Rules for young coaches, from an old coach, field and umpire supervisor, and a groundskeeper.

By Norm:
Hey all,
Happy early Fathers Day. There has been some great posts from Josh and others about coaching T-Ball. I would like to add to that.
My name is Norm Ordaz and I have almost done everything under the sun involving baseball/softball. I have worked in the professional ranks and currently have worked for the McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department for 22 years. Here’s a few things to remember about coaching in the youth ranks.
1. Your son or daughter won’t be playing with the Mariners or any MLB anytime soon. Let them try out new positions. I generally have each player play an infield and outfield position every game.
2. Keep it simple. Let them swing the bat. Encourage them to swing the bat. There will be time to work on positioning hands and feet later.
3. Keep the workout groups small. Every year that I coach, I get laughed at for having a large coaching staff (4 for t-ball and 6 for minors). I’m able to make the most of practices this way. My t-ball practices generally are 45 minutes and my Minors we are out in usually 75 minutes.
4. Get parents involved. At the t-ball level, have parents warm up with their child. My t-ball parents know to bring gloves to practice. Hopefully this encourages parents to have a catch with their player at home.
5. Run them. Parents will appreciate that when they get home.
6. Most of all, have fun! Talk your players up. You never know what’s going on at home for some of these children.
Now a point of view from a supervisor/field prep guy.
1. If it’s freshly lined, STAY OFF of it.
2. Teach your players not to cut through the dirt on the way to the dugout before their game. Walk around it.
3. If it looks wet STAY OFF of it. Practice on the grass.
4. Be kind to the field prep guys. They work their asses off.
5. Leave the umpires alone. If your program is like ours, most umpires are kids as well. They will make mistakes. If you want to argue a call, I have a place for you behind the plate.
6. Encourage the other teams. In most cases they are in the same boat as you are.
7. Finally, let the coaches, coach. They are volunteers. Most do this because they love the game. If you don’t agree with what they are doing, ask to help out.
I love this game and take teaching our players how to play the right way. What is the right way? Shoot me an email at and I’ll share my thoughts with you. Be sure to check out Clubhouse Chatter most Sundays at You also can find us at