Little League® Announces Its Diamond Leader Training Program, A Free Coaching Education Tool Focused on Social and Emotional Learning

Little League® International, as part of the Susan Crown Exchange’s Million Coaches Challenge and in coordination with the Aspen Institute’s Project Play, is excited to announce the launch of the pilot of the “Little League Diamond Leader Training Program,” an initiative focused on educating volunteer coaches on their role supporting the social and emotional well-being of children.

“For the past year, we have been proud to work with the Susan Crown Exchange, Aspen Institute Project Play, and the entire cohort participating in the Million Coaches Challenge to provide coaches with these educational resources,” said Nina Johnson-Pitt, Little League Senior Strategy Executive. “The social, emotional, and mental well-being of our participants is critically important to us as an organization, and we are excited to launch this in-depth program to help provide our dedicated volunteer coaches with the guidance, resources, and materials they need to provide the best possible experience to the Little Leaguers in their community.”

Focused on ensuring children have a positive, well-rounded experience on and off the field, the Little League Diamond Leader Training Program is a FREE educational resource that provides coaches with an understanding of the impact that mental, social, and emotional well-being has in youth sports through detailed information, interactive scenarios, and a variety of additional resources.

Officially set to begin with pilot testing across select Little League programs around the country starting in June 2022, the Little League Diamond Leader Training Program will be a key resource for local leagues and coaches starting with the 2023 Little League season. More information on the integration of the Little League Diamond Leader Training Program for local leagues will be available following the pilot phase.

“Sports and other organized physical activities are settings particularly conducive to social and emotional skill development. We want to provide our coaches with the tools necessary to not only support their players, but also enhance their own social and emotional development.  The Little League program represents an important context in which to intentionally build these skills. In fostering the development of these social and emotional skills, coaches can also be an important source of feedback, instruction, and support for Little Leaguers,” said Mrs. Johnson-Pitt. “It is also important to note that while we are starting with coaches, this initiative is not limited to one subset of Little League volunteers. We will be strongly encouraging all our volunteers to experience the Little League Diamond Leader Training Program and utilize the tremendous resources the program provides to enhance the overall experience of our Little Leaguers. We hope that as we look to help train more than a million coaches around the world, we can instill millions of Little League Diamond Leaders within our communities through this program.”

Through this course, which navigates Little League volunteers through real-life scenarios that are being faced in local leagues all around the world each year, coaches will have a better understanding of the impact they have on their players, both on and off the field.

As a part of the Susan Crown Exchange’s Million Coaches Challenge, in coordination with the Aspen Institute’s Project Play, the Little League Diamond Leader Training Program is one of the many free resources that Little League Baseball and Softball provides to its volunteer coaches to ensure that its players are making the most out of their Little League experience each year.

More information about the program, including details on the global launch of the program for the 2023 season, will be made later this year.