Coaching issues


I am coaching a 9-12 YO LL team and we are off to a rocky 0-3 start, the last two games being blow-outs. I am on Staten Island, NY (not from here though) and baseball is taken very seriously and is even political. As an outsider (from California) in a strange land, I feel that the administration used the good ole boy network and kept certain teams together, while throwing mine together with the left-over/late registration kids. First off, I realize how cold that sounds, and normally I would not have a problem with coaching kids new to baseball (since my skills are not advances.) The problem is that I have some kids on the team who just do not understand the sport; where positions are, how to throw/catch, the basics while I have some that can play well. These kids expect that when they throw the ball to a kid in the same colored shirt, that they will be able to catch it. Some of them just duck. I know these are coaching challenges that we can fix, but the parents are grumbling already because we are winless. I have 15 kids (too many) that about 5 of them should not be playing in this division (I am afraid to put them in the infield in case of injury) but I have to play them all.
The biggest issue is that, other than my son, no one else on the team has pitched. My son can be streaky and cannot be expected to pitch all the time. I have tried to develop some 9 year olds without much success.

I need help please!

Sorry for the ramble…


You’re in a tight spot sure enough. Having to deal with an age group that is so widespread is bad enough, but to also have to deal with the widespread talent levels is enough to drive even the best coaching crazy.

My advice is to have a parents meeting to set expectations properly. The Bad News Bears only go to the championship game in the movies. In real life Kelly Leak doesn’t show up half way through the season and start jacking homers for you. The expectation should be that each and every game your team will get better in some aspect and if that’s not happening then the parents have every right to ride you. Some of the parents of the better kids will probably ride you anyway. That just comes with the territory unfortunately.

Something you can do to help all your players work together better - take a handful of the better kids and make captains out of them. Give them a couple of the new kids to take under their wing to help along. Not only will them teaching the newer kids make them better ball players, but it will help your team cohesiveness. Plus you get some extra coaches!

good luck with your situation and let us know how things progress.


Having team captains is a great idea! I think that I may try that. My assistant coach brought up the parent meeting today, but I think only half would show up.
I have considered asking the director of the league to consider bringing some of the 9 YO’s down to the farm league, which is 7-9. They will not learn much sitting in right field all year because I am too afraid to put them in the infield and take a shot hit by a big 12 YO to the head. I have 15 kids on the team (which is a few too many) so it shouldnt be a problem.