House League (Guelph Minor Baseball)

PrintHouse League
Coaching at the House League level is a great way to spend time with your child and give back to your community and can be a fun and rewarding experience. We recognize it can be a bit intimidating at the same time and especially for new coaches. We want to help!

House League

  • Register as a House League Coach with GMBA:
  • This can be done when registering your child or by emailing [email protected]
   Once selected as a House League coach
  • Complete a Police Check when instructed to do so and submit to [email protected]
  • Complete further learning as desired- convenors and commissioners will provide additional details!
  • GMBA will advise you of the kids on your team and provide contact info.
    • This will happen in mid April via your convenor.
  • Uniform pickup. 
    • Done in April/May and you will be notified of date and time options.
  • Equipment bag pickup.
    • Date confirmed by convenor & equipment manager
  • Coaches Training night 
    • Date & Location confirmed by convenor and Coach and Player development director (April 2024)
  • Practice nights. GMBA will provide details once diamonds are confirmed (mid-late April).
    •  Lead practices with the support of your assistant coaches.  If you need to be away a week here or there, make sure assistant coach knows and has equipment to lead the practice
  • Games- create line ups and oversee the team.
  • Mid Season Tournaments
  • Photo Day-May 26th
  • Closing tournaments- mid July
  • Complete player evaluations and submit to your convenor.
  • Equipment return to GMBA.
    • GMBA  is responsible for all diamond bookings.
    • Contact the convenor of your division to secure your night and diamond. 

Head Coach Responsibilities

At the beginning of the season the Head Coach will contact the players listed on their team roster with a brief introduction of themselves and their Assistant Coaches. This email is also a good time to seek out volunteers, people that will help with field set up and score keeping, or even keep track of the snack schedule!

Pre-season is also a great time to put together your first three or four practice plans. These plans should have a focus on getting back into baseball after a long off season. Start slow and focus on proper mechanics, bad habits are often formed in the first three or four weeks of the season. As a Head Coach you should always have a plan for practice; without a full plan your players will quickly lose interest making them challenging to coach. Do not be afraid to ask for help from the league, or a more experienced coach. The expectation is that Coaches be there for each other as well as the development of all players, not just the ones listed on their roster.

GMBA will strive to partner new coaches with experienced coaches to share a practice diamonds.

Your game day line up should be completed before you get to the field. Attempting to place players on the fly will without a doubt create situations where fair play rules are not being followed. Create a line up with long term in mind, playing your players in all positions, all season, will ensure greater development and long-term growth. Playing the “strongest” players in all the key spots inning after inning game after game will not foster their long-term growth. Having ball players play into adult hood, or as long as they can is more important than winning tonight’s game.

Game night, ask that your team to arrive at least 30 minutes before gametime. Seek some volunteer parents to set up the field, if that is not an option have your assistant coaches prepare the field. While the field is being set up take the players to the outfield, along the baseline. Start the pre-game warm up, a light run to warm the muscles and some light stretches. Have the players throw and field some ground balls. If your division includes pitching this is a good time to get your starting pitcher and catcher together and warm up. All throwing should be supervised.

Play ball, have fun, and remember that good sportsmanship is a must.

Coaching Philosophy

GMBA Motto: “Good Sports Today - Great Citizens Tomorrow”

You Are A Role Model

It doesn't matter if you're coaching tee-ball or coaching at the Rep level, you're probably the most important role model that your players have during the season. Players are going to look to you not only for guidance and instruction, but they will be watching and listening to how you react to every situation. Believe it or not but a coach can be one of the most influential people in a young players life. Many players and former players attribute a large portion of their success in life to the things they learned on the baseball field and from a few great coaches. We're not talking about fielding ground balls, or how to hit; we're talking about teamwork, perseverance, work ethic, having a positive attitude, to just name a few. Skills that not only helped them on the baseball field but helped them in life.

Often coaches think only of the present year; how am I going to develop the players to have a successful season. We'll get into a definition of successful in a bit, but the point here is often coaches don't realize the influence they have on their players. Coaches can help instill a love for the game that can last a lifetime. Good coaches can keep players interested in continuing to participate from year to year.

As a coach you have to decide how you want to be seen by your players and the parents of your players. What type of example do you want to provide? I hope everyone takes the responsibility of coaching very seriously. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to be a successful coach. The following paragraphs discuss some important issues that you should consider incorporating into your coaching philosophy.

“Coaches: We create the atmosphere, we create the culture. Our attitudes are contagious and determine the energy level of those around us. Our morals are seen in our approach, in what we allow and the choices we make. When drama surrounds our team, we must look at US before we look at them.”

Have Fun

Fun is essential for kids of all ages. Develop practices that let them do the things they enjoy. It's also important for you to have fun. Create an environment that is structured and varied enough for you to enjoy what your doing. If you're having fun, chances are your players will be having fun also.

Be Positive

Players need a patient, supportive coach that can teach and motivate in a positive way. Knowing how to be positive and having the ability to communicate with your players is more important to a successful season than knowing many aspects of the game.

Attitude And Effort

Coaches that believe winning is everything have only one direction to take the team... and that is towards disappointment. Everyone wants to win, but when the main goal is winning a really good season can be lost. If on the other hand, you put emphasis on attitude and effort a successful season can be had without a league championship. Winning games will take care of themselves if you prepare the team to play hard and always give their best effort.

Youth Coaching Advice

Don’t make the mistake of emphasizing results instead of effort. We’ve seen and heard coaches who try to motivate players by offering rewards. This could be money or candy for getting a hit or getting on base. This focus on results puts additional pressure on the player to perform. This can be especially difficult for the less skilled player. A father once told me that his son’s coach offered a candy bar for each hit during the season. His son started to get nervous the night before each game and it got worse as the season went on. The father talked to his son and found out that he felt like he was letting his team down because he hadn’t got a hit and was the only kid on the team to not get a candy bar. He talked to the coach and they eliminated the reward. Without the pressure of trying to achieve a results-based reward, his son was able to relax and got a number of hits over the last few games.
Player: “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is?
Answer: The opportunity to play.”

Tips and Suggestions for Running a Practice

The Baseball Ontario On Deck App is an new and improved mobile app that features a Drills Library, Practice Plans, Umpires Zone, Safe Sport, Resources and more!  Find out more from the Baseball Ontario Site

Game Day Coaches Responsibilities

  • Create a batting lineup.
  • Planning player positions through the game.
  • Our suggestion is that coaches have an email distribution list for your team and provide timely communications to your parents. The game schedule is on the GMBA website and parents can easily reference this. Ensure everyone knows the practice day and time and ask parents for feedback on attendance for both practices and games. This helps greatly with pre-planning.
  • Reference the playing rules for your division. Be familiar with players being required to play both infield and outfield positions within the first 4 innings.

Coaching Resources

Defensive Baseball

Everything from basic plays with no runners on base to complex bunt coverages. This is a great visual for players and can be added into team practices to help eliminate base runners advancing on bad plays. 
 Defensive Baseball.pdf

Field Diagram

This can be used by coaches of all levels to write in players names and where they are positioned or they can use these to draw out a situation for players to see what the coach is talking about. 
 Field Diagram. pdf

Catchers Development Log

This log book will help catchers track the work that they are doing in practice and what they did well as well as what they need to improve.  This also allows them to record their game performance and learn what they need to improve as well as what they did well. This log will also help them get to learn each one of their pitchers' warm up preferences, mental cues and emotional cues to help guide their pitching staff throughout the game.
 Catchers Development Log.pdf

Pitchers Game Log

The pitchers log book will help identify what the pitcher struggled with as well as what they did well at during a game. You can set a game goal before the game, a coach can help track each inning and then discuss results and add in notes to help pitchers develop.
 Pitchers Game Log.pdf

Hitters Log

The hitters log will help players learn what pitchers are trying to do to them to try and get outs depending on the situation. This log can be filled out by a coach or volunteer during the game. You will be able to track what the situation was, pitch sequence, and what the result was. The coaches can also provide notes as they wish. 
 Hitters Game Log.pdf

Spray Chart Tracker

The spray chart tracker is useful for tracking opposing players at bats in a simplified manner.  By tracking hits & locations of previous at bats, it allows you to shift your defense accordingly.  Coaches have seen success using this tracker over multiple games against the same team as you can see patterns in how your opponent hits.  
 Hit Tracker - 12 Players.pdf

 Hit Tracker - 6 Players.pdf

Useful Links

Instructional Videos and Drills

Baseball Canada

The Baseball Canada YouTube Channel is a great resource for instructional videos and drills. 
The Links below will bring you to key video playlists by Position and Age Group.  

Instructional Videos

Base Running

Age Group Related Drills

Baseball Canada - 9U Drills
Baseball Canada - 11U Drills
Baseball Canada - 13U Drills
Baseball Canada - 15U Drills
Baseball Canada – 16U+ Drills

Baseball Ontario On Deck App

The Baseball Ontario On Deck app  is an new and improved mobile app  that features a Drills Library, Practice Plans, Umpires Zone, Safe Sport, Resources and more! Download yours now from the Google Play and Apple App Store!
Find out more from the Baseball Ontario Site

Police Checks

All Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches will need to follow our volunteer screening process and will require a current Police Check submitted prior to your first coaching event with your team.  

  • If you reside within Guelph city limits this must be requested online with the Guelph Police
  • If you reside outside of the city of Guelph, the application must be done in person with the OPP
More information on this process will be communicated by your convenor/commissioner.

Any further questions regarding police checks can be sent to Risk Management at [email protected]

Questions?  Email us at: [email protected]