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Welcome to the Coaching Youth Baseball Podcast line-up. Listen to the latest episodes from Dave Holt on player development
Are you a difference maker? Want to be "That" coach when kids look back in 10-15 years and say, "Wow, did I love playing for Coach_________!" Dave Holt, from CoachandPlayBaseball.com reveals his top strategies as he coaches the coaches.
If you are a youth baseball coach and helping kids develop in the game of baseball then this show will be right in your wheelhouse.
Dave Holt spent 19 years (16 seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization) in professional player development as a coach, field manager, instructor and scout.
Discover the baseball coaching methods , processes, and philosophies that will prepare and mentor all youth baseball coaches and baseball parents in the vitally important areas of player development.
You will hear from someone who has inside experience and knowledge on how to use some of the best coaching approaches and teach player development to your 'flock' of players.
For all baseball coaching levels and experience from T-Ball to High School. And, you might just get an edge on the ways you can help your kids survive the 60/90 'fields and reach the high school baseball funnel.
Dave Holt, from www.coachandplaybaseball.com talks to youth baseball coaches, ballplayers and parents about the value and merits of developing and training baseball players via the shortstop position.
All non-lefthanded players workout at shortstop during practice. Dave gives the pros why the benefits are so high to train all your players at shortstop during baseball practices.
Avoid the ‘pigeon-hole’ approach putting your players at 2B, OF only. Expose players to the leftside of the infield at shortstop and thirdbase to develop arm strength that helps kids transfer easier to the 60/90’ ballfields.
How do you as a baseball coach approach building and developing pitchers?
One of the biggest and vitally important responsibilities of our youth baseball coaches is to develop a large amount of pitchers.
Dave talks about the importance of looking at every kid as a pitcher in 12 & under age levels and building an endless supply of pitchers at all levels. Pitching depth is vital to building a quality, sustainable baseball organization.
Make sure you take the steps to plan a pre-season baseball coaches / parent meeting.
Dave explains advising youth baseball coaches to put all their cards on the table and communicate with baseball parents.
Parents want to know who they are dropping their kids off with. This is a great time to share with parents about your style, philosophies and approach to coaching youth baseball.
As the season ebbs and flows you can always fall back on your style, approach and procedures when issues arise.
One of the best if not the best baseball practice planning tools is the 3- Team-it template.
Dave explains the way he organizes baseball practice to make coaches look like baseball experts. Your players maximize their time, get plenty of reps, touches, and swings while embedding the drudgery of drills into mini-competitions.
No standing around anymore . No boring practices that chase kids to play soccer. Highly energized practices and kids have a ton of fun at the same time.
Dave dives deeper into your baseball coaching mind to see what you are thinking about your coaching approach and philosophy.
Are you going to be a difference maker and leave a life-long impression with your players?
What do you think about winning, hitting approach, playing time. baseball practice, game coaching, teaching the intangibles, communication styles, player development and what are your 'end-game' goals.
At the end of the day you are going to make a difference.
Maybe more important than baseball knowledge is being able to 'manage' a group of (12) players.
Being able to communicate verbally and non-verbally, teach, complement, critique without being critical and establish your rules, procedures and expectations is vitally essential for effective coaching.
Having ‘classroom management’ skills can carry a coach a long way to being a good leader and getting the most out of your ballplayers.
Dave Holt helps baseball coaches understand the real important stuff that coaches should emphasize during ball games.
Are you really a 'baseball coach' or are you performing for the parents. Often times much of the game coaching is just a show.
Find out how to best serve your players and give them room to do what they do. Games are the player's “time to shine”. Coaches step aside and release the kids to play the game… just like the pros do it.
How do we as youth baseball coaches provide practice opportunities to help our players build ball handling and throwing skills?
Dave Holt's Rapid Fire Fungo Drill is an excellent drill template to follow and use at any level of baseball. Our kids need to be able to perform the most basic ball handling skills at a pretty high level and at the same time build arm strength to prepare to excel in the 60 '/ 90' fields.
And, this drill is an instantly ramps up the player’s fun-level by embedding mini-competitions. Use this drill to Increase reps, build up arms, improve ball handling skills and provide an action packed, fun practice.
Dave Holt explains why adding competition to your baseball practice plans is vitally important for baseball coaches.
Many competitive baseball drills are discussed as examples of easy ways and methods to incorporate mini-competitions into your everyday baseball practice planning.
Competition in practice starts with catch and throw warm-ups and is embedded in your entire youth baseball practice, including batting practice and ending with the sandlot scrimmage. Want to make baseball fun, enjoyable and exciting… then you want to listen in.
It is estimated that 85% of youth baseball coaches have their own child on their teams. Everyone is familiar with the term 'Daddy-Ball'.
Dave talks about several items that can help coaches successfully maneuver the coach / parent-child / player scenario and avoid the 'Daddy-Ball' label.
Want to have a healthy relationship while coaching your child? Here arr some ideas to make it work. Dave talks about playing for his own Dad while in college and how he made it work.
Youth baseball coach should build a culture of hitting with your kids. Dave has a strong viewpoint on how to look at bunts and walks in the pre-high school player development years.
You might want to check this out and make sure you are developing hitters for high school or you might be a 'ring-chaser'.
More viktiga than baseball's 5-tools is the 6 th Tool: the 'intangibles'. Great baseball coaches know what is the most important of all their duties.
Top baseball coaches use youth baseball as our vehicle to teach more than the game and always look for opportunities to share the 6th tool.
Want to impact your players for a lifetime? Come and listen to Dave’s podcast on how to be on the lookout for teaching moments so you can really be a difference maker while coaching baseball.
Youth Baseball Coaching and Umpires have been and always will be a necessary element and factor in the game. Youth baseball coaches do not always agree with their judgments or like the way they interpret the rules, but we will always treat umpires with worthy and high respect.
Umpires are not our enemy . They are part of the process and we use umpires to build character in our players and parents. It starts with finding out their names. Are you able to treat umpires with respect and disagree with them with respect? Your players and parents will follow your lead.
True youth baseball player development does factor in some losses. Unless you are willing to lose some games here and there you might be a 'win-at-all-costs' coach. Now the Big-People '(adults, parents, grandparents, peers) really, really want to win games.
Oh, the parents say they want coaches to develop players but, deep down the ‘Big-People’ mostly care about winning. How can you coach youth baseball and avoid falling into the ‘win-at-all-costs’ trap? Check out this episode and see how Dave wants you to handle the situation.
Youth baseball should be a positive family endeavor filled with mostly enjoyment and pleasure. Often baseball moms and dads get off the rails when emotions overlap into player performance.
How do we as coaches help our baseball parents keep the game in proper perspective? We have to nurture and communicate to the parents some suggested helpful tips.
Here are some informational items to share with your player’s parents to help make the youth baseball journey a positive family activity.
What should youth baseball coaches focus on to best develop their ballplayers? Is it baseball signs?
How do the best youth baseball coaching methods propel the most kids into the 60's / 90's baseball fields?
Dave narrows the to-do list into a checklist for coaches and baseball parents to build a player development system to prepare players for high school baseball. You will get a clear idea what you need to focus on the most during your baseball season.
One of the top responsibilities we have as youth baseball coaches is to help kids throw better. How do you help kids throw better? It just takes an easy plan and some effort to set up a warm-up throwing routine.
Want to help kids survive baseball in the 60 '/ 90' fields and make the high school baseball funnel? Well, Dave Holt helps talk us through a plan of action to maximize our kids throwing arms and ball handling skills.
If we neglect our kids throwing development it may end up at an early exit from the game.
There are many aspects that go into youth baseball player's player development journey. As baseball coaches and parents, we want to follow the best methods and systems that give our players the opportunity to reach high school baseball.
Mastering the 60 '/ 90' fields is very difficult for the vast majority of players. If we follow Dave's playbook and systems we have a much better chance of helping more kids reach the high school baseball funnel.
Any time our kids can get some reps outside of organized practices and games is a bonus. If your kids are motivated ballplayers then Dave is going to give you some ideas on some home baseball drills.
Embedded in the drills are ways to make some mini-games out of the drills so kids feel more like it’s just a fun competition instead of the drudgery of doing a drill. You don’t need much special equipment. The biggest thing a parent needs is simply to set up some time to be available for your kids.
Ideas for Practicing baseball drills at home while we are waiting to return to the ballfield. Dave has shared some additional skills and drills that kids can do at home and without the need for much equipment.
Listen for pitching and catching drills, pepper hitting for all ages of baseball. In addition, you will get some ideas on some fitness activities that can be done near home or even inside your home without any workout equipment.
Make sure it turns into a fun activity using small competitions, tracking points and reps, using a stop watch and things like that to increase the fun-level.
When we get youth baseball back on the field, things are going to be different. What will youth baseball look like?
Dave talks about some adjustments that might come out of youth baseball as we look to play ball again.
Everyone should know the '5' tools of baseball skills. This is the basis for player evaluation and physical value that players bring to their teams.
The Major League teams use the '5' Tools to grade their players and decide which players to draft and which round. The '5' Tool player can "do it all" as they say.
One of our biggest jobs as youth baseball coaches is to provide plenty of opportunities for our players to build their '5' Tools. Once kids reach high school their '5' Tool abilities will largely determine if they will be successful in high school baseball. Five Tools
As a youth baseball coach, are you embarrassed to lose games? You are allowed to lose sometimes. In fact, it is healthy and necessary to lose some games.
In order to properly develop the most players teams will likely lose a few more games. You are using more pitchers, catchers and shortstops with kids playing multiple positions. And hitters are going to swing the bat aggressively.
All good things but raises the risk of losing. Losing is expected or you may be in the wrong league if you win all the time.
We like to help our kids by coaching them during ballgames. Sometimes this might backfire. Especially when kids are batting.
Giving too much advice and scolding kids when they chase bad pitches can do some long-term damage to hitters. Listen to Dave and see if you might be over coaching or doing things the right way.
Want to create a hitting environment on your teams just like professional baseball teams do it? Listen and take notice of the best ways to build a culture of hitting on your youth baseball teams.
What is more fun than unleashing your aggressive hitters and dominating the offensive game by outhitting your opponents? Hitters will have a blast and really help your kids swing-it!
One of the ‘5-Tools’ is called “Fielding”. Within the content of fielding is ball-handling. The transition from the time the ball hits the glove to the release of the throw. During this time the ball never really stops.
It becomes one fluid motion from the catch to the release. Dave goes over some practice ideas and drills to help your baseball players master the vitally important art and skill of ball-handling.
Are you over-pitching your pitchers? There is a good chance you are or you have seen other teams go too far with their pitchers.
Dave spends some time going over the reasons why we see too much over-pitching of our youth ballplayers today.
Get some background and insight to the right Smart Pitching guidelines and get a copy to all the ‘Big-People’ (parents and coaches) today.
Getting your season going on the right foot takes a little pre-season preparations and planning. Dave talks about some of the main items to take care of as the season approaches.
And don’t forget the most important thing that cannot be skipped over…tune in to find out how to sell your coaching system to the kid’s parents.
Is youth baseball travel ball the best platform to develop baseball players? Dave takes a deeper dive into the perils of travel baseball and tournament travel ball.
The focus is mostly on the ages 12 and lower as we discuss the most damaging segment of travel baseball that entraps even the best of youth coach’s intentions. Coach and Play Baseball.com
If you are involved in travel ball, tournament baseball, travel baseball especially for the ages 12 & under you may not be in the best situation to develop ballplayers.
Listen to some methods and ideas that are starting to emerge around the country that can better develop baseball players. Small adjustments and tweaks and some imagination can help set up more players for success. Coachandplaybaseball.com
It’s is time to go back to review some player development topics and strategies to refresh. This is a 10-year journey down the road to high school baseball funnel.
You are dared to implement this philosophy and incorporate these topics in your coaching approach. You might even get double or triple dog dared if you don’t watch out. Coachandplaybaseball.com
Do you know that your players and parents kind of mirror your coaching style and approach. Yes, your organization is a bit of a reflection of your actions.
Now we have to decide on what that looks like. Do we want to be known as the “classiest team” in the league, or do we want to be known as “THAT” Team…you know, THAT one that nobody likes very much.
How are you on your infield basic knowledge level? If a high - level baseball person rolled up on your team would they be impressed?
Check out these infield strategies with your infielders and help take your players to a higher playing level. I love working with my infielders and helping them polish their ball handling skills and I hope you do too.
Do you have a catcher? Do you have catching depth? Catching is not for everyone that’s for sure. Most kids don’t want to go anywhere near the catcher’s bag of shin guards and chest protectors.
Here is what I like to look for in a catcher. And some kids may need be nudged out of their comfort zone to try catching.
What do most all good hitters do? Dave goes over a short list of tips to help develop your hitters to move up the baseball ladder into the 60’ 90’ high school baseball funnel.
See how many of your hitters can check the 5 items off their list. Our jobs as coaches is to help as many kids as possible reach proficiency in all 5 of these hitting tips.
Thankfully we have a lot of Moms and Dads coaching our youth baseball teams. We could not provide youth baseball without the help of parents in the coaching trenches.
At the same time we want the parent/kid relationship to stay strong and healthy. It can get real blurry coaching your own kids. Dave goes over some of the issues and some solutions for you try in your baseball coaching toolbox.
Get the inside scoop on baseball signs. Dave discusses the baseball scene on the topic of baseball signs and how it relates to baseball player development.
Baseball signs are a big thing to youth baseball coaches, but it may be overrated. Let’s see and tune in.
We just finished another MLB baseball draft. Dave takes time to breakdown the data on the first three rounds.
How does this data relate to us in youth baseball? Well, come listen in and see some astonishing data. Dave will talk about how this information directly effects on the way and methods we train youth baseball players
My curiosity in youth baseball is often spent on the “Big-People’s” view on how far the train goes before we get to the end of the baseball road.
What is your ‘end game’? The data tells us just about all we need to know. Come and listen to my talk on my prediction to how far your child will go in baseball. Statistics tell the story.
Dave does a review of the famous “Matheny Manifesto” written by former MLB player and now manager Mike Matheny. Mike jumped into his own kid’s youth baseball world after he retired from baseball.
The “Manifesto” went viral and is now mandatory reading for all adults in youth baseball. Dave dissects part of the highlights and elaborates on why this is such a lifeline to helping parents and coaches look at youth baseball from ‘player development’ eyes.
It is very satisfying to win games for sure. Winning battles is for immediate gratification, but we may be missing the ‘big picture’.
That is winning the player development war which takes several years to make happen. Our focus changes drastically when we approach youth baseball with the ‘long view’ always smack dab in front of our minds.
Are we as coaches getting the most out of the field time we have? Are we providing enough baseball plays for our kids to develop? Are we allowing opportunities for our players to really learn the game?
Try this accelerated format out in your practices and see kids build the freedom and confidence to play the game at higher levels someday. And have a blast at the same time.
This podcast episode we go into some of physical areas of the game of baseball to focus our player development on. In order to sustain themselves in baseball until high school age players have to excel in various skills to be able to make the high school baseball teams.
Here we go into these areas and let players, parents and coaches know exactly what areas to focus on that will give us the edge we need to be successful on the ballfield.
This is one step we never want to circumvent. We should always make time to get together in some form or another to state our case in front of our youth baseball parents. This sets the stage for the coming season.
This gives us a sturdy foundation to work from. When the oceans get rough we have something to steady the ship. Dave goes over some information you might want consider going over with your youth baseball parents.
One of my baseball coaching student disciples was kind enough to share a letter to his team’s parent with me. Dave goes through the letter with his commentary with examples of best methods and philosophy to help develop your youth ballplayers.
Your coaching success increases when you have a strong philosophical foundation to build from and communicate to the players and parents.
Baseball knowledge and experience is nice to have as a youth baseball coach. Knowing the in’s and out’s, the x’s and o’s, the techniques of the game and all the technical strategies is a valuable asset to coaching success.
But, maybe more important in leaving a positive foot print on kids are some of the character growth potential we have. Here is one of Dave’s coaches in his own words on how he envisions impacting his players over the season.
What aspect of playing baseball will give players the most enjoyment? I think that ‘squaring up’ and smacking the ball perfectly on the barrel and having the ball ‘jump’ off the bat is quite rewarding.
This is where the “fun-level” meter goes way higher. This is what brings kids back year after year—being able to hit. Learn how to use PRO hitting terms to help foster a hitting environment on your ballclubs.
USA Baseball just released a report on the status and groundwork for developing youth baseball players.
The report lacks for any real detailed plans, but it does touch on some very pertinent aspects of player development that you should hear about. Listen in to Dave’s breakdown of the report and see where this leads down the road.
We follow up again on the recent report from USA Baseball and take a deeper dive into how baseball will be affected. Can you imagine what youth baseball will look like practicing more than playing games?
This could really upset the apple cart and change baseball as we know it and for the better for kids too. Listen to see how The “Big-people” are going to make adjustments.
Baseball played in the 12 & under ballfields can be very deceiving especially to the ‘Big-People’. In other words, we should take caution and realize that once we hit the 13 & over 60’ 90’ ballfields it’s going to be game-on.
Challenges of enormous size wait lurking for us in middle school years playing baseball. Most turn from the game because it is so difficult to perform as they once could at the smaller dimensions. Listen in to Dave’s warnings about 13 & over baseball.
We know that winning is important to everyone in youth baseball. But, if we don’t win that day do we have anything we can talk about despite the game outcome.
We do if you build a culture statement about the other real important elements that represent your team. Dave will throw out some ideas for you to ponder and put together your own personal culture statement for your ballclub. Everyone needs a culture and this statement gives you goals to shoot for it.
Adult emotion drives almost everything to do with youth baseball. Have the adult emotions helped or hurt player development? Are we operating to cater to the adult’s emotions or are we doing all we can to make it all about the kids?
Dave talks about the situation and some ways to throttle back some of the high-octane, parent/adult emotions that drive the sport model.
USABaseball in conjunction with MLB have given us plenty of suggestions on how we can turn baseball back to the kids.
Along with Aspen Institute’s Project Play and USABaseball, Dave dissects many of the creative ideas to allow youth baseball’s pendulum to swing back toward ‘free-play’ and ‘sandlot’ style, kid-centered, youth baseball organizations.
Check out what this ‘sea change’ might look like.
Coaching 6-DVD Box Set
Coaching little league baseball & youth baseball can be a blast or could be a Tough Gig.
Who in their right mind would come back year after year and have boring baseball practice and never improve their baseball skills? and get yelled at by adults?
Baseball Coaching Videos: Watch over 6 hours of tips on coaching approach, style, philosophy, and my unique player development system.
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