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    Time Management for Returning Coaches: The Benefits of Organizing Effective Practices

    Time Management for Returning Coaches: The Benefits of Organizing Effective Practices

    As a returning coach, your past experience provides you with a huge advantage in the area of time management. Even just one season under your belt gives you the basis for improving how you manage your baseball or softball season, how you manage your players’ time during practice, and how you can teach life lessons in time management to players of all ages. 

    A challenging first step toward improving time management is to find or make the time to sit still long enough to think about how you spend time. 

    Don’t Procrastinate

    Start with a 15-minute brainstorm, listing on a pad of paper in two columns what you consider effective uses of time in past seasons and what strikes you now as time wasted. 

    This is just the start, and those 15 minutes will show you the benefit of ending your procrastination, which makes it easier to habitually avoid procrastination and manage your time better this season. If you put off writing that plan, you will end up wasting time during practice as the season progresses. 

    That first 15-minute brainstorm – and the habit of avoiding procrastination – can trigger you to continue thinking intently about how you use time. You may reach for that pad again and again with new ideas on how to improve your efficiency. The planning that used to seem daunting will come to feel liberating instead. And, if you are ever tempted to backslide, remind yourself that “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” 

    Establish Detailed Practice Plans

    Using that initial brainstorm, get into the habit of coming to each practice session your written plan with an allotted number of minutes per activity, players and their parents will see that you put time and forethought into their experience and that you value their time. That reinforces your leadership position and their willingness to follow. 

    Among the principles that inform a time-efficient practice plan: 

      • Minimal time standing in line waiting for a next rep.

      • Move players quickly, station to station.

      • Spread stations far enough apart that running station to station incorporates conditioning and competition so that nobody wastes time and gets bored running laps.

      • No long lectures. If you can’t explain a skill simply, players won’t learn it, anyway.

      • Lengthier talk about procedure, team culture or life lessons can happen while stretching at the start of practice, when the team naturally gathers in one place, players are not focusing on execution, and they can use the information you provide throughout the remainder of that practice.

    When players see you utilize a written schedule out each practice it helps them understand the importance of time management. You can emphasize that life lesson and improve your team’s on-field performance by explicitly getting them to use time wisely. As the season progresses, have them help you create those practice plans, and involve your players in implementing those plans and keeping the team on task. 

    And, don’t forget to add in some fun. You can have them earn 10 minutes of homerun derby at the end of practice by successfully completing each of five drills in two minutes less than the time allotted on your written schedule. Cultivating that positive approach to time management in Little League may help your players grow into adults who understand the importance of managing their own schedules, whether that’s a to-do list at work or a practice schedule when they become Little League coaches. 

    The 18 Girls Who Have Made Little League Baseball® World Series History

    The 18 Girls Who Have Made Little League Baseball® World Series History

    In 1974, the Little League® Federal Charter was amended; allowing girls to play Little League Baseball® and the Little League Softball® program was created. That same year, tennis legend Billie Jean King established the Women’s Sport Foundation. In 1987, the foundation launched National Girls and Women in Sports Day, to celebrate the accomplishments of all female athletes, including the millions of women from around the world who are Little League graduates.

    Of those millions, there are only 18 that have played in the Little League Baseball World Series. In 2014, as Little League celebrated its 75th Anniversary and the 40th Anniversary of girls in Little League, two girls helped celebrate those milestones, helping their teams advance to the 68th Little League Baseball World Series.

    Mo’ne Davis on the Mid-Atlantic Region team and Emma March on the Canada Region team, were the 17th and 18th girls to play in the series.

    Ms. Davis made headlines around the world. Her performance on the mound for the Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League from Philadelphia helped the Mid-Atlantic Region Champions advance deep in the tournament. For the entire series, she threw 14 strikeouts and only allowed three earned runs in 8 1/3 innings pitched. Since competing with her team at the Little League Baseball World Series, she has returned back to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, where she is on the honor roll and, as an eighth-grader, she’s playing varsity girls basketball.

    Ms. March also had a solid Little League Baseball World Series performance for the South Vancouver Little League team from British Columbia. Pitching and playing first base, she registered a fielding percentage of .917, with 11 putouts. Now in seventh grade Corpus Christi Elementary in Vancouver, the straight-A student is playing volleyball, soccer, and softball, with baseball and potentially football on the horizon.

    “I believe every girl should have the opportunity to play sports and enjoy it,” said Ms. March. “Sports are not something you should be afraid of. It should be something that excites you. You should never be afraid to fail, nor should you care what the boys think.”

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    And Then There Were Four

    And Then There Were Four

    By Luke Ramirez and Curtis Driscoll

    The field of 16 at the Little League® Baseball World Series is down to its final four teams, with the one-game playoffs for the United States and International Championships set to decide the two teams that will meet for the 2017 LLBWS World Championship.

    On Saturday, Aug. 26, at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pa., ABC television will showcase the two best teams from the International bracket with the Japan Region Champions, Tokyo Kitasuna Little League, playing Mexico Regional Champions, Guadalupe Trevino Kelly Little League, beginning around 12:30 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time.

    Later in the afternoon, the top two Little League teams from the United States bracket - Southeast Region Champions, Greenville, North Carolina’s North State Little League and Southwest Regional Champions, Lufkin Little League of Texas - will meet, with the first pitch scheduled for approximately 3:30 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time.

    The winners of each game will advance to the World Championship game on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time, with a chance to achieve Little League immortality.


    JAPAN: Tokyo Kitasuna Little League

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    Angel Macias, the only pitcher to ever pitch a perfect game in the Little League Baseball® World Series final has served as a major influencer in the growth of baseball in Mexico, and because of his commitment to growing the game, Little League® International will enshrine Mr. Macias into its Hall of Excellence, the highest honor that Little League can bestow.

    “It is an honor to enshrine Angel into the Little League Hall of Excellence this year as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of his historic game here in Williamsport,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Angel’s dedication to the growth and support of baseball throughout Mexico has been truly inspiring, and believe that the foundation that he has created across the country will help the game continue to grow.”

    In 1957, Angel Macias and his Monterrey Industrial (Mexico) Little League team made an improbable run to Williamsport, becoming the first ever international team to claim the title of Little League Baseball World Series Champions. Back then, Mexico did not have direct entry into the Little League Baseball World Series, so the team had to play through the Texas state championship followed by the Southern Regional Championship.

    What started with expectations of only playing one game in McAllen, Texas, turned into 12-straight wins for Monterrey Industrial LL entering the championship game in Williamsport. At the time, the tournament format eliminated a team with one loss at any time from the district-level tournament all the way to the World Series.

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    Hills Little League from Sydney Returns to Williamsport after Winning the 2017 Little League Baseball® Australia Region Championship

    For the second year in a row, Hills Little League from Sydney, Australia, will make the trip to Williamsport as the Australia Region representative after emerging victorious at the 2017 Little League Baseball® Australia Region Championship. Following torrential rain and flooding over the last few weeks that forced a postponement and relocation of the championship weekend, Hills Little League was able to defeat Swan Hills, 8-4, in the championship game on July 9 to punch the second of 16 tickets to the 2017 Little League Baseball World Series.

    Hills Little League got out to an early start in the tournament, opening the event with an 11-0 victory over Central and a 20-1 win over Ryde Little League in its first two games. The Championship game against Swan Hills was no easy feat, however, as Swan Hills Little League pitcher, Elijah Hewett, was able to strike out seven-consecutive batters early on in the game. Fortunately for Hills Little League, starting pitcher Stephen Courtney was able to match the performance, striking out nine batters in four hitless innings while picking up four RBI and a home run to help lead the team to victory.

    Throughout the entire tournament, Hills Little League performed well at the plate, outscoring its opponents, 67-17. With the victory, Hills Little League becomes the first Australian chartered league to attend the Little League Baseball World Series in back-to-back years. This year’s Hills Little League team features three players who will return to Williamsport from last year’s squad: Stephen Courtney, Ethan Treble, and Harrison Wheeldon.

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