Every child is different. Some mature faster than others. Some don't acquire a great deal of coordination until they get beyond the early years. My message to you Mom and Dad coaching warriors out there, don't give up on the little people.
I help coach my oldest son's Little League team myself. We're talking 10 to 12 years of age, with my son being right in the middle at age 11.
The 12 year olds are pretty much the stars, the 11 year olds are pretty mixed and the 10 year olds have a difficult time finding their place.
It would be easy to take the 10 year olds, put them on the bench and forget about them until your games reach blowout proportion, either good or bad. But what would that accomplish?
It's this younger group of players that need most of your attention and teaching. It's this class of players that in some cases, really hasn't decided if baseball is for them or not. If a youngster is thrown to the bench and nobody works with him, the experience turns sour. When that happens, the child might quit and never come back, or perhaps even decide to try something else.
The reason I bring this up, because I'm seeing this happen far to often. I'm seeing young kids pushed to excel, and if they don't, they're cast aside. It's the job of a coach to not only teach, but to make it fun for these young players. It's getting them excited about the game they're playing, giving them incentive to work on their skills away from the field. Maybe it's just playing catch in the backyard with another member of the family.
Just because a young child isn't of all-star caliber at an early age, doesn't mean he or she will never get there. The process is different for everyone and coaches need to keep that in mind when handing out playing time. And if these general reminders can't be followed by you coaches, then resign your post and let someone else give it a shot. The kids deserve our very best!