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A League Where Girls Come First!

A League Where Girls Come First!

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The most important position in any Little League program is you the coach. Without the many men and women who volunteer their time at Little League organizations around the world, these programs wouldn't exist. Here at Clifton Girls Softball League, we view each participant as unfinished gem and you the coach play a vital role in their development.  

As such, we have created this page to provide our coaches with valuable tips and links to resources that will help make the coaching experience productive and rewarding. We view our volunteer coaches as partners and together our goal is to create unforgettable memories for the players, parents and most importantly, you the coach.

We encourage you to visit this page periodically as we will continuously add new coaching tips and resources from reputable coaches and organizations involved in the sport of girls softball. If you have any ideas that you feel can help to make the coaching experience more productive, please feel free to contact our coaches coordinator at [email protected]  (click the link to open email).

From all of us on the Clifton Board of Directors, we want to say THANK YOU for volunteering your time and helping to create a lifetime of memories for our most precious resources!

PLEASE READ CLIFTON GIRLS SOFTBALL LEAGUE'S DISCLAIMER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.




   
 Coaching Resources



         


Tips For All Coaches - Dealing With Younger Girls

Before long the winter will be over and the sights and sounds of spring will be all around us. With spring season comes another year of softball here at Clifton Girls Softball league. With the new season comes new coaches and new players looking to get into the game for the first time.

Most often, a coach is born out of a parent volunteer who is either following their daughters passion or looking to re-ignite their own filed away memories of smelly leather gloves, and dirty stained knees. 

One important thing to remember is that coaching young softball teams, and young girls requires a different mindset than coaching older teams. A bunch of 6 or 7 year olds do not need and will absolutely not benefit from a hard-nosed, fire and fury daddy or mommy ball coach wearing turf shoes and an embroidered travel ball wind-breaker who makes them do push-ups or run laps because they missed a ball.

Below are some tips and tricks for coaching these very young girls (between the ages of 4 and 10) many of whom are playing for the first time in their lives. 

1. The most important thing to remember is not to expect too much too fast! Especially in recreation leagues where most kids start out, you are certain to find many different talent levels. Some 6 year olds can catch a ball, others cannot. Before you take the field, you must arm yourself with patience and LOTS OF IT!

At this age, the victories are small, and should be rewarded constantly. As any kindergarten teacher will tell you, these girls can and often do get distracted very easily, and many quite frankly – don’t have the motor skills mastered to be aces at softball. Prepare yourself to have the mindset that you are going to practices and games to HAVE FUN, keep the girls interested and busy, and make sure that they don’t feel pressure. One bad year in t-ball or JD can literally make a girl decide she never wants to play softball again. The goal for any young girl is LONGEVITY! The best way to accomplish this goal is to provide an atmosphere that will make girls look back and say they LOVE softball and want to continue playing the next year.

2. FUNDAMENTALS!!!! Young girls are fully capable of learning plays, and figuring out where to go with the ball at some point. But what they really need is the constant reinforcement of FUNDAMENTALS! The fundamentals of catching, fielding, throwing, batting. Find creative ways to make the FUNDAMENTALS FUN! One sure way to know that you’re doing a good job coaching is when all the girls start showing signs that they grasp the fundamental skills needed to play the game. There are tons of drills, and learning tools that you can use at this age to help them with these fundamentals and basic coordination. Proper fundamentals taught early will stay with them for a long time. While some shrug the importance of qualified coaching in the early years, the truth is that younger girls REALLY REALLY NEED SOMEONE who can teach them proper mechanics and technique and make it fun.

3. Get lots of help. Yes, YOU are the coach and you want the girls to listen to you, not mommy and daddy in the bleachers. The ‘no parents on the field rule during games or practice is necessary at a certain age and at certain times. But still remain open to parents that want to help. Twelve 6-year-olds on the field need to be kept busy, and put in small groups to get the most out of practice, so having several ‘coaches’ or adult helpers is critical!!!!

4.  Don’t play your “Best 10” play THEM ALL! It's sad and sort of disgusting to see t-ball and JD coaches NOT rotating their positions and spending hours over line-ups for a bunch of little girls who may still be unable to tie their own shoes. 

Your responsibility and your goal is to make sure that every girl on the team grows as a little girl and a player. As mentioned above, the talent level will vary greatly. But these are just little girls. Play them all! Play them everywhere and anywhere. Sorry to disappoint some of you or bust your Major League managerial dreams, but at 5, 6, 7 and even 8 years old – you aren’t preparing for a college career – and the wins and losses of your team mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING compared to the wins and losses in the hearts of these little girls. Get over yourself, and play them all. When they mess up (which they will do often) laugh, smile, give them high-five's and have fun. Correct them by being positive. Don’t take things too seriously at this age.

5. ABSOLUTELY NO yelling, kicking dirt, throwing your hat on the ground, pouting, making the girls run laps, do push-ups, etc.  Leave your ego at home. This is all about them, not you.  You are teaching them how to play a game, and win or lose, you are also showing them how to win and lose. With dignity. Stay positive. Laugh at the girls (and yourself) but most importantly, make sure they feel proud of themselves. simply: HAVE FUN! HAVE FUN! HAVE FUN!

6.  Finally and probably most importantly – think in terms of long term always.  Ask yourself: Is what you are doing right now going to motivate these young girls to play in a few years from now? Will they look back on these formidable years fondly, and remember YOU?  When they adorn high school fields with their friends, will they think back to when they were 6 and remember something that YOU, taught them?  In the end, we want these girls to play ball – play SPORTS for as long as possible. YOU CAN HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN!!


DISCLAIMER


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Contact us

Clifton Girls Softball League

Clifton Girls Softball League, P.O. Box 555
Clifton, New Jersey 07013
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 973-988-5168

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