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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2008 > Coach's Box - January > Feature Article

Feature Article


Volume 3, No. 1  

   January 2008


Coach ‘Em Up: Little League International Announces Details of Online Coach and Manager Resource Center


WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Jan. 17, 2007) – On baseball and softball fields around the world, Little League managers and coaches are constantly trying to improve themselves as teachers, mentors and role models so they can better lead their teams. Because its volunteers are typically professionals in fields other than sports management, Little League International is intent on easing the learning curve with the creation of the Little League Baseball and Softball Online Coach and Manager Resource Center.

“It is our priority to provide more educational opportunities for coaches and managers, so we’ve developed a free resource that provides recommendations on basic instruction and teaching skills,” Nick Caringi, Director of Operations for Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “The intent is to give anyone the knowledge and confidence to be a coach.”

Based on the fees charged to individual coaches or leagues in other youth baseball and softball programs, this initiative represents a savings of more than $250,000 for local leagues and volunteers.

The resource center concept was developed by Little League Baseball and Softball, and Cramer Digital Marketing, a full scale media production company based in Norwood, Mass.

“From the get-go we wanted to create an effective training resource,” Ken London, Cramer General Manager of Special Programming, said. “We realized this project was much more than a hitting and fielding video. It is about interpersonal relationships as well, and through our experiences we know how to present the information so it can be effectively learned.”

Creating a compelling internet-based multimedia training tool that equips managers, coaches and local league administrators with the means to provide children with a fulfilling, enjoyable Little League experience is the objective of the Coach and Manager Resource Center.

The program is designed for volunteers working with players in Tee Ball, and the Minor and Major Divisions of Little League Baseball and Little League Softball. The reason being, this group is the most likely to utilize the service since the majority of coaches start at these levels and are more frequently in search of ideas and guidance on how to run a practice and teach the game.

“The resource center is focused on the minor and major divisions because they are designed to be instructional,” Mr. Caringi said. “At these levels coaches make the most impact on players, and we felt this is where we also could build a foundation in the area of educating coaches and managers.”

Little League licensees and partners such as Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), and Olympic gold medalist Michele Smith, aided in content contribution. This free repository of information WILL ONLY be available to registered Little League managers and coaches.

When launched early in the 2008 season, the Little League Online Coach and Manager Resource Center will provide volunteers with instant access to any and all information in the database. Within each segment of the program, there will be a comprehensive combination of interactive text, video and animations. The articles will be easy to share via e-mail and with printer-friendly versions available in each instance.

“I understood this to be a coaching tool,” Bob Pascarella, creative director for Cramer Digital Marketing, said. “I thought about what coaches want to see, what they need to see and what the audience is capable of accepting. We had to be responsible in saying what needed to be said as simply as possible.

“The mission is to teach coaches,” Mr. Pascarella said. “I needed to show the mechanics of drills, so I couldn’t approach this like a movie. I had to capture shots that were uncluttered and not moving too fast. I thought of this shoot from a still photography perspective.”

An important element of the final product is the reusability of the resource center.

“We want to make this a first-class resource where people will want to come back for more,” Mr. Caringi said. “We will keep the information fresh and up-to-date, so coaches and managers can look at the center as a benefit of being a Little League volunteer.”

There also will be a rules component, which will provide an explanation of those rules and regulations that, at times, require further explanation than what is provided in the Little League rulebooks.

“Nick wanted to give Little League coaches the tools to make their team better,” Mr. Pascarella said. “I hope we’ve created this in such away that coaches can use it throughout the season.”



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