Thoughts for New Coaches

So, you’re thinking about coaching.  Please read on.


Why should I coach?

Do it for the kids.  Do you have something to offer them about baseball, teamwork, exercise or just having fun?  Can you organize a group of kids and keep them focused on a goal?

You should have fun too.  You get to skip out of work early and play outside.

You can spend more time with your kids.


But, I don’t know if I can get off work?

It’s great if you can be at every practice and game, but it’s not necessary.  If there are other coaches, just make sure that everything is covered.  Often, a manager will make every event and coaches will come when they can.

Try to find a way—you won’t regret it. Nobody reflecting on their life said, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”


How much baseball do I need to know?

That depends on the level, but the odds are you need less baseball knowledge than you think?

If you are coaching T-Ball, you need to know only the basics: The positions, object of the game, basic terminology, and the basic skills (throwing, catching, fielding, hitting).  You can learn how to teach these skills from books and videos, but it is good if you can demonstrate a proper throw and catch, and can teach the kids a good batting stance.

As you move up, you will need more knowledge and skill.

You can learn along the way for T-Ball, Coach Pitch and Machine Pitch.  If you played Little League, you probably have enough basic skills for any of these levels.  You can pick up on strategy by reading or working with a more experience coach or manager.

By the time you get to PCL and Majors, kids are able to do most skills well and are working on mastering subtle aspects of the game.


If you’re not sure, ask the Player Agent.  Their contact information can be found here:Board of Directors



What’s the best way to learn?

If you’re unsure, the best bet is to team with a more experience coach or manager.  It’s the best way to learn.

If you can, start young.  When your kid is 5 or 6, you don’t need to know much to stay one step ahead.  As they grow, so do you.

We supply training, primarily around safety areas.  We offer classing in first aid, positive coaching and basic coaching techniques.  We are looking at making coaching DVDs available.


Who can coach

  • The Rules
    • Coaches are nominated by the League President (with the advice of the Player Agent) and approved by the Board.  Although almost anyone is allowed to coach, it is not automatic that someone will be approved, even if they had coached before.
    • Those without a criminal history.  Anyone with a criminal conviction involving children should not apply.  We do a background check and reject anyone we feel should not be with children.
  • The Guidelines
    • Palo Alto Little League supports Positive Coaching.   If you believe that coaching is as much about child development as it is about winning, you’re a good candidate.
    • People who are good role models for kids.  Sometimes people approach coaching with the best of intentions, but when it comes to game time can’t prevent themselves from yelling at kids, parent or officials.  Everyone slips up sometimes, but good role models make good coaches.


What’s the difference between a “coach” and a “manager?”

The “manager” is the head coach.


I want to coach, what now?

When you register, please select coaching on the volunteer page.  Don’t forget to specify which child or children you are coaching for.

If you are not sure, you can contact the Player Agent for the division in which your child will play.  Player Agents are listed on our board page.

If you decide last minute, you can contact the manager at the Parent’s Meeting.  Managers are usually interested in having help.  You can discuss your qualifications and the manager can submit your interest to the Player Agent.


I’m not sure what to do.  Where can I get more information?

If you have other questions or are just not sure what to do, you can contact

Little League International has a whole section of their site dedicated to coaches:  They publish a newsletter for coaches called The Coach’s Box.


I know baseball really well, and I’m good at controlling kids, but I don’t have time or interest in coaching.

That’s ok.  Umpire.  Contact

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Palo Alto Little League
3672 Middlefield Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94306

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