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Staying Connected with Your Community: Best Practices

Little League® is the reason your community comes alive. While we all wait for this delay to pass, and for a return to the field, many of our 6,500 local Little League programs are finding ways to rally around their communities.

Since the first Little League season in 1939, community has been vital to support the children participating in our program. As we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation, social media, video conferencing, and other digital media opportunities have provided innovative options for all generations to take advantage of to stay connected while socially distancing.

Here are some ways that leagues are showing their appreciation, connecting with their players, and supporting their communities.

Thanking Your Community’s Unsung Heroes

Now is a great time to create a video or photo message for the medical professionals, first responders, and other essential workers thanking those who are on the frontlines of the pandemic response. These same people are likely families in your league, the ones who drive fire engines and ambulances in your opening day parade, and who provide care and service to all families in your community year-round. Finding a special way to honor them during this time is a great way for your league or team to connect with the community.

Grosse Pointe Farms-City Little League recently used some of their league’s funds to to donate to two local funds to help provide area health workers with personal protective equipment and to help caregivers with financial hardship.

Fairfield National Little League in Connecticut created a thank you video that your league could replicate to show your gratitude for your essential workers.

Use Digital Media to Connect with Your League or Team

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen so many great examples of the use of social media and video conferencing to share team spirit, teach lessons, and connect while practicing social distancing. Little League activities are no different. There are many great ideas that district and league administrators and coaches are taking advantage of:

  • Reach out to your team to film a virtual catch or a fun video that promotes togetherness.
  • Host a virtual Opening Day, where families can show pictures of their players or do a social media shout-out for their team, like Irmo (S.C.) Little League.
  • Host a video chat with your players where you can go over things like your signs, how to handle certain on-field and off-field situations, or, simply have them talk about their favorite baseball or softball player and what they like about them.
  • Have your players submit photos of them sharing a special message to the community and make a collage, or utilize sidewalk chalk, posters in your windows and porches, etc., to share words of encouragement.
  • Share pictures for recent years and ask current and former players, families, volunteers, and fans to tag the posts on their own social media pages.
  • Create an online learning program, similar to the school curriculums that are being created, to provide a structured Little League learning opportunity that is appropriate for your community and families.
  • Have your coaches share a video of their favorite drill that families can do at home, like San Ramon (Calif.) Little League’s 30 Drills in 30 Days.

Support Your Sponsors

It’s likely that most businesses who sponsor your league are going through a difficult time right now. Many leagues are finding ways to promote their sponsors, either by thanking them through social media, promoting special dining opportunities for the restaurants that are sponsors, or finding other ways to connect with them, like Warwick (Pa.) Little League’s Sponsor Showcase. As leagues are assessing their financial operations, and understanding how sponsorship may be impacted, showing some goodwill during this difficult time can strengthen relations with your sponsors.

Utilize Little League International Resources to Stay Active

Visit Little League University and look over the items/resources available for local league officials, coaches, and umpires. Pick out a few articles and begin to share the links with these respective groups on a regular basis as we move through the coming weeks. There’s also new resources being created on LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus specifically to help our leagues and families throughout this pandemic that you’re encouraged to share.

Staying active is important. Encourage your families to take walks together, ride bikes, skateboard, rollerblade, or use the backyard tips as ways to have fun around home, while following all local and national guidelines.

If your league or team has been connecting with your community in an innovative way, let us know by emailing us at seasonupdate@LittleLeague.org.