Little League can be an exciting introduction to baseball. It can be the greatest game ever played and America’s pastime, or it can be a greek tragedy of ups and downs ending with your child hating one of the most difficult and intricate games to play.
Hard 90 Baseball was established in 2005 to help youth players enjoy the game. Here are our top 7 tips to thrive in Little League.
Understanding your motivation for signing your player up for Little League is a key component to thriving during the season. Common reasons to sign up include:
Your own love of baseball
Interest in your child playing a team sport
Your child’s friends are playing
You want your child to get some exercise
It is a popular activity in your community
You want your player to play high school baseball
You want your player to play baseball beyond high school
Knowing your motivation for signing up for Little League will allow you to evaluate opportunities (extra practices, tournaments and All Stars) and situations (playing time, politics, etc.) that arise during the season. Your motivation for signing up for Little League leads directly into your expectations for the season.
Now that you understand your motivation for signing up for Little League, it is time to think through your expectations.
Do you have expectations about playing time?
Do you expect to be on a winning team?
Are you expecting to help coach?
Are you expecting to volunteer (scorekeeping, snack shack, team parent, umpire, etc.?)
Are you expecting that your son will make All Stars?
Your expectations for the season determine the level of commitment you should expect to make for the season.
What level of commitment are you willing to make to the baseball season?
Are you willing to attend every mandatory practice and game?
Are you willing to attend every non mandatory and mandatory practice and game?
Are you willing to practice outside of team events?
Coaches in Little League can range from those with professional coaching experience to those that played the game at a high level (college/professional) to those with no baseball experience and everything in between.
Coaches are volunteers. Your experience with your coach can range from a very well organized, over the top coach that wants to practice everyday in pursuit of the division title to a coach that wants to complete the minimum schedule and roll the balls out on the field and let the kids have fun not caring whether they win or lose.
Many coaches will have a player they are related to on their team. Most issues that arise during the year will be a result of how that coach treats their player (more playing time) or how they treat your playing time.
In our 25+ years of coaching youth baseball, we have found that almost every issue that arises is a result of playing time. Thus, we have a simple saying at Hard 90 Baseball - if you want to get the maximum amount of playing time, you need to be demonstrably better than anyone else on the field.
If you are not demonstrably better than anyone else on the field, then your playing time will be extremely subjective.
If an issue arises about playing time during the year, it is best to schedule a meeting with the coach. In the meeting, simply ask the question - “what can my son do to earn more playing time?”
Every year in the travel baseball world we hear that Little League is a “step back” and that players actually regress playing Little League.
Hard 90 Baseball believes that regardless of the level of coaching you receive in Little League, your player CAN develop by playing Little League.
The first step towards development is to show up to your team’s events with a positive attitude - willing to receive the information the coach is sharing.
To supplement your coach’s information, you can enroll in Power Programs at Hard 90 Baseball that will allow your player to learn a proven curriculum to help them thrive in the Little League season.
The amount of time, effort and coaching you seek out will determine the level of development your player experiences during the Little League season. Who knows, your player may be invited to the All Star team.
Did you say All Stars? Yes - All Stars can be a very fun and rewarding part of Little League. In many cases towns rally around their All Star team as they make their quest to make it to Williamsport for the Little League World Series.
In most instances, the All Star team will be the best players from the league. The playing difference beyond the top 5-7 players in a league is very subjective.Expect that politics will be involved in the selection of players 8-13 on the All Star team.
So, if making All Stars is that important to you, refer to our advice on playing time - be demonstrably better than anyone in your league.
If you keep these 7 things in mind, your player will get everything you expected during the Little League season and thrive in their development and love for this great game.
Hard 90 Baseball is a youth training and travel baseball organization in El Dorado Hills, CA. Established in 2005, Hard 90 employs professional baseball coaches to teach baseball and help youth players reach their baseball dreams. Hard 90 has a variety of training options to help Little Leaguers have success in their season. Check out our website at www.hard90baseball.com or give us a call at The Clubhouse 916.365.4977.
Hard 90 Power Programs are designed to help Little League players succeed in baseball by gaining confidence through professional instruction and consistent repetition of mindset, approach and movement patterns.
Power Hitting and Pitching are offered 7 days a week and include:
If you made it this far - mention Little League Thrive when you call the Clubhouse to get for first private lesson at the member price of $25.