The following article is an excerpt from the free online course “Learning to Coach Youth Baseball.” When you get the job as a new coach, it is important that you meet the league director. You might have already met the league leader as he or she may have been the person that hired you If this is not the case, I recommend you set up a meeting as soon as possible to review several things.
Get your notebook handy, as I will give you a list of some questions to ask them.
First, you should ask: May I get the final copy of the league rules and a game schedule if available? It is of course important to get a finished copy as soon as possible, as this will be a blueprint for your calendar.
Second, you should ask: Will I have any assistant coaches? Do you know where I can find a couple? Next, I suggest you ask, What fields will we be playing at? And, Do we have a block of time available for baseball practice and which diamonds?
The next question should be, What type of equipment do we have available? Finally, inquire about special days that the team needs to get together. These days will probably include a picture day, uniform day and end of year tournament.
With this information in hand, you have the basis for some advanced planning and organization. I have found that being organized will help with everything you do for the coming season.
I recommend you buy a spiral notebook or create a ring binder for the coming season. Notebooks tend to be easier to carry around and write on, while binders have the sleeves for handouts, schedules, and other things. Either way, you go, it is important to have one of the two
You will need to write down phone numbers, dates, contact names and other miscellaneous notes about your team. Later on, as you gain more experience, you might even find yourself writing down different batting lineups to try in the upcoming games with different types of youth baseball bat. On the front of your notebook, you will write down the year and your teams’ name.
The director has probably given you a set of local city rules. These rules more than likely will be modifications to particular national, state or high school sets of rules. Some of the more common local rules address game length, the safety of players, batting orders, player substitution, and re-entry.
When you get your league rules, make sure you read them thoroughly. Give them to your assistant coaches and have them read the rules carefully. Try and get the rules in your hands as soon as possible so you can do your homework.
While reading them, I suggest you take notes in a notebook on interpretations or any questions you may have If you do not have any questions on the rules, you did not read them well enough. Do not be afraid to get your questions answered at a coaches meeting or league wide tryouts.
There probably will be a league wide meeting where you can network with some of the other coaches who will have similar questions.
Pay particular attention to substitution and re-entry rules.
Understanding these will be critical when switching pitchers, pinch hitting, pinch running and getting all your players in the game. Finally, obtain your play schedule as soon as possible, so everyone can begin planning his or her summer.