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Coaching Information, Expectations, Links

Our Volunteer Team Managers and Coaches

“Empowering Little League volunteers with the most robust training and education available can only better their experience in the program, and the experiences of children around the world.”
Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO.

4S Ranch Little League is very grateful and fortunate to have a great group of managers and coaches each season. It is our goal to give these volunteers the resources they need to run their Little League baseball team. There are many resources available for coaches as seen below. Many training videos are available online including rules, drills, how to teach skills, practice planning and other very valuable information. You will also find the detailed league/division operational manual within the “Resources” section.

Manager/Coach Expectations
Being a Little League manager or coach is an honor with great responsibility. You are charged with each player’s safety and are responsible for the entire team and their season experience. A lot of what you do will impact your players now and in the future. Little League is a leadership program that uses baseball as a tool towards that goal. You are the example and your players will learn from you and the example you set. The lessons that players learn through sportsmanship, teamwork, competition, success and failure are not just baseball lessons but life lessons. We need to teach/coach all each player at their given level and give them an experience that is memorable. Each division has a different level of skill and emphasis on competition and all league leaders need to be mindful of that.

Coaching Information
 - Before your season starts
 - Field Maintenance
 - Pitching
 - Division Specific Information
 - Additional Resources

Before Your Season Starts

Getting things all squared away early can help your season be successful. Here are some things that can be done before the first game:

Before the Season Starts
* Attend the manager/coaches meeting.
* Read the operations manuals you are given and get familiar with the rule book.
* Find a designated coach. Don’t base it on just the talent of the player but what the coach brings to the table.
* Draft players that have parents that can help umpire, coach, score keep, team parent, safety officer and fields.
* Attend the coaches clinics and the umpire clinics.
* Once you have a team get an umpire scheduler as most divisions require each team to provide umpires for a few games during the season.

Parent Meeting
* Discuss playing time policies
* Communicate all changes in your policies later in the season via e-mail
* Post-season tournaments might change those policies! Let the parents know beforehand

Be a Role Model
– Behavior expectations for both parents and players.
– The season including post-season and All-Stars, if applicable.
– No alcohol at the playing fields.
– No tobacco use by coaches at game site, including chew.
– No sunflower seeds at the 4S Ranch Sport Park, dugouts included.
– How fields need to be cleaned up and get their help.
– Identify extra help for practices. Just make sure they’ve turned in a volunteer form.

Field Maintenance

Taking care of our fields is a very small yet important job that managers are responsible for. Please, after each practice or game:

* Drag the infield after each practice. The next team practicing is entitled to a prepped field.
* Rake around plate and bases. Fill in holes in batters boxes. Spread dirt in sliding areas.
* Clean up trash in dugouts.
* Put the bases away. Put the plugs back in the holes.
* Check that batting cages and dugouts are locked.


The operations manuals and rule book have limits on pitching. These limits are there for safety of pitching arms. Some guidelines to follow to help prevent arm injuries.

* Proper stretching and warm-ups.
* Not always taking pitchers to the maximum amount of allowed pitches.
* No more than 100 pitches per 7-day period – this includes little league and travel ball.
* Coordinate with parents to find out when players have had travel ball practices, games and pitching lessons. Get pitch counts, innings or any other information.
* Soreness in elbow or shoulder should prompt immediate removal from the game.
* Slight soreness and fatigue in the upper arm usually indicates that the pitcher is tiring. This will especially happen at the beginning of the season. Don’t push them.
* The more a pitcher becomes fatigued the better change mechanics start failing which can lead to injuries.

For division specific pitching rules, check Page 2 of the Quick Reference Guide.

Division Specific

* Non-competitive, the score is not kept.
* Every player bats in every inning.
* Teach players the basics; catching, throwing, hitting.
* Batting order should be shuffled around, even every inning.
* Equal playing time with full rotation at all positions. Do be careful at 1B. Make sure your 1B can get a glove on the ball.

Single A
* Non-competitive, the score is not kept.
* 3 outs per inning instead of everyone batting each inning.
* Build on the basics; catching, throwing, hitting.
* Players should be taught about which base to throw to, based on the situation
* Begin teaching simple cut-offs from the OF. Master the cut-off to 2B before advancing.
* Teach basic base running based on number of outs.
* Batting order should be shuffled around every game. Even out the at-bats.
* Equal playing time with full rotation at all positions. Do be careful at 1B. Make sure your 1B can get a glove on the ball.

Double A
* Beginning competition, score is kept and there is a post-season tournament.
* Still very instructional
* Build on the skills mentioned in Single A.
* Base stealing is not permitted but it might be a fun thing to practice later in the season.
* Batting order should be shuffled around every game. Even out the at-bats.
* There is some kid pitch. Give everyone a chance to pitch but make sure they are given time during practice to learn how to pitch.
* The same player really shouldn’t pitch in two games in a row, spread out the opportunities as the league needs to build up pitching.
* There should still be a lot of rotation at positions. It is not the time to specialize. Practice is the time to learn certain positions so use that time to give kids a chance to learn then play them an inning there the next game.
* Playing time should be equal, including time in the infield.

Triple A
* Half instructional, half competitive
* This division is the one where many kids stop playing after a year of Triple A. Make it a good experience for all so we don’t lose any.
* Base stealing is permitted so that needs to be practice both offensively and defensively.
* Less shuffling of the batting order but please don’t always bat the same kids at the bottom of the order.
* All kid pitch. Look for opportunities to let every kid pitch at least once. Give every player an opportunity to practice pitching then make sure they can pitch in a game. Some kids might need some persuading but encourage them.
* A bit of position specialization might begin but when players want to try something new give them an opportunity. The same two kids should not always play shortstop.
* Playing time is a bit merit based but the same kids should not always play the least. When the opportunities arise try and even out the playing time.

* Fully competitive
* Playing time is more merit based but look for opportunities for players to try new things. In Majors lopsided scores are the best opportunity.
* It is still possible to let every kid pitch. Work with them in practice, then look for an opportunity to let them pitch.
* Players do become more specialized at this level but be open to letting them try new things. Work with them in practice then give them a chance to try in a game.

Intermediates and Juniors
* These are teenagers. Establish your authority early.
* Use Majors info above.

Additional Resources

Little League® Baseball and Softball has launched the online destination of its new training and education platform, Little League University. is designed to transform the way volunteers, league and district administrators, coaches, and parents experience learning about the Little League program. The Positive Coaching Alliance is also a useful resource for new or returning managers or coaches.

Local Sponsors

4S Ranch Little League

10531 4S Commons Dr., Suite 166 #153
San Diego, California 92127

Email: [email protected]

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