Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Youth Baseball: Cooperstown Dreams Park More Tips for Coaches (Part One)

Here are some more tips for Cooperstown Dreams Park directly from a coach who just competed in Cooperstown last week.

My son is looking for a new baseball team so I have been talking to quite a few coaches from some of the top teams in this area.  Most of these coaches went to Cooperstown Dreams Park this summer. One of the coaches asked me if I was StatsDad and we talked at length about the experience. He told me that my tips were very helpful to him and his parents. I asked him if he would add his tips and he did.

Cooperstown Tips from a Coach:
  • Cooperstown has it down – trust the system – it really works.
  • Check in early.  Boring and a pain for parents and siblings, great for the team and the coaches.  80% of the teams checked in on Friday.  1st night of sleep (Friday) was not great as the kids and coaches got used to the place. Once the newness of the situation was behind the team, the 2nd night of sleep (Saturday) was much better. You want your team to be well rested for play on Sunday.
  • Have kids get a red belt and a blue belt.  Nothing in info about belts, they are not provided - we had to make a last minute run before we left town.  Get two pairs of white pants.
  • Laundry is a pain, have to separate and count each item.  Have the kids help count, but don’t let them do the forms themselves.
  • Clearly communicate playing time plan.  We told parents a head of time that we were batting 9 with subs and would plan to play each player as evenly as possible for the pool play.  All the players paid the same money and deserved the same shot.  For the first six games each kid sat 6 innings, 3 innings at a time in different games.  A few players sat an extra 1 or 2 and only one an additional 3, but it worked out due to pitching. Setting expectations with the parents and the kids before play worked for us, my phone was silent for PT issues.
  • Lots of mandatory meetings – make sure head coach goes, better if two coaches go and two stay with the kids.
  • Batting cages – whatever your warm-up plan, add 15 minutes.  We headed for the cages 1 ½ hours ahead of game time, never had an issue.  You don’t want to be waiting and then rush to your game.  Cage time thins out over the course of the week.
  • Make sleeping in the barracks mandatory for the players and keep sign-outs to a minimum until you are done with the baseball.  We had a couple of “experienced” parents with older boys that “gamed” the system having us sign kids out then they returned in the am.  Caused some issues with the kids and was a pain for the coaches to constantly have to check them back in and be responsible for kids not with the team.  It's baseball camp for the team, period.
  • Food is actually very good – no fried items – ate really good and lost a few pounds myself.
  • Fans for the barracks a must.
  • A case of water per kid a must.
  • Lots of rules – follow them and all will be great.  Trying to get around them causes more headaches than it’s worth.
  • Kids need some money in the barracks – otherwise coach comes out of pocket - the concession stand is open until 11p and growing boys can never have enough food.  Prices very reasonable and food is good. 
  • Rain gear necessary – you will get wet.
  • Go to the Hall of Fame.  Go to downtown Cooperstown.  Car pool, don’t rely on the bus.
  • Go to win, but don’t let losses spoil the fun.  The 0 – 6 team next to us had as much fun as we did and we did very well. 
The Main Point

I welcome all comments and tips and tricks.


    1. Hello! We are attending Cooperstown the last week in June 2014. I've read your entire blog and have just gotten to this page and had a couple of questions.

      You suggested earlier in the blog for the coach to check in the team on Friday night but the have rest of the team come in on Saturday morning to save the long lines. Here you say early check in is boring and a pain but good for the team. My first question is can they check in AND sleep there on Friday night? Second, is it worth the line or are parents able to come late (10PM or so) and park in the C lot you spoke of in an earlier blog and carry the belongings over to miss the line after the coaches have checked in. Third, can the coaches park and walk up to check in to avoid the line? Last, I also though their first meal wasn't available until dinner on Saturday. Our plan had been to have our boys stay with us at the various lodgings on Friday night and then bring them all on Saturday around 9:30. Should that change?

      Thanks for all the advice! It's been invaluable!

      1. Good questions but i don't see any replies...




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