Beavercreek Youth Softball Association
"Fostering teamwork, good sportsmanship, and community spirit."

COACHES MANUAL

1 May 2008

           

1.

Introduction

2.

Philosophy

3.

Rain Outs

4.

Contact With Your Players

5.

Uniforms

6.

Equipment

7.

Practice

8.

Games

9.

Scorekeeping/Reporting

10.

Special Emphasis Item -- Bat Throwing

11.

Emergency Information

12.

Fields

13.

Concession Stand

14.

United States Specialty Sports Association

15.

Coaches’ Code of Conduct

   

1.  INTRODUCTION

This manual is a package of information and advice for the special persons who have volunteered to coach Beavercreek youth in the Beavercreek Youth Softball Program. This kind of COACHING IS WORK, IT'S TEACHING, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, and it's one of the really important gifts one can give to the community. The information provided here is based on experience and hard learned lessons! Good Luck and Thank You!

The Beavercreek Youth Softball Program is a slow pitch softball recreational activity for grades K - 12 boys and girls residing in the Beavercreek School district , Beavercreek , Ohio . Youth who meet all requirements and who reside outside the Beavercreek school system may participate in the program on a space available basis. The Beavercreek Youth Softball Association and its commissioners conduct the program at Rotary Park . Through the years, the program has enjoyed support from Beavercreek local businesses and numerous service organizations in the area. We also enjoy the financial and manpower support provided by Beavercreek Township Trustees when they invest in facility improvements such as lights and restrooms and The City of Beavercreek provides mowing support.  Each tear we have roughly 1200 participants spread across 85 or so teams and without the support from all, this program would not be possible..

But whatever hard work has gone into the program so far, the greatest impact on its ultimate client, Beavercreek youth, is the Coach, the senior person on the team who has all the answers. Here are some of the answers to help you in your task.


2.  PHILOSOPHY

This program is designed so that the players will have fun.  The players will naturally learn many things as stated below.  But this paragraph is the Main Rule and anything conflicting with the Main Rule will be minimized.  The players will have positive interaction with adults.  Any program of this type will offer challenges for children and adults to set moderate goals, organize, improve, succeed and fail together.  Youth use experience to guide themselves.

Competition will not get in the way of fun, friendship or skill improvement.  Practice should be work and not drudgery.  Winning will be a nice reward for hard work but losing is no cause for humiliation.


3.  RAIN OUTS

On questionable weather days, the BYSA maintenance crew will make the "go or no-go" decision at 4:45 p.m., based on its estimate of how many diamonds can be ready to play by the 6 p.m. start time.  The options are:

1. Cancel all games

2. Cancel first games (6 p.m.) but play second games (7:20 p.m.)

3. Cancel certain fields, but play on others

Coaches may call 426-4610 or 307-0485 after 4:45 p.m. to find out status of the diamonds.

DO NOT give this number to parents. The system works best when coaches call. If every team member were to call, imagine the jam that would cause.

Coaches should then contact their players. Consider setting up a calling chain, so each coach may only have to call 1 or 2 players, and then they call 1 or 2 players.

4. CONTACT WITH YOUR PLAYERS

Be very careful with initial player contact.  The last names, for example of parent and child may not be the same. Some parents are justifiably wary of male voices wishing to chat with their children. Call and say, "I am Coach . . . of the Beavercreek Youth Softball Program.  (Player's name) is on the team that I coach and I am calling to set up our first practice." Please make your first call within 48 hours after you receive the team list. The sooner we know about any problems, the sooner we can address them. Stay in touch with your team. Make a roster showing names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and parents' names. It's nice to make phone calls and have some idea of the name of the person who answers. Distribute it to the players. They and their families can quickly begin coordinating car pools. You may want to add the game schedule at the bottom of the roster and assign parents to be responsible for treats on game days.

Coaches should meet as soon as possible with their teams and their parents to go over some of the important rules and playing times, and length of practices and games. Use constructive criticism in private, praise in public. Hold criticism until after the game. Win or lose, they're not listening. Talk about problems at the next practice or at the beginning of the next game where there is the prospect of instant redemption.


5.  UNIFORMS

Uniform policies are intended to enhance the children's enjoyment as much as possible with some accommodation for sponsors and general appearance. Each player will be issued a shirt, which is theirs to keep (and in the Minor, Rookie, and Junior league, a cap, also theirs to keep). It's a pretty good value for the parents' hard earned money. The sponsor also benefits when the players wear the shirt in the community.

Each Coach and one assistant will be given a coach’s shirt. Other assistant coaches will have to pay $10 to the BYSA for their own shirt.


6.  EQUIPMENT

Each team will be issued an equipment bag (comes with practice balls, catcher’s helmet and mask, bats, and chest protector for the Minor, Rookie, Junior, Preteen teams, and teen teams). The equipment is the property of the BYSA, and must be returned after your last game. Batting helmets are provided at the diamonds on game night. Each coach is responsible for gathering helmets for their team’s use.  Scorebooks are provided to the coaches during the preseason coaches’ meeting along with other information (e.g., player rosters) regarding the season, etc.

Make sure each player has their name on their glove/equipment. Stray equipment should be turned in to any BYSA Commissioner or to the Concession Stand operators. The BYSA maintains a "lost and found" box that it places outside the concession stand every night.


7.  PRACTICE

The most important factor in a team's performance and enjoyment is its practice experience. Many of the players in the BYSA are young beginners, and a mighty challenge for anyone intending to hold their attention, nurture their enthusiasm and, not the least, teach them softball. Because of the large number of teams and limited practice facilities, the BYSA assigns practice times and locations during the 2 week long preseason.  Coaches are encouraged to also set times for other practices but it is up to them to find a location. Try places like your church’s facility or other Beavercreek City parks that have open spaces.


A. LOCATION

Practice fields are in short supply. For those who can, fields are nearly always available before 5:00 P.M. everyday. Rotary (youth fields, diamonds 5-8 and 11 and 12, and Tee ball diamonds 3 and 4) are reserved for BYSA use and practice times are assigned: Virgalitto, Grangeview Acres, Saville Estates, Spicer Heights Park , Stafford and Summerfield Parks , are other parks that are available, but these have not been reserved for BYSA practices.  All Minor, Rookie and Junior Division coaches can make a quick field almost anywhere with a 100 foot tape measure and 5 base markers. The small field doesn't take up much room and a field can be laid out in 5 minutes. (Infield drills can practically be run in the front yard of a 1-acre lot).


B. HOT TIPS

Never leave a practice until all players have safely departed, and don't let the players wander away from the practice area. Frankly, it's best to keep them right out in the open. Forfeits due to poison ivy epidemics are frustrating.

Dehydration can be a problem, especially on hot, muggy days, and you are encouraged to have your players drink a lot of water before, during and after practices and games. Repetition is the key to learning skills. Show players the correct way to do something and create the opportunity for them to repeat the action time and time again. That's the whole concept of practice. Each single opportunity to perform in a game should be backed up by hundreds of previous executions in practice. One of the basic challenges of coaching is to anticipate the things to be done in good conditions and engineer simulation drills that can be repeated again and again at practice. Good assistant(s) permit(s) the coach to work the players in several groups thus increasing the opportunities for repetition. Remember that you are not limited to having just one assistant.

** Players should be made to thoroughly LOOSEN UP before practice and games. Hard throwing should be limited to only those drills that demand it. Good hard throws are the key to defensive success but some of these young arms are not ready for heavy demands. Moderation is the key. 

** Good stretching exercises should be included in the warm-up. The whole body is subject to the same injury possibilities, as the throwing arm. Softball is a game of quickness, agility, coordination and timing. Pushups, kneebends and pumping iron aren't recommended.


8.  GAMES

The game will start promptly at the scheduled times. Do your best to get the players there on time. This often requires more than a minimum of communication with the parents. Try to learn ahead of time if there will be late arrivals or no shows.  Parking is a premium and there is heavy traffic in and out of Rotary Park , so adequate travel time ensures players arrive before the game starts. Every effort will be made to make a game take place. If a team comes up short (i.e., less than 8 players), the coach should request to the opposing coach that he loan him some players, at least enough to get him up to the minimum of 8 players that are required. The opposing coach having the greater number of players has the option to meet or deny the request. It's preferred that players be loaned so that they can get the maximum amount of playing time. Any forfeits shall be in effect as required by the rules. In the Minor, Rookie, and Junior Divisions, it's a good idea to put a parent in charge of the dugout as a special duty. When (old) coach is out there pitching or base coaching, it's amazing how players can take short vacations across town or ignore the discipline of batting in order. Bring several copies of your batting order. The scorekeeper, the other team, and the dugout parent will need copies before the game. Make sure the base coaches (particularly in the younger divisions) are briefed to maintain some sense of order. They should stay off the field of play. EXCEPTION: IN THE MINOR & ROOKIE DIVISION ONLY, COACHES HAVE THE OPTION TO HAVE TWO (2) ADULTS IN THE OUTFIELD BEHIND THE PLAYERS TO ASSIST IN COACHING. THEY MAY NOT TOUCH PLAYERS FOR ANY REASON. THEY SHOULD NOT HARASS THE DEFENSE OR THE UMPIRES.

Coaches should attempt to maintain an environment conductive to learning the game. In the instructional divisions this means taking it easy with the runners. It might be possible to clear the bases on any struck ball BUT SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR A BALL RELAYED BACK TO THE INFIELD AND HOLD UP THE RUNNERS. The game should not degenerate to the point that the only defensive maneuver in the book is to throw the ball to the pitcher.

Read the league rules and comply with them. Remember that you are setting the example for your players, so act accordingly.


9.  SCOREKEEPER/REPORTING

Scorekeeping, as far as the BYSA is concerned, is to determine the game’s score, keep track of the innings and keep the batting order straight. There will be games where this will be a challenge. Coaches should keep a separate sheet with the players' names and the amount of innings played. The sheet could be kept for the entire season. It basically serves as a guide to you how well paying time has been dispersed throughout the year.

Some Coaches find a detailed scorebook useful. In the younger divisions, for example, it's possible to see if a team is beginning to get more outs due to improved fielding or due to bad opponent hitting (many strikeouts). In the older divisions player tendencies can be identified from a good record. We recommend asking one of the parents to be the scorekeeper for the entire season, so that the scorebook is maintained consistently. The BYSA does not keep track of individual statistics on any kind. We recommend that you ask one of the parents to take on this reporting duty. decide who will do it, no matter if it is done electronically or hand-written on the form provided by the BYSA.

                                                             

10.  SPECIAL EMPHASIS ITEM- -BAT THROWING

One item we ask coaches to pay particular attention to is unintentional bat throwing, for it is bat throwing which offers a great potential for injury. The catcher, on deck batter, umpire, and the batter are all at risk. To make matters worse for the batter, the penalties escalate for each time he/she throws the bat during the game. It always seems the batter is called out when they made a hit and the tying or winning run scored. Take the time to put your players in a game situation and see how they react- - just watching them at batting practice will not tell you who has this problem. The umpires have been instructed to warn the batter and coach on the first bat throwing. The results of the at bat stand as called by the umpire for that particular play.  If the player throws the bat the next time, the batter is out and dead ball ruled, i.e., the at bat is nullified. If the player throws the bat a 3rd time during the game, the umpires call the batter out, the play is nullified and the batter is not allowed to bat any more for that game.


11.  EMERGENCY INFORMATION

On site emergency facilities are extremely limited. The Beavercreek Fire Department is a quarter mile east of the park entrance on Dayton-Xenia Road .

In the event of an injury requiring emergency technicians/transportation appoint someone to get help and make sure they do it. Be sure the Emergency Medical forms for each player are kept up to date and you keep them with you.

It is highly recommended that each coach maintain their own First Aid Kit; this should include chemical ice bags. Note, do not put chemical ice bags directly on area. Place some type of barrier in between skin and the ice pack. (There is also ice available from the concession stand).

Coaches should make an effort to learn if any team parents/relatives/regular followers have medical training to limit the time it takes to locate good help in the event of injury.

Don't let a crowd gather around an injured player and be wary of letting anyone get too helpful. It's best to identify some knowledgeable people at the beginning of the season, ask them to deal with the problem and keep everyone else out of it.


12.  FIELDS

The Lefty McFadden Youth Softball Fields are located behind and adjacent to the Adult fields at Rotary Park .

Parking is provided in the Youth field area.. Parking by the outfield fence for field #7 and #8 is at your own risk. There are signs posted to indicate this.


13.  CONCESSION STAND

  The BYS operates a concession stand in the center of the Youth Complex to provide service to participants at a reasonable price.   


14.  UNITED STATES SPECIALTY SPORTS ASSOCIATION

The Beavercreek Youth Softball Program is sanctioned by the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA).


15.  COACHES' CODE OF CONDUCT

As a BYSA Coach, I recognize that coaches are role models for their team members and all participants involved in the activity, and that sports help to develop a sense of teamwork, self-worth and sportsmanship. As such, I agree to abide by the following:

1.      Place the emotional and physical well being of my players ahead of a personal desire or external pressure to win.

2.      Do my best to provide a safe playing environment for all participants.

3.      Lead by example by demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all involved.

4.      Provide a sports environment for my team that is free of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and abusive language and refrain from their use at all sporting events.

5.      Respect the game and league officials and communicate with them in an appropriate manner.

6.      Be knowledgeable of the league rules and regulations, and teach these rules to all players on my team.

7.      Encourage my team members to play by the league rules and respect the rights of other players, coaches, fans, and officials.

8.      Be responsible for my own behavior and also the behavior of my team members, their parents, and fans.