A complete guide for youth baseball coaches, and for anyone who loves kids and baseball, featuring 100 full-color photos and a foreword by Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.
HOW TO COACH YOUTH BASEBALL SO EVERY KID WINS is an instructional guide for youth baseball managers and coaches who unashamedly want their teams to win. It’s also a book for those who accept the notion that they can’t do this unless their least able players become a crucial part of that winning team.
A good or bad coach will make or break the untested baseball player’s experience. It’s as inspiring to witness a new player improve his or her game and feel victorious as a result of the patience and respect shown by a good coach as it is heartbreaking to see a once-enthusiastic child who sours on the sport because his or her coach was a jerk.
Kids want to win. But even more fundamentally, they want to be treated with respect. Ten-year-olds know when a win is hollow, when it’s achieved by a technicality as opposed to having prevailed on the field. They don’t want to hear how great their swing was when they strikeout for the third time. Ten-year-olds also know pretty quickly when they’re being disproportionately benched, disregarded at practices, disfavored to the advantage of the coaches’ children and made to feel less than an equal part of the team — whether or not they or their parents ever express it. Just as keenly, a young player who has struggled to play well all season knows when he or she has been unfailingly encouraged, patiently instructed, and considered to be an equal and vital member of the team. In fact, the joy that radiates from the successes achieved by the most inexperienced players lifts the entire team and is perhaps the key ingredient to victory. It is certainly the measure of a coach’s success.
This book — and the Every Kid Wins philosophy — offers effective and field-tested baseball drills and emphasizes the importance of learning proper skills at a young age. But what does it really mean to win? Finishing in first place, and winning the championship round of playoffs, is a fairly good indication of success. But winning is more than that. Winning is courage. It’s exhibited by the nine-year-old who you’ve left on the mound with a tie score and the bases loaded, and who you know — more than he does — can pitch. It’s revealed by the last batter in your order who hasn’t had a hit all year but manages to get on base to keep a two-out rally going. It’s discovered by your regular right fielder, who’s been afraid of fly balls all year, but who, with the game on the line, gets under the ball, sticks out his glove and — perhaps with eyes closed — finally makes the catch. And, most importantly, it’s within the coach who has the guts and foresight to place his young players in these crucial situations, where they might fail, with the confidence that more times than not they won’t.