19 More Topics to Teach Beginning Baseball and Softball Players
In baseball or softball, it's hard for a new coach to understand where to start or what should be taught when they take on the challenge of leading a group of youngsters in a season. The list below is intended to serve as a guide for new coaches and a reminder for experienced coaches of many of the objectives that should be covered over the course of a baseball or softball season. The list is directional and generally comprehensive. As a coach your goal at the end of a season should be to check off as many of these boxes as possible.
Certain leagues may have longer or shorter seasons, and teams may have larger or smaller rosters, so you will need to consider these variables when deciding what to cover. The absolute essentials are bolded, start with those, and move on to the others to make sure your players have the foundation they need to enjoy the season and the desire to continue playing.
- Don't watch the ball when you hit it
- Run as hard as you can to and through first base
- Break down properly after hitting first
- Advance on overthrows, be aggressive on the bases
- Look at and listen to your base coaches
- Run as soon as the ball is hit (most of the time)
- Learn the rare times (at the very beginning levels) when you don't have to run
- Swing hard
- Watch the ball all the way to the bat (coach pitch)
- Don't chop down, try for a level or upper cut swing
- Balanced stance
- Look where you're throwing
- Correct Footwork
- Correct Arm Action (elbow above shoulder)
- Throw, don't push the ball
Catching/Fielding a Ball
- Get in front of the ball
- Get your glove on the ground
- Alligator/Funnel style on grounders
- Two hands on pop-ups
This series is intended to help you as a coach understand what you need to cover over the course of a baseball or softball season when you have a mixed group of new and experienced players who are just learning the game. If you have older or more experienced players, these foundations are still important, but your focus will be on teaching and reviewing more advanced topics under each category.
Good luck to you and have fun out there!