Baseball Coaching 101

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Safety Tips

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Baseball can be a dangerous sport with many potential hazards. However, these hazards can be prevented if the coach defines clear safety rules and maintains a “zero tolerance” if the rules are not followed. Here are a few safety tips.

PLAYING AREA

No games or practices should be held when weather or field conditions are not good, particularly when lighting is inadequate.

Prior to each practice or game, the play area should be inspected frequently for holes, damage, glass and other foreign objects.

Dugouts and bat racks should be positioned behind screens.

Only players, managers, coaches and umpires are permitted on the playing field during play and practice sessions.

Procedure should be established for retrieving foul balls batted out of the playing area.

During practice sessions and games, all players should be alert and watching the batter on each pitch.

During warm up drills, players should be spaced so that no one is endangered by errant balls.

Proper stretching and warm up- This needs to happen before each practice and game. The team safety representative should be responsible for the routine.

Bat Safety

Bat safety- Coach's need to stress to players, BE AWARE OF WHO IS AROUND YOU WHEN YOU PICK UP A BAT. Swinging a bat is only to be done in the batter's box or in the warm up circle. No throwing the bat.

Batting rings (i.e., doughnuts) are never permitted at any level.

Helmets and Attire

Helmets and Attire- An approved helmet is require to be worn by all players during practice or in games while batting or base running. This includes anytime the player is on the field. Check your player's helmets for a proper fit. Shoes with steel spikes should be prohibited.  No jewelry will be worn. Coaches are to strongly encourage all players to wear a cup. All players performing the catcher job are required to wear a cup. This includes warm up catchers. catcher's mask must have a dangling throat protector,  chains, nose rings, religious medals, watches and other jewelry MUST not be worn during practice or games. (Exception: a properly secured medical alert tag).

 

Misc Tips

Coaches may NEVER warm up a pitcher at any time, including PRACTICE. Only a properly helmeted catcher may warm up a pitcher.

Horseplay- This will not tolerated, period. From the time your player arrives at the field it should be about learning the game of Baseball. Save the horseplay for the backyard. While it is expected that player have a fun and enjoyable time, they should be focused on the game itself. All coaches are expected to control this during all practices and games. Enlist your Assistants to help monitor this.

Dugout behavior- Many accidents happen within the dugout, particularly with the younger teams. Coaches need to monitor this behavior closely. It is recommended that the Head Coach appoint an Assistant Coach to assist with this during each game. Food is strongly discouraged in the dugout. It is up to each coach to determine if seeds, gum, and quick energy items are allowed for players.

Throwing- Ensure that the players know that their teammate is looking at them when playing catch. Coaches also need to be alert.

Hydration (water)- All players need to bring (lots of) water to all games and practices, even on cooler days. Regardless of the outside temperature, a player's body temperature rises during physical activity. Hydration is a very important part of proper nutrition. Coaches should schedule water breaks often during practices. Make the players and parents responsible for bringing their own water.

Teams MUST NOT have meetings on the dirt in front of the dugout AT ANY TIME, including PRACTICE.

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