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  • SHERIDAN PARK COACHES HANDBOOK

    UPDATED: SPRING 2010

  • Opening Day Skills Competition All team members must participate in at least 1 event No player may participate in more than 2 events

    1. ROAD RUNNER Fastest player from home plate to home plate (missed base=DQ)

    2 players per team - (3 if necessary)

    2. GOLDEN ARM 4 throws from Centerfield marker to Home plate target • 1 pt for hitting board • 3 pts for hitting target • 5 points for going through bulls-eye

    2 players per team - (3 if necessary)

    3. HIT DERBY 10 pitches per player (Coach pitches) • 1 pt for ball that land on grass on fly • 3 pts for long ball (past outfield markers)

    2 players per team

    4. AROUND THE HORN Fastest time for ball to circulate to each team member • P-C-SS-3B-2B-1B-C • Each base must be tagged while having possession of ball • Time begins & ends on home plate

    6 players per team

  • Sheridan Park Little League Goals

    OVERALL LEAGUE GOALS • Provide the opportunity for each kid to reach their potential • Develop age appropriate skills through positive and constructive instruction • Strive for good, balanced competition

    PONY LEAGUE (14u-16u Team: AGE BEFORE MAY 1) • Competitive ball especially preparing them for high school or the next level • 1 team with a 35-40 game schedule in a Chicago area league • A higher level of dedication is expected

    (i.e. Practice 1 time per week, Hitting 1 time per week, arm strengthening, conditioning, etc) - Hitting – Hitting a curve; hitting behind the runner; sacrifice hitting; understanding the count - Fielding – Emphasize 1-3 positions per player; playing in & out; communication; bunt defense - Base running – Lead offs; stealing; reacting to situations - Throwing – Curve; pick-offs; balks; holding runners on base

    ..... ALL-STAR TEAMS (10u-12u Teams: AGE BEFORE MAY 1) • Tryouts begin in Spring - team selected by coaches on Draft Day • Memorial Day tournament • Weekly practices/tryouts during house league season • All-star practice to take priority over house league practices

    ..... MAJOR LEAGUE (Ages 11-13) • House teams & all-star team • Outside umpires • Weekly practices (League limit of 1 required practice per week) • No lead-offs • Special instruction for pitcher & catcher - Hitting – Selecting pitches; bunting; hitting with form & power; intro to hitting a curve (All Star Team) - Fielding – Begin to narrow positions; errorless ball; double plays; efficiency in steps & motion; - Fly ball priorities – Backhand; 1st-3rd situations; communication - Base running – Intro to lead-offs; anticipation - Throwing – Fastball & change, stretch

  • Sheridan Park Little League Goals

    MINOR LEAGUE (Ages 9-10) • Hard ball • House teams & all-star team • Sheridan Park umpires • Weekly practices (League limit of 1 required practice per week) • No lead-offs • Special instruction for pitcher & catcher - Hitting – (emphasize form) making contact with live pitching; being confident in batter’s box;

    getting hit; intro to bunting; understanding balls & strikes - Fielding – Field ball cleanly (emphasize catching throws & pop flys); Understand each Position & its responsibilities; backing up; 2 hands; cut-offs & relays - Base running – Sliding; stealing; tagging up - Throwing – 1) Accuracy with 4 seam fastball,

    2) change-up (All Stars) 3) throwing with power (legs, pull mitt in, follow-through); using momentum

    ..... ROOKIE LEAGUE (Ages 7-8) • Pitching machines (keeps ball in play and makes for more action) • Rubber ball • 10 kids per team (no catcher & pitcher if necessary) • Define rules clearly to all coaches & parents • 1 coach per team on field; offensive coach has priority - Hitting – Stance; level swing; making contact (watch the ball hit the bat) - Fielding – Getting in front of ball (emphasize grounders); catching the ball (fingers to the sky); throw ball/don’t hold ball; know proper positions; forced outs - Base running – Over running first base; forced running; running on grounder/fly ball - Throwing – Rotate arm & hand back (fingers to the sky); elbow above shoulder;

    make accurate throws; follow-through

  • Sheridan Park Little League Goals

    T-BALL (Ages 5-6) • Have fun! • Learn basics of the game (3 outs an inning, scoring runs) • Teamwork, sportsmanship, field ground balls • No practices during season • 1st two weeks of season: practice only • 6 weeks of games - Hitting – Batting stance; eye on ball/hit ball - Fielding – Stop ball; share the field - Base running – Running the right way; touching & stopping at the bases - Throwing – Point shoulder/glove & step toward target

    ..... GIRLS SOFTBALL Our goal for Sheridan Park softball is to offer a positive experience for young female athletes. In addition to the playing experience, our league’s overall goal is to provide the girls an environment which stresses the values of leadership, team-work, self-discipline, and cooperation. These life lessons go far beyond the playing fields. In addition, the younger girls' division will introduce the concepts of: hitting, catching, fielding and base running. Coaches will pitch to the girls. The coaches will emphasize the fundamentals in a fun filled environment. As the girls graduate into the older division they will experience a more competitive environment playing a variety of teams from various leagues. The girls will learn the nuances of: fast pitch, sliding, hitting-the-cutoff and other fundamentals.

  • Sheridan Park Little League Practice Planning

    • INVOLVE DADS & COACHES • HAVE A PLAN • PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT • ENCOURAGE DADS (OR MOMS) TO PLAY CATCH WITH SONS!

    SUGGESTED FORMAT* Courtesy of UIC baseball 1. Play catch with purpose a. Utilize drills to enforce good mechanics b. Finish with some long-toss 2. Individual defense skills & drills 3. Team defense (cuts, relays, stealing, bunts, etc.) 4. Base running 5. Hitting/bunting 6. Finish with a fun challenge

    TEAM TALK (5 minutes) discipline & focus, fundamentals & drills to build habits, look for next play, “owies” & injuries

    ..... THROWING (20 MINUTES) Throwing: don’t let elbow drop below shoulder, follow through Catching: expect a bad throw; 2 hands, tap dirt on short throw - on knee-ball flips - on knee-sky, scratch, throw - on feet-step, sky, scratch, throw - long toss & back

    ..... FUNDAMENTALS (3 STATIONS; 3 MINUTES EACH) Hustle to ball, field in front, 2 hands A) Pop/pull grounders B) Pop/pull barehand C) Pop/pull pop ups

    #1 RULE: STOP BALL, THEN MAKE PLAY #2 RULE: LOOK FOR NEXT PLAY A) Outfield grounders – knee down, hurry ball in B) Underhand toss box drill – show ball, extend arm C) Catch-throw (2B-1B) – heels on base, step with catch

    ..... TEAM DRILLS Catcher - 2B SS straddle base/plant tag, 2B back-up on grass, catcher block ball to home

    Cut-off drill (CF, SS, 2B) line up cut, turn toward mitt

    Baserunning: 1) time 1 lap (left corner with left foot, straight line with short curl before base) 2) time to 1B-front part of bag 3) Steal second with pop up slide & look to coach to go to 3rd

    Hitting: (3 pts liner, 1 pt for grounder or pop) Rotation 3B, LF, SS, CF, 2B, RF, 1B, Batting “T” into fence, Hit stick, 6 strikes

    Rocket Relay competition Around the horn competition

    SAMPLE PRACTICE

  • Sheridan Park Little League Hitting

    1. STANCE - Knees flexed, weight balanced - Shoulders, hips & feet “closed" - Bat vertical

    2. STRIDE - Step forward (plant front foot before swinging!) - Hands back - Keep closed! - Shoulders level

    3. SWING - Drive back hip and knee towards ball (raise up on back toe) - Drive hands down & to the ball - Keep head still & over back knee

    4. CONTACT & FOLLOW THROUGH - Keep both eyes on the ball - Watch the ball hit the bat - Drive bat through the ball

    Hitting Drills: - Batting tee (good for form work) - Stand on 2” x 8” x 4’ board with out falling off - Hitting stick - One knee - One hand swings (keep other hand on chest) - Front toss (underhand, from behind screen) - Tracking balls & strikes (look ball into catchers mitt)

    “Closed” Hips, shoulders & feet at 90° from target

    “Open” Hips, shoulders & feet facing target

    Outside pitch Hit late Hit to right field

    Inside pitch Hit early Get hands in front

    Down the “Pipe” Line drive up the middle

    HITTING (Courage & Confidence)

  • Sheridan Park Little League Fielding

    • Move body to get in front of ball (Quick feet & hustle to make every play routine) • Receive ball in front & away from body • Keep elbow in front of body • Use 2 hands for quick release • Anticipate your play before the pitch!

    Grounders - Lead slightly with glove side foot - Get mitt down early - Smother ball with throwing hand - Move forward to gain momentum for throw - Knee down & block ball for outfield grounders

    Throws - Expect a bad throw - Step towards throw - Glove hand: “fingers to the sky” - Quickly remove ball from mitt…or… - Hold on to ball inside of mitt for tag - Turn toward glove side hand for relay throw

    Pop-ups - Get u