Coach Pitch

Updated Wednesday April 5, 2017 by MYB League.

Coach Pitch

The Coach Pitch division is the second step in the youth baseball and softball program of MYBS. Players in this division are league age 7 years old. For more information regarding league age. Players who are league age 6 and 8 years of age may also participate in this division if there is space available, but players 7 years of age have first priority. At this level teams will usually be formed by the elementary school they attend. This division is purely instructional with the emphasis on continuing to develop the fundamental skills of baseball such as hitting, catching, throwing and base running. The ball will be pitched by the coach and a stronger emphasis will be placed on learning and playing by the rules to get your child ready for the next level of play. Since this is an instructional division, scores will not be kept during games and there will be no division winners or an end of season tournament. The season typically starts in mid-April and goes until the 1st week of June.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Probably the most important thing to remember is that very few kids on a Coach Pitch team will know how to play the game properly. Heavy emphasis should be placed on having fun and learning the game.

Players at this age should be able to demonstrate the ability to master these skills by the end of the season.

THROWING

  • Coach will show proper method of throwing, using the “Power T” motion, showing the player how to throw toward the chest of his/her teammate and pointing the leading foot in a straight line directly toward the target.
  • Emphasis should be on playing “CATCH”, not “CHASE”!
  • Begin work on the throwing mechanics without using a ball. Practice the “Power T” and pointing the front foot.
  • Start throwing while 10-12 feet apart. Accuracy is much more important than velocity of the ball. After players have mastered the short distance throw, have them move to 15, then 20 feet apart, working toward a 25 foot throw. Do not allow players to throw more than 25 feet as accuracy declines and playing catch turns into playing chase.

CATCHING

  • Emphasis should be on using both hands to catch the ball. Use the throwing hand as a guide for the ball.
  • Show proper glove placement by doing the 180-degree fan rotation in front of the ball.
  • Use whiffle balls or tennis balls to build the confidence of players who are unsure of catching a regular ball.

HITTING

  • Players should be taught proper stance to hit. Square the feet to the plate, feet about shoulder width apart, hands should be set at about the height of the back shoulders.
  • Emphasize swinging level through the strike zone.
  • Show players how to „squash bugs‟ with their feet as they complete their swing.
  • Be sure to prevent bad habits, which include pulling head and/or front foot away from the plate while swinging; moving the back foot while swinging; swinging in an uppercut fashion; swinging in a down cutting fashion.
  • REMEMBER: Hitting the ball hard/far is secondary in importance to making good contact. Many players who try to hit the ball far at this age develop bad habits later and get frustrated with their failures.

RUNNING BASES

  • Remember: Kids LOVE to run the bases. This is a fun exercise and should be done at EVERY practice.
  • Show players the proper sequence of base running, how to round the bases, how to peel off at first on a single, and how to slide properly.
  • Teach base runners to look for and listen to the base coach and NOT watch the ball while running.

FIELDING

  • Show proper stance for fielding a ground ball. Feet should be just outside shoulder width apart; glove (both hands) should be down with the hands slightly forward. Teach players to keep their „Butts Down‟.
  • Teach players to field with head down (watching the ball). Many players tend to pull their heads or have their butts to high in the air.
  • Start fielding with slow rolling grounders that you THROW or ROLL to the player.
  • You can throw them harder as the individual player‟s skills develop.