Coaching youth baseball is one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime with a little time and effort. You’ll get to know your child’s friends and make friends with many individuals in the community. Watching the children grow in confidence and skill is something a coach never forgets. A good portion of Upper Allen Mechanicburg Baseball Association’s reputation is determined by our coaches. A good experience for the players and parents includes: safety, having fun in practice and during games, learning the fundamentals, having productive practices, gaining experience, receiving encouragement and learning to compete. Every youth volunteer organization faces the challenge of recruiting coaches to provide these positive experiences for its children. Parents often ask themselves: Is our coach as good as theirs? Why don’t we do what they do? Are we having fun? Does my child look forward to going to practice and games? Is my child learning the basics and building a foundation on which to improve? Potential coaching candidates might ask themselves: What should I do in practice? How do we prepare for a game? How do we teach a proper throwing motion or a swing to a young child? How do I relate to other people’s children, etc. Every volunteer coach has to deal with these issues in addition to the responsibilities of a full-time job and/or other children involved in other sports or activities. The UAMBA Organization is here to help you become comfortable and excited about coaching youth baseball. The task is not as daunting as it might seem. Coaching clinics will be held prior to and throughout the year, offering ideas on how to conduct practice. There are numerous articles, websites, books, videos, etc. available to assist in your planning. Experienced coaches are available to mentor new coaches. In fact, you are encouraged to attend practices of UAMBA Mentors for examples of how to conduct a well thought out, engaging practice. Every coach has his own style. We want to give you the tools necessary to succeed and the freedom to conduct practice in a manner that best suits you. A brief description of the duties of the Head Coach/Manager, Assistant Coach and Score Keeper follow. Please consider volunteering to help us make the UAMBA the best youth baseball organization in the area.
The head coach/manager has the ultimate responsibility for the team and team activities. He/She reports to the League Coordinator. He/She is responsible for the overall development of the team and insuring every player has a positive experience. He/she is responsible for:
- Communicating the schedule (usually via e-mail and/or texting)
- Organizing practices
- Finding a volunteer to serve as team parent.
- Distributing uniforms
- Establishing game line-ups and substitutions
- Knowing pitcher eligibility based on pitch counts and/or innings.
- Discipline and counseling
- Field setup (Home team)
- Dragging the field
- Painting the foul lines when necessary
- Lining the batter’s boxes
- Installing bases
- Applying drying agent if necessary
- Field clean-up (Home team)
- Putting bases and equipment away
- Raking and dragging the field
- Picking up trash/debris from the bench and stands (all managers and coaches)
- Turning Field lights on and off.
- Being familiar with UAMBA’s Cardiac Response Plan
Practice and Games
Practices or games are generally scheduled two days a week, one weeknight and once on Saturday. Weekday games and practices start at 6:00PM with some Friday night games starting as late as 7:30PM. Saturday games and practices may start as early as 9:00AM or as late as 7:30PM depending on the schedule. Arrival time may be as early as one hour prior to game time depending on the level of play. Managers are expected to be the first to arrive and the last to leave. Of course, this is not always possible. If they are unable to attend for any reason it is the head coach/manager’s responsibility to designate an assistant to act in his/her place.
This is perhaps the head coach/manager’s most important function and it is conducted on one’s own time. The head coach/manager should come to practices and games with a well-thought-out, organized plan. Players should be engaged with coaches during the entire practice, limiting “standing around” time.
In addition, once the season begins, each manager is encouraged to attend the monthly Board meetings held on the second (2nd) Tuesday of each month. This meeting is held in the evenings and generally lasts less than 90 minutes.
Assistant coaches are there to assist the head coach. Assistant coaches do not make team decisions or create situations that are in conflict with the head coach. They work at the discretion of the head coach. Responsibilities include:
- Assisting with practices
- Advising head coach of problem areas.
- Learning specific functions assigned by the head coach such as hitting coach, pitching coach, etc.
- Performing duties required by the head coach
- Filling in for the head coach when necessary.
- Supporting the head coach with parent conflicts.
- Helping out with field setup, clean-up, dragging, and field maintenance. The assistant coaches should begin field clean-up while the head coach is addressing the team after the game.
The Scorekeeper’s primary responsibility is keeping team statistics, books and records. They assist with duties assigned by the head coach. The position is an appointed position that reports directly to the head coach. Scorekeepers are selected based on their ability to perform the necessary assignments including:
- Obtaining starting lineup from head coach and neatly filling in the scorebook, lineup card, and umpire’s card.
- Ensuring all player numbers, playing positions and batting positions are accurate
- Reporting any problems to the head coach.
- Obtaining lineups from opponents and ensure both scorebooks agree.
- Keeping the book tracking strikes, balls, hits, errors, stolen bases, RBI’s etc.
- Keeping Pitch Counts and tracking pitcher’s eligibility.
- Informing players of the batting order at the beginning of every inning.
- Ensuring the batters hit in sequence
- Announcing the next on-deck batter
- Ensuring all substitutions are recorded properly and ensure players are aware of all changes.
- Informing opponents of changes.
- Cross checking scorebook with other team especially with pitch counts between innings.
- Ensuring the umpire’s count is well kept
- Ensuring the book is complete and ready for statistical analysis.