That increase in players means a bigger need for coaches, but what does it take to be a baseball team manager or coach?
While the task can seem daunting, being a baseball coach is not only doable, but rewarding and fun. It's an opportunity to teach kids about America's past time while watching them develop as athletes.
Here's what you need to know if you want to get involved.
This is obvious, but it's almost impossible to coach kids on a game that you don't understand. However, just being a casual fan of the game won't make you a great baseball coach.
For youth sports, a big part of a coach's job is teaching. As the baseball team manager, you want to make sure that you can answer questions about the rules and help kids understand why things happen in different situations.
Knowing the rules also means knowing the rules of the specific league you're coaching in.
Youth sports leagues routinely have specific rules to make the game easier for kids to play, like having fewer innings or limiting how many pitches one pitcher can throw. As manager, it's your job to know these rules and make sure your team follows them.
Knowing the rules is one part of being a coach, but you need to come to practices and games with more than that.
For practices, you should have a plan for how the time will be structured, what drills you will do, and what you want your players to learn.
Your plan should also be flexible. You should have an idea of what you will do if different issues arise, like an injury or multiple players missing a practice or game.
Outside of creating a plan for practices and games, you should prepare yourself for how you will manage players and parents.
You should think about the experience your players have, and then figure out what the learning curve will be.
Ask yourself, is this highly competitive baseball, or a basic recreational league for younger players? Once you know this, you can start deciding how hard you should be on your players, how patient you need to be, and how much time should be spent teaching players and parents about sportsmanship and being part of a team.
With this preparation, you will make better use of your team's time and provide a better experience to everyone involved.
It can be hard to remember in the heat of the moment, but baseball is a game and games are meant to be fun.
Especially for youth sports, many kids aren't trying to go pro. As a baseball coach, it's your job to find the balance between being competitive and having fun.
If you have a bunch of players who are really competitive and are more focused on becoming the best they can be, then there's nothing wrong with pushing them hard and trying your best to win.
However, if your kids are out there to make friends and enjoy themselves, there's no need to go crazy trying to win.
Your job is ultimately to give players and parents the best experience possible. Don't let the desire to win ruin the fun of baseball.
It's impossible to be a perfect baseball team manager. However, if you know the game, come prepared, and remember to have fun, then you can instill a love of baseball in your players while making them better.
Are you ready to find a team or players and get to coaching? Get registered and we'll help you get started.