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CLL Coaches Manual

Being a coach is one of the most influential people in a young person’s life. Don’t neglect the opportunity to make a difference. Your words have the ability to build up and tear down. Treat your player as a young adult. You can and should challenge them. A good firm discussion never hurts but know the moment. All kids cannot be coached the same way. Some know when they have done something wrong. Others need constant instruction. Know your kids. Never give them false hope. Always be honest with them about their progress. They can take it. Be honest with their parents as well when asked about their progress. 

To access the full CLL Coach's Manual, please click here:  Coaches Manual Link

Never come to practice without a practice plan. Evaluate where your team is and build a plan around what needs to be worked on the most. Put your drills on a clock. Make every minute count. You only have 2 hours. Don’t run drills any longer than 8 - 12 mins. Be aware of when arms need rest and develop your drills with that in mind. It is possible to work on glove work infield and outfield without throwing. The most important drills are timeless, but they must be done correctly. Books and the internet are full of solid instruction you can use. Make yourself a better coach. 

The obvious…. Spend more time on drills. Small movements. Teach proper hand positions on the glove hand. Be relentless about teaching your players to stay on top of the baseball while playing catch. While hitting, let them be individuals, but some fundamentals never change. Bat path is crucial. Stay inside the baseball. Foot down early. 


Long Toss for healthy arms but watch for proper mechanics. Good arm angle and extension. A long rainbow throw is desired. Too many kids want to long toss on a rope. They do not develop a good “brake” for their arms (back shoulders and scapula). Teach a higher release on long toss.


Glove work on infield. Work on pick drills with proper palm position. Lower back and chest out. Don’t just teach “butt” down. Kids hear that and think “Squat.” Hands, and chest out and back low.


Outfield. Use drills that teach kids to catch the ball on the run. Breakdown into groups and use small fly balls from a coach’s throw rather than always off the bat. 


Batting. Tee Tee Tee work. Keep a close eye on kids moving away from the tee to make the tee work easy. Move them closer to the tee to develop an inside hand path to the ball. Don’t neglect the tall tee. Most of the pitches they will swing at are up and it is rarely practiced. Spend more time on front-toss rather than overhand BP. Coaches are too tall to simulate from a standing position the ball path they will see in a game.


Make your drills about ⅔’s of practice. Live BP and scrimmage on the field is important, but not as beneficial as drills. 


Build competition into your drills. Put something on the line. Kids want to compete. 


Finally...The game is the reward. Let them play the game. You can coach them up during the game and you should, but don’t over coach. Let them play the game and when the game is over, be honest with them about what happened. Stay away from false hope. Let them know where they stand as a team and what needs to get better. When they win, celebrate it, but bring them back down to reality. 

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