The first few games always run a bit longer but as the season rolls on things get better and run smoother.
Helpful Coaching Hints:
Be Organized - Have a sense of where your players can play and develop. Before the game come prepared with a batting order and inning by inning field positions. Avoid the kid questions during the game "Can I play etc....". We love their enthusiasm but they need to know you are the one in control and they need to play their assigned positions. before the game.
Catchers- If you know who your catcher is going to be have them keep half the gear on while they are on the bench (i.e. keep the shin guards on and have everything else close by so at the conclusion of an inning they are ready to go). Recruit a parent to be in charge of the catcher to help get the gear on quickly. You can not have enough help at this age and as the coach you have enough to do getting the players in position and managing the game.
Backing up the Plate- Pitchers are young and learning the position. They have little control, so please be sure to have a coach or a parent backing up the plate and getting the ball back to the pitcher in an accurate and timely manner.
Cut Down the Distance - Cut down the throw back distance between the catcher and the pitcher between each pitch by instructing the catcher to catch the ball, stand, take a few steps towards the mound and fire it back. Instruct the pitcher to do the same by taking a step or two towards home plate to retrieve the ball. Also, have the 2nd Baseman always back up the pitcher on every throwback by standing directly behind the mound and then returning to his position once the pitcher has the ball. By getting the 2nd Baseman involved it keeps him engaged in the action of the game and keeps the game moving along.
Start Games on Time - You can start a game with seven or eight kids. If needed, pluck a player or two from the other team to get the game going while allowing late arrivals to stroll in and plug the holes. Remember we are a development league and the more reps the better for everyone.
One Hour and 40 Minutes - DO NOT start an inning after the one hour and forty minute mark in a game.
These tips are to be viewed as helpful tips to make coaching easier and the kids having fun!