The Coaches Manual

By Veteran Softball Coach Don Imwold

 

Getting Started - Administrative Tasks

Draft Day

Your selected players should be called as soon as possible after the draft.  The girls are very much interested in their team and teammates - it is unfair to keep them in suspense by not calling for several days (they will know from their friends that the teams have been selected).  When calling, take some time to get to know your players - ask them what positions they have played, positions they would like to try, inform them who their teammates are etc.


Before the First practice

The LTRC book with rosters is typically not ready until the season starts.  A welcoming letter or Email with roster, practice days, times and locations can be sent or distributed at the first practice.  Include the names, address, school and phone numbers of their team mates (and manager/coach info).  Inclusion of their parent s names will facilitate social interaction during the season.  This is also a good place to document rain procedures, specifically that you will call only to cancel a game or practice i.e. if they do not hear from you they must assume the game is still on.  Also, let the parents know that the LTRC website is updated with weather information


Other

   - Collect and check your equipment bag reporting any missing or damaged equipment

   - Pick up game balls and umpire money

   - Later when available, pick up uniform shirts and LTRC handbooks.

   - Check the handbook and know LTRC rules, procedures, expectations etc

   - Check your registration sheets for any medical conditions.  If required, follow up with parentson their expectations should a problem such as an asthma attack occur.  


Pre-season practices

Check your equipment after each practice to ensure balls, bats etc are not left on the field.  Practice only when and where league-permitted (infields are typically off-limits until a specific date).  Ensure all practices are conducted in a safe manner (especially dangerous are areas where bats are being swung).


During the Season

Double check player availability days before the next game.  Survey after each game for the next game and follow up on undecided players.  Make every effort to field a full team calling up players from the younger leagues as needed.  Playing short is unfair to your players who want to compete on an equal basis.

When you are the home team, ensure your have the umpire money and game ball.

Ask your players to arrive 30 to 45 minutes pre-game to allow warm up/practice (scheduled practices cease once the season starts).   Have your lineup and positions determined before the game starts.

After each game, ensure equipment is collected (safeguard any personal gear left by the players)

Consider producing a periodic team bulletin citing accomplishments (include all players), and possibly batting averages, league standings, LTRC-wide information such as Awards Day etc.

Consider a short post-game call to a player(s) who did something exceptional, complimenting them on their play (builds confidence and self esteem).


After the season

Consider a team party (can be as simple as a pizza delivery after the last game).

Consider a short letter sent to each player citing their accomplishments.

Deliver your team picture (and any trophy) to the team sponsor.

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