ALYB Managers/Coaches

Manager/Coach Eligibility

ALYB managers and coaches must be leaders. All must recognize that they hold a position of trust and responsibility in a program that deals with a sensitive and formative period of a child’s development.

It is required that the manager and coach have understanding, patience and the capacity to work with children. The manager and coach should be able to inspire respect. Above all else, managers and coaches must realize that they are helping to shape the physical, mental and emotional development of young people.

The ALYB managers and coaches must be something more than just a teacher. Knowledge of the game is essential but it is not the only badge of a coach or manager.

ALYB managers and coaches must be adults who are sensitive to the mental and physical limitations of children of Little League age and who recognize that the game is a vehicle of training and enjoyment, not an end in itself.

Anyone interested in being an ALYB manager or coach must be in good standing with ALYB and should contact an ALYB Board Member.  Individuals must also be willing to undergo a screening process that may include a background check.

IMPORTANT: No individual shall be permitted to participate as a manager or coach whose background check reveals a conviction for any crime involving or against a minor.

ALYB Overall Program Objectives

The American Legion Youth Baseball Program exists in order to offer the youth of Vermilion County and the surrounding areas the opportunity to experience baseball in a safe and enjoyable environment. The ALYB Program recognizes that players and families come to our organization with varying goals and expectations, but the Program will be structured in a way where all players are prepared as best as possible for the next level of play with an emphasis on the fundamentals required at each level. All coaches will be provided with a detailed list of expectations for each age level and provided with any resources necessary to achieve those expectations. In addition, coaches and their support staff will be provided with the current rules applicable to their team's age group and provided with continuous feedback and education in order to better their knowledge of the game of baseball.

As the primary facility for Youth Baseball in Danville and the Central Illinois area, we owe it to the youth of our community to make their experience in our Program as positive and educational as possible. We are the potential source for future rosters of teams such as North Ridge and South View Middle Schools, Danville and Schlarman Academy High Schools, Danville Area Community College and the Danville Dans. Our focus on individual growth and development, as well as team building and the spirit of competition, is imperative to ensuring the best possible outcomes for everyone taking part in our Program.

ALYB Age-Specific Program Objectives

D League (6U)

This is the first introduction to a team sport for most kids at this age. We must strive to cultivate a genuine interest in the sport, while at the same time introducing them to the basic rules and awareness of the game. As a primary objective, the kids need to have the feeling of fun and enjoyment and a willingness to learn and participate. The greatest emphasis should be placed on having fun while learning some basic baseball sense, with "winning" as a non-priority as no scores are kept at this level.

• Learn and understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.
• Respect for managers, coaches and players.
• A need to pay attention throughout the entire game.
• Why they need to practice to improve.
• Basic warm-up drills and their importance.
• General baseball field layout and positions.
• Batting
• Where to stand; how to stand; how to hold a bat; basic swinging and hitting mechanics.
• Fielding
• How to position the glove; proper fielding stance; where to position themselves; how to field grounders and flies; how and what base to cover; ready position; call the ball.
• Throwing
• Proper throwing mechanics; how to hold the ball; who to throw the ball to and to what base to throw the ball; throw to first base from the infield and second base from the outfield.
• Base running
• What base to run to next and when to run.
• Necessary safety regulations
• Proper dress and equipment; controlling their tempers.

Encourage your team and parents to cheer on both teams. Try to keep the game moving whenever possible so the kids don't get bored. Managers, coaches and assistant coaches are encouraged to instruct players while walking around the field during the game rather than from the bench.

C League (8U)

There is no need to begin to develop the competitiveness of the game or put pressure on the kids to perform at this level. Therefore, the greatest emphasis should be put on having fun while learning some basic baseball sense, with "winning" as a non-priority.

• Learn and understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.
• Respect for coaches, players and umpires.
• A baseball sense of concentration and the need to pay attention throughout the entire game.
• Why they need to practice to improve.
• Basic warm-up drills and their importance.
• General baseball field layout and positions.
• Batting
• Where to stand; how to stand; how to hold a bat; proper bat size and weight; swinging and hitting mechanics.
• Fielding
• How to position the glove; proper fielding stance; where to position themselves; how to field grounders and flies; how and what base to cover and how to take a throw while covering a base; ready position; call the ball.
• Throwing
• Proper throwing mechanics; how to hold the ball; who to throw the ball to and to what base to throw the ball.
• Base running
• What base to run to and when; how to round the bases.
• Proper sliding techniques, demonstrations and drills.
• Some basic baseball rules
• Force out versus tag out plays; balls and strikes; outs; foul balls and what part of the field is in play.
• Necessary safety regulations
• Proper dress and equipment; controlling their tempers.

B League (10U)

At this level the emphasis is still on having fun, but having fun while being instructed and learning some of the fundamental baseball skills. The kids must learn to listen and practice what they are being taught. They should begin to refine the feeling and concept of playing as a team, encouraging and helping one another. Although the idea of competitiveness and "winning" is not emphasized, the kids will begin to develop an understanding of competing as a team and winning and losing as a team. Individualism and "star" status should be discouraged. Although there still may be many newcomers to the sport of baseball at this level, it may be assumed that many of the kids have the basic awareness of what the game is about. Some basic skills may have already been taught and you can begin to develop the more fundamental ones.

• Learn and understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.
• Respect for coaches, players and umpires.
• Re-visit basic baseball rules
• Force out versus tag out plays; balls and strikes; outs; foul balls and what part of the field is in play.
• Proper cut-off and run down responsibilities.
• Warm-up drills and their importance.
• Basic bunting techniques.
• Improved throwing and fielding.
• An introduction to pitching and basic mechanics.
• Develop real position play.
• Development of catchers and the appropriate skills.
• Batting
• Where to stand; how to stand; how to hold a bat; proper bat size and weight; swinging and hitting mechanics; how to hit live pitching.
• Improved base running
• Watching for and listening to the base coaches.
• Introduction to coach’s signs.
• Proper sliding techniques, demonstrations and drills.

A League (12U)

Once a player reaches this level most of the basic skills have already been taught and you can work on the finer points of baseball.

• Learn and understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.
• Respect for coaches, players and umpires.
• Warm-up drills and their importance.
• Defensive baseball
• Proper cut-off and run down responsibilities, double plays.
• Improved bunting techniques.
• Improved throwing and fielding.
• Development of pitchers and the appropriate skills. Full wind up and from the stretch.
• Develop real position play.
• Development of catchers and the appropriate skills.
• Improved batting and hitting mechanics.
• Keys to base stealing.
• The importance of watching for and listening to the base coaches. Coach’s signs.
• Advanced sliding techniques, demonstrations and drills.

Pony League (15U)

Players at this advanced level will be introduced to a different set of rules (IHSA/IESA) appropriate for this age group. In addition to working on the finer points of baseball, players are now introduced to:

• Lead-offs
• Balks
• Equipment rules (i.e. bats)
• Non-continuous batting order
• Competitive play with teams based outside of the American Legion


The Pony League is a county-wide league and the American Legion acts only as the administrator (i.e. scheduling, rules meetings, etc.) for the league as well as the host for the Post-Season Tournament. It is imperative that American Legion Managers, Coaches and Players treat non-Legion teams as our guests when they participate in games at our facility.

Team Meetings

It is highly recommended that all ALYB Head Coaches have a team meeting involving players and/or parents within the first couple of weeks of practices.  Topics that should be covered during team meetings include:

  • Coaching Style
  • Expectations of Players/Parents
  • Sportsmanship
  • RainedOut Text Alert System
  • Parking During Games
  • Pet Policy
  • Smoking/Alcohol Policy

Team Practices

Coaches are permitted to select one weekday and one weekend practice time at the scheduled Mandatory Work Day in early spring. Practice baseballs and catcher’s equipment will be provided in the blue shed. Coaches are expected to return the practice equipment to the blue shed provided a team practicing immediately afterwards does not need it. All coaches are expected to make sure that the blue shed is locked if it appears they are the last/only team present at the facility.

Coaching Resources

The Whiffle Ball Toss Drill helps players focus on hand-eye coordination and practicing hitting line drives.

This Drill helps players practice running through 1st base, striking the front of the base, and identifying overthrows.

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