10 Tips for Baseball

Many youth baseball players have watched the sport or been around it before they play for an organized team, but coaches are responsible for making sure the youngsters understand baseball rules. They should not assume the players know any of the rules at an early age.

A coach doesn’t want to overload players with baseball rules while they also learn baseball skills.

Here are 10 important rules to make sure beginners learn during your team’s season:

  1. Batting order and Timeliness

Make it simple for the kids and keep your youth baseball team’s batting order posted in the dugout, so they can follow it. If the umpire is aware that a hitter bats out of order, he can declare him out. And yes, if you’re not 15 minutes early you’re 15 minutes late!

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Batting order (baseball)

 Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia

2. Keep the helmet on

A player can’t remove his helmet while at bat or running the bases. A first offense draws a warning from the umpire. A second violation results in the player being called out. If you have never met the coach before, make sure you go out of your way to say hello and shake his hand introducing yourself. This will show the coach you are mature with a professional attitude and strong self-confidence. The type of confidence needed to lead a team, or get a game winning hit.

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Batting helmet 

Picture courtesy:Brad Mangin

 3. Strike zone

It takes a steady eye for a batter to cover the entire strike zone. Although it is subjective from umpire to umpire, the strike zone is considered the space over home plate between the batter’s shoulders and the top of his knees (when the batter uses a natural stance). Warming up is NOT the time to show off your arm. Coaches are looking for a player’s ability to play CATCH, save your arm for the defensive part of the tryout, or your bullpen if you’re a pitcher. During warm ups make sure you look like an athlete, taking each exercise serious, no talking with other players even if they try to talk to you. Coaches are judging you from the second they see you, don’t think they are waiting for your bullpen or batting practice session to make a decision.

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Strike zone 

Picture Courtesy: Meghann Fields

  4. Fair ball!

Image result for brad mangin baseball photography fair ball

A batted baseball is fair if it lands in the field of play or if it touches or passes first or third base within fair territory (even if it then goes over the foul line). The point to make to batters is to run hard to first base whenever they hit the baseball. And yes, Dress in a full uniform. Be prepared with all the equipment (spikes, socks, baseball pants, belt, uniform top, and baseball cap). Have a great attitude. Show you’re willing to learn. Show the coach it’s fun to work hard!!!

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Fair ball

Picture Courtesy: Brad Mangin

5. Three strikes and you’re not out?

Image result for Three strikes and you’re not out? in baseball

Obviously, a batter is out if the catcher catches a third strike during an at bat. But if the catcher drops the third strike or the ball gets past him, and a base runner is not occupying first base, the batter can run to first base and try to arrive safely before the catcher throws the ball there to force him out. This dropped third strike may not be a rule in your league, however. Any time the coach is speaking, keep your eyes locked on his. Show the utmost attention. Do not be distracted by other players, you are there for one reason, to impress the coach enough to make the team.

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Three strikes but not out 

Picture Courtesy: 

  6. Tie goes to the runner

Image result for Tie goes to the runner in baseball

 

It’s as simple as it sounds. An umpire judges whether a base runner is safe or out. If the runner can be forced out at a base and he arrives there at the same instance the fielder catches the ball, the runner is considered safe. (players strike out sometimes in their first at bat of the game, if the player puts his head between his legs and sulks it will bring the moral of the team down) coaches need players that can rebound from failure and keep the team spirits up.

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Tie goes to the runner

Picture Courtesy: UmpireBible 

7. Base running

Image result for Base running in baseball

Running the bases is one of the most fun parts of youth baseball, but, yes, there are plenty of rules for it. A runner must touch each base when going around the infield and won’t score a run until he touches first, second and third base and then home plate in succession (if he misses one he has to go back to that base while touching them in succession and not passing any other runners). A base runner can’t pass a fellow runner in front of him when rounding the bases. He also can’t run more than three feet away from his baseline to avoid being tagged out unless he is trying to avoid interference with a fielder. Make sure the runners know how to slide properly, safely and within the rules. When it is time for defensive drills, take a deep breath and hustle out to your position. Jump three times up into the air to release some tension and keep your feet moving. Look excited, look ready, look like defense is your favorite part of the game and you are ready and willing to showcase your talents.

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Base running

 Picture Courtesy: Brian Blanco

8. Tagging out

Image result for brad mangin baseball photography og tagging out

To tag out a runner, a fielder must touch him with the ball or with his glove when the ball is in. A runner is not out if the fielder tags him with his glove but has the ball in his other hand. When its time to hit, hustle in from your position grab your bat and helmet and line up ready to hit. Try to take some swings off a tee or even just take some imaginary swings before it is your turn to hit for the coach. Time your load and swing behind the cage while others are hitting, each batting practice pitcher will have a different delivery and speed to their pitches. Notice the pitcher’s arm slot, where does the ball come from, over the top or more side arm? This type of mental preparation will give you an advantage over the player who jumps into the cage blindly without any clue how the pitcher is throwing.

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Tag out

 Picture Courtesy: Brad Mangin

9. Make the right pitch

Image result for brad mangin baseball photography make the right pitch

A pitcher has to keep one foot on the rubber during his windup and must come to a complete stop – though brief – during it. It’s also important to stress that a pitcher can’t put either hand to his mouth within the pitching circle unless the umpire has allowed it beforehand (perhaps on a cold day).

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How to Pitch a Baseball

 Picture Courtesy: Brad Mangin

10. Sportsmanship

Image result for brad mangin baseball photography of sportsmanship

 

 

Major league players can’t argue balls and strikes. Stress that your players show respect to the umpires as well as coaches and players. Umpires make the decisions and can disqualify a player or coach for good reason. It’s a life skill that outweighs all your baseball drills and skills.

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Good Sportsmanship

Picture Courtesy: Brad Mangin

These are the basic tips that you will have to keep in mind now if you have just started playing the baseball.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Brad Mangin

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