kyle’s list are right on the money as far as mimicking my thinking and beliefs.

What Does the Ideal
League Look Like?

Here is the rest of the list from Kyle Nelson’s ideal baseball league survey and best youth baseball coaching practices.

 

Make Pick-up games & Sandlot Ball a Part of the Process

  • Create a league where players show up every day and are placed on different teams. Yes, teams are picked day of game like the sandlot days. 
  • Games are like pick-up games at the local play ground. This system almost completely removes the problem of adult’s vested interest in the outcomes of games. 
  • Coaches are assigned to fields and have no allegiances to a particular team, league standings and game outcomes. Adult coaches manage the games and supervise sportsmanship without a selfish win-at-all-costs mindset. 
  • Players rotate positions and play infield and outfield. Kids have a blast playing baseball. At my summer baseball camps the kids play a sandlot game the last 45 minutes of the day. That is the most enjoyable part of the camp and kids do not really want to stop and go home.

Hire independent evaluators to pick travel teams.

  • Hire baseball coaches from an application process AFTER teams are picked.  I am not sure how we would do this. Dads coach most travel baseball teams. Eliminating daddy ball would change the travel ball industry. 
  • Would this be good or bad for baseball player development? It would definitely downsize the number of travel teams. The folks who run travel ball tournaments make money on quantity. The more teams = more money for them. The travel ball industry will do nothing to eliminate the number of travel ball teams because that is money out of their pocket. 
  • Therefore this will never be enforced unless youth baseball leagues themselves govern travel ball teams. 
  • I don’t think the number of travel teams is the problem. The problem is that the coaching talent is lacking in depth and quality just like anywhere else in youth baseball and the adults put winning ahead of player development.

Utilize local high school baseball coaches and college coaches.

  • Help build a local baseball community. The local high schools are the ‘big leagues’ for the local youth leagues. 
  • Youth baseball leagues are the minor league feeder system for the high school baseball teams. My ideas on building a local baseball development system incorporate the influence of local high school and college coaches. 
  • The high school and college coaches have their hands full with their own job responsibilities. Their time is limited. Bridging into their assistance and help will be limited but anything is better than nothing.

Every player takes a turn in the outfield.

  • One of the problems with daddy coaches are their own kids usually play the most and play the prime positions. Coaches’ kids play shortstop, pitcher and bat 4th rarely if ever sitting out on the bench. 
  • It would be healthy if every player took a turn in the outfield and on the bench. Hey, the best players are always going to find a way to play the most anyway.

 

Follow pitch count rules determined by ASMI recommendations.

  • In addition, I recommend building a pipeline of pitchers into the player development system a practice for best youth baseball coaching.

 

Start baseball players with wood bats.

  • Hey, I am a pro baseball guy and I love the feel of wood bats when squaring up on a pitch. We have a couple of generations of baseball players that have never even held a wood baseball bat. 
  • Aluminum bats took over the market around 1980. Maybe it is time for the pendulum to swing back to the old ‘wood bat’ days.

Removing The Adult Ownership in the Game Outcomes

Many of the best youth baseball coaching points I discuss involve limiting the baseball parent/coaches involvement in the whole process.

Parents’ taking a back seat is what I call it. I think many of the ills in youth baseball stem from the adult ownership in the outcomes of the games. To most of the adults, winning games is all the matters.

If we find ways to diminish the adult ownership in winning and losing and let them just provide support and encouragement I think we have a healthier, happier, more productive youth sports experience.

Best youth baseball coaching…way deeper than winning & losing.

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