Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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KEEP IT FUN AND CREATIVE

Tom
I came across your column while searching for Little League related news and just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate your “10 Rules”. They are perfect and should be read by every Little League coach. As the father of two former Little Leaguer’s, one now playing on a nationally ranked Division One baseball team and the other a senior pitcher/outfielder in HS, I still think their Little League coach had the most influence on their baseball development because he made the game fun and employed many of your “rules”. One I really liked was anybody who had a birthday on game day during the season got to pick where they played and where in the order they batted on that day. The kids groaned about it, but he didn’t care. For the player whose birthday it was (and often it was one of the lesser skilled kids) it was a day they’ll never forget. One of those kids is still playing HS baseball today. At the end of practice he rolled up a dollar and put it in the hole on top of a helmet which was placed at home plate. The players lined up at second base and took turns throwing until someone hit the helmet and won the dollar. Needless to say, the first question most asked before practice started was, “are we playing hit the helmet today?”
Fortunately there are a lot of really good Little League coaches out there, but there is a minority who think winning the league championship is all that matters. They really don’t understand how unimportant Little League is in the bigger picture. It should just be a fun experience where kids learn a few lessons and learn to love a great game. Thanks again for the reminder which I plan to share with a number of people.
Best wishes,
Steve Keener
President and CEO
Little League Baseball & Softball International
Response:
I love it! Isn’t it great to know that the president and CEO of Little League cares about what really matters for our kids?” What a comfort to know that at the top of such a huge youth sports organization, we have leaders who understand the big picture.
Thanks for taking the time to read my articles, and thanks even more for finding the time to write back.
Thank you for being the kind of a leader who encourages coaches to look for all the creative, silly, random things that will make playing baseball fun. This is what the kids want. Most kids would give up the 3rd grade championship $10 trophy on a boring team to be with the lesser skilled players who have a coach who makes learning a blast.
I remember buying a “balloon launcher” and launching balloons between innings. How fun was that for the kids? I can’t tell you how fast they would run back to the dugout after each inning to let the fun begin. I bet if you asked those kids today if they had a winning season that year, they wouldn’t remember, but they would all tell you about the fun they had.
Hey all coaches….let me know any and all fun games or crazy things that you have done with your kids to make the season fun. I will collect them all and print them for everyone to have. We could all use some more fun ideas.
Email your ideas to me at: tomkuyper@kidsndsports.com.

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