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Coaching Philosophy


The focus of our SLL coaches should be on instilling a love for baseball and developing the basic fundamentals necessary to play the sport as it was meant to be played. These, the most important aspects of the game, should never be compromised and serve as the basis for our player development model. A positive experience, plus age- and skill-specific instruction, build a foundation for team successes that trump individual successes and wins or losses.

As coaches, you determine the kind of experience our athletes have with sports. We expect all of our SLL volunteer coaches to not only strive to win, but also pursue the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.  These lessons include:

1)   Model and teach your players to Honor the Game.

-Hold a parent meeting and discuss the importance of Honoring the Game.
-Teach respect for rules, opponents, officials, teammates, and one’s self.
-Seize teachable moments to talk with players about Honoring the Game.

2)   Help players pursue mastery of their sport, not just scoreboard wins.

-Use a “Team Mistake Ritual” (like “Flushing Mistakes”) to help players quickly rebound from  mistakes.
-Reward effort, not just good outcomes. Recognize players even for “unsuccessful” effort.

3)   Fill your players’ Emotional Tanks.

-Use encouragement and positive reinforcement as your primary method of motivation.
-Achieve the “Magic Ratio” of five positive reinforcements to each criticism or correction.
-Use the “Buddy System” to teach players to fill each others’ Emotional Tanks.
-Learn to give “Kid-Friendly Criticism,” such as criticizing in private, asking permission, using the Criticism Sandwich, and avoiding criticism in non-teachable moments.

4)   Have conversations with your players at every practice and game.

-Review the players' understanding of, and experience with, these methods throughout the season.   
-Ask questions and encourage players to speak and contribute during team meetings.

By adopting these philosophies and actions, we will contribute to a positive, character-building youth sports experience for all the children our organization serves. Thank you coaches for all your time and effort! 

Click below for a helpful description of each division, plus coaching matrices and the latest versions of SLL's hometown rules.

  • Juniors

  • Intermediate (50/70)

  • Majors

  • AAA

  • AA

  • Coach Pitch

  • Tee Ball

For official Little League rules, regulations, and policies, click here.

Have a copy of the rules on the go with the Little League Rulebook App.

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