Thursday, March 20, 2014

WAA League Info: Developmental

It's very common for parents of younger kids to ask which league they should register in. We'll create a series of blog posts that provide information on each league to try and help you decide.

The WAA Developmental League is for players ages 7 & 8 however we allow kids age 6 to sign up if they have completed a year of t-ball (WAA t-ball or another league). The key reason for this is because the league is strictly working on teaching kids fundamental baseball skills. When players reach the age to start playing in Minors, it would be best if they had 2-4 seasons of developmental-type instruction (working on the basics). If a player age 8 is trying baseball for the first time, this would be the appropriate league.

The WAA Developmental League plays like this: in the first inning, each team bats the entire line-up and hits off of the tee. Outs can be recorded in the field but the entire line-up will bat. Starting in the second inning, the coaches will pitch to their own players. Each batter will get up to 6 pitches to put the ball in play (balls or strikes). If after 6 pitches they have not hit the ball in play, the tee comes out to complete the at-bat. Players in the field try to get 3 outs and if they do, sides switch. If they don't, a maximum of 8 batters will bat that half inning.

This approach gets batters introduced to the thrown pitch and attempts to get them to be able to differentiate between pitches that are strikes and those that are balls. They are taught to not switch at the pitches that are balls.  Infielders are trying to make outs and are taught what a lead runner is, and how to try and get the lead runner out if possible but if not, to try and get the out at first. Outfielders are taught to get to the ball in a hurry and throw it to the infielder. Base runners are taught to advance while listening to the base coaches and to try and not watch the ball.

The flow and play of the game is very informal. The game can last up to 6 innings or less if it's been too long or is getting dark. Score is not kept and there are no playoffs.

Each team should have up to 3 coaches but parents are needed and encouraged to help. During practices, the coaches can help organize and run the drills while the parents reinforce the training. During games, parents can help keep the bench area organized and safe, act as base coaches, and keep the kids aware while in the field.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Commitment to Player Development!

WAA has spent much of this past off-season developing a new player/coach development program. Some of the goals of the new team of people developing this program is to provide WAA coaches with the tools and knowledge to run efficient practices, teach and build upon fundamental skills, and expose the players to many more aspects of the game of baseball. It is our sense that this will give the players a better chance at improving, enjoying the game, and coming back to play year after year.

Potential WAA coaches will be asked to attend various training sessions. Not all coaches will attend all sessions but each will be given various options. On March 29, NY District 4 has contracted Big Al Baseball to provide a coaching clinic. WAA will again participate in this, and all of our coaches will be able to attend at no cost to them!

Also Little League provides all coaches with free access to their Coach Resource Center. We encourage all coaches, at all levels, to browse their site to learn about the latest drills and coaching techniques! The site can be accessed here: Little League Coaches Resource Center.

Finally, there's much more to coaching kids than practices and drills. WAA and the Webster Youth Sports Council understand the challenges coaches face when working with young players. As a member of the WYSC, WAA Baseball is committed to offering our coaches the opportunity to be certified by the Positive Coaching Alliance. More information on this will be sent to all WAA coaches in the very near future.

Little League Baseball also provides coaches with many other resources, available here.

WAA believes that better coaching leads to better players, and a much more enjoyable experience for all!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The new WAA blog! Welcome!

Welcome to the new WAA Baseball blog! Here you'll find articles containing WAA news, events, training, league info, and much more! We feel that a standard blog would be more helpful to our members, as you can subscribe to it and receive new posts automatically instead of having to go to the WAA web site to look for new items.

We will not be posting rainout info here, that will continue to be posted to the web site.

As always your feedback is appreciated. Send us your ideas, suggestions, comments!