Take a look at these suggestions for coaching softball for kids – they are useful for any age.
Working with 4year olds (almost 5) is much different than working with 6 year olds (almost 7), therefore we have split the softball drills into age appropriate categories. They still rotate, but with the coaches working drills that are age and year appropriate. First year players, as opposed to 2nd and 3rd year T-ball players.
We also incorporate team building and good sportsmanship into every softball drill.
At every softball practice, we go over not calling each other names.
‘Baby’ seems to be a favorite name that 6 year olds call the 4 year olds. We discuss differences, not only in ages but in physical abilities, and that it is not okay to call anyone names based on differences. We encourage each player to cheer for the other players during practice as well as the games.
Prior to practices, we pass out a flyer to the parents discussing what the practice will be about and what we hope to accomplish with that practice. That way the parents stay involved, we also have the players play against the parents about every third practice, this encourages the parents to be involved and is a favorite of the players.
Not all players have parents who have boundaries and consequences. It can be very frustrating as a coach to deal with the disruptive players, the bullies of the team. After attempting to resolve the disruptions with the parents, we have learned that disruptive players are utilized best as the catcher.
That way they are not interacting with other players, and the umpire and at least one coach is always available to curb inappropriate behavior. This doesn’t stop the disruptive behavior but it contains it to an adult environment.
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