The Power of Praise
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
11M ago
Readers of this blog (thanks!) know that I’m not one of those feel-good coaches who constantly says happy things to players even when they do not perform.   I tell them the truth, they like it, they work hard, they trust me, and in general they learn and the whole thing is very rewarding.  I just had to share that at a pitcher/catcher practice today I had one kid really focus on practice. I don’t know what did it, but he locked in and  at one point he threw a ball that was just good mechanics — nice clean mechanics and the ball went right to the glove of the catcher  And I ..read more
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Verbal Instructions vs Learning by Doing
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
11M ago
And so it came to pass that before our first game, I realized I hadn’t covered warmups between innings. For pre-game warmup, we had rehearsed in practice as I wanted it to look like we had a clue. But the pre-inning warmup is a thing I usually forget about and just show the first baseman how to roll a ball to the other fielders once the game is underway and after a game or two they get it. Well yesterday’s game I realized it before the game and decided to EXPLAIN it instead of SHOW IT.  I went over it — everyone was confused and I said “Don’t worry I’ll show you.” And so one key thing is ..read more
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Does Coaching Matter?
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
I always feel like it’s an existential question this time of year as I get ready for a new season. I am so excited. I’ve coached youth baseball since 1998 and I was so happy cleaning out all my baseball stuff last week — sorting all the balls — organizing the shelves in the garage. Seems like the more I do it the more fun I have. So aside from entertaining me, the question is does coaching matter? Well my fall team did win their playoffs and the league championship so I’d like to thing the answer is yes. The question is, if you gave the same kids to a different coach how much differently would ..read more
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The Magic Pre-Game Warmup
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
Maybe you are searching for ideas for a pre-game warmup for 7-8-9 year olds.  I got an email from a coach who had just beat my team, and he said, “It was a great game (we only lost 4-2) and you absolutely set the gold standard for best pre-game warmup” So what do I do? First, I have the kids run down to the foul line – right field foul line if we are in the 1B dugout and LF if we are in the 3B dugout.  Then I have them do their stretches on their own.  No coaches.  We work it in practice and after a few practices I have them practice doing it on their own.  If there ar ..read more
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Self Talk
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
Today we were working on a drill I like that's focused on backups. I have eight kids get on the bases with gloves. One on the base and one is the backup. I call a number of a base to throw to and the person with the ball throws to the base. As I guess a new number while the ball is in the air, the receiver catches it and knows where to throw next. The key is that the backups are to align themselves with the throw as it comes from any direction and they have to get the ball if it goes past the primary receiver. They were doing a great job and then one kid missed the backup and I went ..read more
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The Tanner Tee
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
The Tanner Tee is an amazing batting T.  They are the gold standard — if you are sick of T’s falling apart.  This is the way to go.  I’ve never owned one myself as I never splurged and I made do with the $20 cheap T’s, but every year I think about getting one.  Feel like I did have one for some all star teams that the league gave me and I loved it, but alas I had to return it.  If you want that special present for a coach you know get one of these.  They are so amazing.   They are in use in every professional hitting facility.  They are lighter wei ..read more
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The WHY
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
I was reading some materials on personal fitness training certification (as I’m thinking about taking the test to get certified) and it talks about the WHY behind fitness. Well I think there’s aWHY behind coaching. Many coaches do it for their kids -— or their league is short some coaches and they get asked to do it. My kids are grown so why bother.. Well, I offered to have some practices this summer. A few kids did it, they had fun, they learned things. Their throwing, catching, hitting have all gotten better. And then at the end I was saying goodbye and all of them came over a ..read more
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Finding Ways to Increase FUN
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
I have been working with a small group of players this summer and it’s making me think a LOT about how best to make drills FUN and have them actually impact performance. I love two-line throwing and all the steps, but I think the players just don’t enjoy it. It’s more like work than fun. So I made a game of box throwing, where four players throw around a box, but still follow the mechanics-—suddenly they are all more engaged. And I have them work on footwork as well. Everyone shuffles and throws every time they catch and throw a ball. Something about a box vs two lines that just makes it plain ..read more
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Insider Bat
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
I get a teeny sales commission on this thing. If you want to get a good training aid, think about the Insider Bat.  I have an Amazon sponsored link but I don’t think I’ll make more than 5 cents or so if you buy one.  / So what is an insider bat, you say? Well, I have used it for years — it’s a very clever piece of metal that, if you use it, forces you to align top hand and bottom hand at contact.  Many young kids “roll over” at contact where their wrists immediately snap at contact and that can cause weak ground balls. If you listen to baseball announcers you’ll hear them say ..read more
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Using a mirror!
Coaching Youth Baseball Blog
by David Grossman
1y ago
It rained the other day, so I invited kids from a team I’m helping to come over and hit in my garage using my beloved SoloHitter — sadly I think SoloHitter went out of business, but it’s a cool device that has a ball hang on a string with a net behind it so that batters can see where the ball goes. If any reader has an extra SoloHitter bag please let me know–mine has fallen apart and I haven’t been be able to find one, but I digress. I was at a thrift store and got a couple of mirrors — one was $10 and one was $20 as I had a hunch that players might come over when it rained and they could swi ..read more
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