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I try not to have too many rules for the youth teams that I coach.  At a high level, I keep it simple: Never walk when you can run.  No one else talks when the coach is talking and I want to see your face when I am talking. 

That said, I have developed six rules - for lack of a better handle - which I do attempted to drill into my players each season.  Here they are:

  1. Attitude is a decision.
  2. You can't practice one way and expect to do it differently in a game.
  3. What happens on the field is often out of your control.  But, you can always control how you react to it.
  4. Focus on your effort rather than worry about results.
  5. Be ready to play, physically and mentally, on every pitch
  6. There are no little things in baseball - everything matters.

I have never coached a team, to date, above what would be considered 10U.  But, I believe that this "rules" would benefit any youth team.

How about you?  What are the rules that you stress with your team each season?

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I coach High School and I tell all my players every season pretty much what you just said.  I tell them they need to play hard on every pitch in every inning or get off the field. 

I've actually told some of my younger players "Don't think of it as a 6 inning game.  Think of it as six one inning games.  Try your best in the one inning that we're in.  When it's done, we move on to the next one inning game."

I agree it's a good idea to simplify the game for the younger players.  I take it one step further and that is 1 pitch at a time.  I explain to them in baseball we live 1 pitch at a time.  Because it only takes 1 pitch to change the game for the good and 1 pitch can change it for the bad. So give me everything you have for 1 pitch. 

Yup.  That was our rec team motto this past spring: "One inning at a time, one At Bat at a time, one pitch at a time."  (And, this applies at the plate, in the field, and on the mound.)

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