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Bloomington-Normal Baseball Association

Bloomington-Normal Baseball Association

Our Philosophy

We want to have fun! While we're Having fun, perhaps some skills and knowledge of baseball will be learned. We believe our coaches should teach baseball and help boys and girls to develop good attitudes as well as skills. Winning is not as important as developing friendships, learning baseball, improving skills, and having good attitudes. Winning is built into the human nature. No one likes to lose, nor does one go on the field with the intent to lose. Players and coaches must avoid poor behavior and bad vocabulary. Encourage instead of yell. Tell players how to improve rather than criticize. Walk off calmly rather than show a flare of temper. When baseball is no longer fun, it's time to make some sort of change. This carries over to all sports, and life.

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Why Coach?!

Top 15 Reasons to Coach Youth Sports and Make a Difference

Written by Steven G.  in CoachingLast Updated

Coach showing youth baseball player proper batting stance.

I remember the thoughts racing through my head when I decided to coach Little League Baseball for the first time. It felt like I wasn’t prepared to teach kids how to play baseball and I started questioning my decision.

So should you coach youth sports?

You should absolutely coach youth sports if you have a passion for sports and enjoy mentoring kids! Coaching allows you to dive into a sport(s) you love while positively impacting the local youth. Leagues are always looking for coaches!

If the decision to coach has crossed your mind, we invite you to continue reading to learn about some of the best reasons to start a coaching career!

You Love Mentoring Kids

First and foremost, you need to love kids to coach youth sports. This is a REQUIREMENT! If kids aren’t your thing, you should pass on coaching. Do not rob kids the opportunity of having a coach who has a genuine interest in bringing the best out of his players.

Your passion for the game will shine through in your coaching and the kids will benefit.

Coaching Is Rewarding

Coaching is one of the most rewarding things known to man! There is no greater feeling than seeing a kid who previously struggled, succeed because of your input.

Maybe you taught a player how to correctly field a ground ball, kick a soccer ball with the inside of their foot or taught them how to throw a football spiral…in all these scenarios you’re going to go home with a sense of accomplishment.

Serve as a Positive Role Model

Kids are going to look up to you as a coach. For this reason, it’s important to serve as a positive role model. That means no swearing, displaying poor sportsmanship or yelling at the officials.

Players are going to mimic your actions, whether consciously or subconsciously. If a kid drops a four letter word in the direction of another player or coach…there’s a good chance that’s going to be on you. Show good sportsmanship.

Shake hands with opposing players and coaches following each game and offer words of encouragement. Kids will take notice and follow your lead!

You Love the Game

Baseball coach holding two baseballs, while coaching a base.

Coach a sport that you love. If you love baseball, find a bat and some balls and coach baseball! Coaching a sport that you love will help you stay engaged and have more fun. Your players will also benefit from your passion for the game.

The more passion you have for a sport, the more knowledge you probably possess. Use this knowledge to bring the most out of your players. Break down what works and what doesn’t work for the kids. Love the game and your players will too!

Help Kids Succeed

Let’s face it, we’ve all had a couple bad or less than enthusiastic coaches. In fact, I recently met a couple during the local Little League season. These coaches organized one practice over the course of the three-month season.

By the end of the season the parents had put together more practices than the coaches. Coaching isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to have a wealth of knowledge to be a good coach.

Sure it helps, but it’s not required. Showing up on time, organize team practices and take an interest in your kids. These things will make you a good coach!

Help Kids Learn a Game

Learning a new game can be tough for kids, but luckily they have you as a coach! A basic understanding of a sport and its intricacies is all you need to coach.

While experience in playing a sport at a high level helps, it’s far from expected or needed. All you need is a positive attitude and a willingness to grow and learn with your players!

Coach Your Kid

A lot of coaches get into coaching to coach their own kids. The opportunity to see your child grow in and outside of sports is invaluable. I encourage any parents who are hesitant about coaching a team to take the leap of faith and go for it.

By giving coaching a chance, you might come to the realization that coaching is something you want to do beyond your initial season.

Show Working Hard Is Fun

Baseball team celebrates after winning a game.

Getting better at a sport requires hard work. That’s not to say you can’t have fun in the process. It’s important your players understand this concept. No one magically improves overnight. Do you think Mike Trout and Michael Jordan became the best at their sports by playing Fortnight all day?

I didn’t think so! They became superstars in their sports through endless repetitions. They treated every practice like it was a game. Now they’re making livings playing kid’s games.

Instill Life Lessons

Youth athletes are impressionable. It’s important that we, as coaches, instill the right life lessons to help our players succeed on and off the field. There are a ton of lesson we can impart, these are some of them:

  • Perseverance – It’s ok if you fall short in achieving a goal. As long as you get back up and keep trying, that goal will come to fruition.
  • Attitude – A positive attitude will make fun things more enjoyable and challenging things easier to handle.
  • Teamwork – No one gets to where they are by themselves. Keep that in mind the next time someone looks like they need help. Teamwork makes the dream work.
  • Set goals – Go about your life with a purpose. Work to achieve your goals.
  • Practice makes perfect – The more reps you put into something, the better you’ll become at it.

Set the Practice Schedule

As the coach, you get to make the practice schedule! This is a huge benefit in a world that never stops moving. You can work around your busy schedule and make as many practices as possible.

A bonus of making a schedule that works for you is ensuring you get to see your child practice if you’re coaching their team.

Join a Team

Coaching opens the door to meeting like-minded individuals. Whether that’s dads coaching their kid’s teams or meeting people who simply love the game, your social group will expand. This allows you to bounce ideas off those who have been and are still in your shoes.

Coaching also allows you to be a part of a team and something bigger than yourself. This will keep you accountable and help you foster relationships that have the potential to span the rest of your life.

Build Your Confidence

When you coach sports, you’re going to find yourself in plenty of adverse situations. Overcoming these difficulties serve as great confidence boosters. These boosts in confidence add up and benefit you and your players.

Through your new-found confidence, you’re going to be willing to try new things and find it easier to speak your mind.

Coaching Is a Workout

Man lifting weights in a gym.

There’s nothing sedentary about coaching sports. Hitting ground balls to the infield. Throwing footballs to wide receivers. Serving up one-timers to skaters. It all requires physical activity. Coaching might not replace the gym entirely, but it’s a workout in and of itself.

New coaches should be aware and open to the physical aspects that coaching requires. You don’t have to be a physical specimen, but you need to be willing to get down to work.

Money Isn’t a Factor

I hate to break it to you, but coaching youth sports doesn’t pay well. It actually doesn’t pay anything! For this reason, it’s important you coach for the right reasons. A love for the game and a desire to mentor kids are a must.

Over the course of a season, you’re going to volunteer a lot of your free time and those around you will appreciate your efforts.

Try Something New

If you want to try something new, give coaching a shot. Coaching is perfect for those who love sports and enjoy giving back to the community. Like anything in life, you won’t know if you like something until you try it. For that reason alone – sign up to coach!

Related Questions

How do you find leagues to coach in? A great way to find local leagues is to open Google and search “[Your City] youth [desired sport]”. Many cities will have local chapters of national organizations such as the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) or Little League.

What qualifications do you need to coach? There aren’t any set qualifications needed to coach. You must have a passion for the sport you’re coaching and have sufficient time to volunteer. Leagues may run a background check on you and require fingerprint clearance.

Related Articles

Coaches Corner

Registration for the 2024 season began on October 1st,2023, and will continue until April 15th,2024. If you are interested in coaching, please register as a Head Coach or Assistant Coach on the website when you register your child(ren). Anyone who has regular direct contact with BNBA participants must be registered as a Head Coach, or Assistant Coach.

If you are like most youth league coaches, you have probably been recruited from the ranks of concerned parents, sport enthusiasts, or community volunteers. Like many rookie and veteran coaches, you probably have had little formal instruction on how to coach. But when the call went out for coaches to assist with the local youth baseball program, you answered because you like children and enjoy baseball, and perhaps because you wanted to be involved in a worthwhile community activity.

Your initial coaching assignment may be difficult. Like many volunteers, you may not know everything there is to know about baseball or about how to work with children. Coaching Youth Baseball presents the basics of coaching baseball effectively. To start, we look at your responsibilities and what's involved in being a coach. We also talk about what to do when your own child is on the team you coach, and we examine five tools for being an effective coach.


Coaching at all levels involves much more than making out the lineup, hitting fungoes, or coaching third base. Coaching involves accepting the tremendous responsibility you face when parents put their children into your care. As a baseball coach, you'll be called on to do the following:

1. Provide a safe physical environment.

Playing baseball holds inherent risks, but as a coach you're responsible for regularly inspecting the fields and equipment used for practice and competition (see "Facilities and Equipment Checklist" in appendix A on page 154).

2. Communicate in a positive way.

As you can already see, you have a lot to communicate. You'll communicate not only with your players and their parents, but also with the coaching staff, umpires, administrators, and others. Communicate in a way that is positive and that demonstrates that you have the best interests of the players at heart (see chapter 2 for more information).

3. Teach the fundamental skills of baseball.

When teaching the fundamental skills of baseball, keep in mind that baseball is a game, and therefore, you want to be sure that your players have fun. We ask that you help all players be the best they can be by creating a fun, yet productive, practice environment. To help you do this, we'll show you an innovative "games approach" to teaching and practicing the skills young players need to know-an approach that kids thoroughly enjoy (see chapter 5 for more information). Additionally, to help your players improve their skills, you need to have a sound understanding of offensive and defensive skills. We'll provide information to assist you in gaining that understanding (see chapters 7 and 8 for more information).

4. Teach the rules of baseball.

Introduce the rules of baseball and incorporate them into individual instruction (see chapter 3 for more information). Many rules can be taught in practice, including offensive rules (such as the definition of the strike zone, rules related to the baseline, and when sliding is mandatory) as well as defensive rules (such as the force play, the balk rule, and obstruction). You should plan to review the rules any time an opportunity naturally arises in practices.

5. Direct players in competition.

Your responsibilities include determining starting lineups and a substitution plan, relating appropriately to umpires and to opposing coaches and players, and making sound tactical decisions during games (see chapter 9 for more information on coaching during games). Remember that the focus is not on winning at all costs, but on coaching your kids to compete well, do their best, improve their baseball skills, and strive to win within the rules.

6. Help your players become fit and value fitness for a lifetime.

We want you to help your players be fit so they can play baseball safely and successfully. We also want your players to learn to become fit on their own, understand the value of fitness, and enjoy training. Thus, we ask you not to make them do push-ups or run laps for punishment. Make it fun to get fit for baseball, and make it fun to play baseball so that they'll stay fit for a lifetime.

7. Help young people develop character.

Character development includes learning, caring, being honest and respectful, and taking responsibility. These intangible qualities are no less important to teach than the skill of hitting the baseball. We ask you to teach these values to players by demonstrating and encouraging behaviors that express these values at all times. For example, in teaching good team defense, stress to young players the importance of learning their assignments, helping their teammates, playing within the rules, showing respect for their opponents, and understanding that they are responsible for having a role in every play-even though they may not be recognized individually for their efforts.

These are your responsibilities as a coach. Remember that every player is an individual. You must provide a wholesome environment in which every player has the opportunity to learn how to play the game without fear while having fun and enjoying the overall baseball experience.

Any Coach that acquires a sponsor can receive a $50 discount of their child's registration costs.  If you wish to take advantage of this discount, it will not be processed until the Sponsor pays the sponsor fee. The Sponsor can find information and the Sponsor form on the website under the Team Sponsors tab. If you register your child before BNBA receives the Sponsor funds, the discount will be given as a refund.

                                                                                                                Coaches Meetings   

                                                                              T-Ball (Alternative): 10am

                                                                         Rookie (Coach Pitch): 11:15am
                                                                         Prospect: 12:30pm                                 Saturday April 27th, 2024
                                                                         Minor: 2:15pm
                                                                         Major: 3:45pm

                                                                                   All meetings are being held at the Corn Crib

BNBA Rules and Guidelines 2

Coach Expectations

Coaching Tips

It’s no easy task being the coach of a youth team. Whether you’ve volunteered to coach for the first time or been there before, looking to better your team, there will always be ways to improve yourself. Ultimately, there are many responsibilities when leading a team.

It’s best to simplify it, and just as you tell your players, get back to the basics yourself. You might not always know what’s best for the team, but these tips will be here to help you build a solid foundation for the team. Regardless of your experience, if you’re looking to improve, here’s how you can make this season the best possible experience for you and your players.

Set Rules at the Beginning of the Season

The first few meetings with players or parents will set the stage for your interactions for the rest of the season. It’s important to establish boundaries and rules from the start, otherwise you may encounter tough situations down the road. For parents, you should set boundaries on when they can discuss issues, otherwise you might have parents coming up to the dugout in the middle of the game asking about playing time for their kid. Tell parents that email is the best way to air any grievances or offer suggestions.

Get to Know Your Players and Their Learning Style

To coach your team to the best of your ability, you must know your players’ personalities, habits, skill sets, and even limitations. Every player reacts to feedback differently. Some need positive reinforcement, and others might need more stern feedback. An easy way to do this is by getting to know each athlete individually and scheduling activities outside of practice and games that provide bonding time. Whether you plan a team barbecue or fundraiser (among many others), spending time with your team will undoubtedly help build chemistry. 

 “Players need to know that you care, before they care what you know”

Give Players A Chance at Different Positions

Arguably, one of the most important tips here is to allow every player a chance to play each position. Kids are just beginning their involvement and development in the sport at a young age. Find out what they love and what motivates them to stay on the field. A positional rotation will help keep things fair between all players and allow them to determine which position is the best fit for them as they progress.

Structure and Prepare Practices

Ensure you keep the players engaged throughout a full practice. This can be difficult in youth sports, with shorter attention spans the younger the athletes are. A steady practice plan will keep players focused and motivated to maintain structure and avoid distractions. Remember to include competitive drills with fun at the forefront. Healthy competition is a great way to speed up development and build winning habits even at a young age. If you’re looking for a few drills to include in your plan.

Build a Love of the Game

Baseball is tough, and every success is preceded by a number of failures. Some say that baseball is the only occupation where you can fail 7 out of 10 times and be considered great. In other sports, such as soccer, the spotlight is on the full team. In baseball, when you get up to hit, the spotlight is only on you. This is daunting for many young players, so it’s important for coaches to help them understand that failure is a key component of the road to success. You can still give honest feedback and hold players accountable but remind them that every player will have setbacks while improving.

Be a Role Model

There’s no hiding that your players will feed off your energy. They pay attention to how you talk to coaches, parents, umpires, and the team. If a team sees you talking down to another individual, odds are they’ll be inclined to do the same. Remember to lead by example and treat everyone with respect at all times. Play the game the right way, and show your players a role model they want to emulate when they’re older.

Keep Things Simple

To develop players properly, it’s critical to simplify your drills to start and stick to the fundamentals. Building a proper foundation is key to any promising young career, so there’s no need to jump into highly complicated drills with any rush. A common phrase in baseball is that even the best players in the world are failing 70% of the time, so get back to the basics when things may be difficult, or you don’t see a lot of success.

Coaches have an extremely powerful role in helping players develop their talents, but coaches also shape the players into the person they become later in life. The lessons and work ethic learned in youth sports will have ongoing impacts for athletes. In short, this means that coaches have a huge power to affect the lives of kids. With power comes responsibility. Hopefully, some of these lessons above will help you with that mission.



Bloomington-Normal Baseball Association
P.O. Box 3324 
Bloomington, Illinois 61702

Phone: 309-829-2129
Email: [email protected]

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