Baseball season has arrived, and schools will be out very soon in all areas across the country. This means lots of school aged children will be turning their attention towards baseball. Are you coaching your local area youth baseball team? If so, one of the biggest challenges is setting a lineup. There are a few guidelines you can use though to make that task much easier. Follow these steps and your lineup can be set quickly.
Things You'll Need
- Youth League baseball team
How To Construct A Youth League Baseball Line Up
Do not play favorites. One of the biggest issues a youth league coach has when setting the lineup for a youth league baseball team is to avoid favoritism. Chances are you are the parent of one of the players. If not, you are probably a relative or close family friend. Make sure you don't favor the player you are related to--or the child of a friend. Children are very perceptive, and instead of taking it out on you, they will take their frustrations out on that child.
Put speed at the top of your lineup. Speed is very important in youth league baseball. Many players can hit the ball and put it into play, but fewer are skilled at fielding. This means there is likely to be bobbles and bad throws by the fielding team. Having speed in your lineup will increase your team's chances of scoring runs.
Mix your stronger and weaker hitters. Children get upset when they come to bat from out in the field, make three quick outs, and have to go back into the field. All youth players like batting more than fielding. By mixing your strong and weak hitters you will reduce the chance of three "easy outs" in the batting order in a row. Keep in mind, also, that by mixing your batting order up, the other team will have difficulty determining who are your weak and strong hitters.
Rotate the lineup from game to game. The traditional rule of putting a power hitter in the fourth spot in the lineup doesn't really apply to youth league baseball. If you rotate different players in that spot in the lineup, they will feel as if you view them as the best hitter on the team. This little ego boost will do a lot to have a happy and winning youth league baseball team.
Make a lineup to win, but remember in youth league baseball the most important thing is to have fun. Winning is great and will add to the fun, but make sure everyone gets a chance a chance to play. Youth league baseball is about teaching the game of baseball to young players and sportsmanship as well. Not every player will succeed at baseball, but setting a fair lineup will allow all of them to learn and have fun while learning.
Tips & Warnings
- Have your substitutions decided before the game starts. Let everyone know at the beginning of the game who will be coming out of the game when, and who will be replacing them. This way players won't get mad when taken out of a game. The children starting on the bench won't get nervous wondering if they are going to get a chance to play as well.
- Avoiding favoritism is important. The kids on your team will take it out on the players that are being favored by the coach.
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