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Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way Paperback – December 15, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cal Ripken, Jr., is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only eight players in history to record more than 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played (2,130) and voluntarily ended his streak in 1998 after playing in a world-record 2,632 consecutive games.

Among his other on-field accolades are American League Rookie of the Year (1982), two-time American League Most Valuable Player (1983, 1991), two-time Gold Glove recipient (1991, 1992), two-time All-Star Game MVP (1991, 2001), and 19 All-Star Game selections. He also was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team in 1999. Ripken has made a tremendous impact on the sport and on fans everywhere. In 1999, Babe Ruth League, Inc., changed the name of its largest division (5- to 12-year-olds) from Bambino to Cal Ripken Baseball. Currently, more than 700,000 youths play Cal Ripken Baseball worldwide. He is using the platform that baseball has provided him to construct a baseball complex in his hometown of Aberdeen, Maryland. The one-of-a-kind facility consists of Ripken Stadium, a state-of-the-art 6,000-seat minor league ballpark that is home to the hugely successful Class A Aberdeen IronBirds. Adjacent to the minor league ballpark is the Ripken Youth Baseball Academy, consisting of eight youth fields, including a youth-sized replica of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a synthetic training infield, a bullpen area, and batting cages.

Ripken resides in Maryland with his wife, Kelly, and their children, Rachel and Ryan.

Bill Ripken, a 12-year Major League veteran, began his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1987 under the direction of his father, Cal Ripken, Sr., and alongside brother Cal Ripken, Jr. This was the first and remains the only time in Major League Baseball history that a father simultaneously managed two of his sons.

After five and a half seasons with the Orioles, Ripken, who would later return to Baltimore for a year, played for Texas, Cleveland, and Detroit. In 1988, he was second among American League second basemen in double plays turned (100). At the plate, Ripken led the Baltimore Orioles in hitting with a .291 average and 28 doubles in 1990. Ripken, a second baseman by trade, had a fielding percentage of .9927 in 1992, the best of any Major League second baseman that season, and his career fielding percentage at second base (.987) ranks among baseball’s all-time leaders. Ripken was voted by his peers as one of the players most likely to manage a big league team.

Ripken is the co-owner and executive vice president of Ripken Baseball Inc., a baseball sales and marketing company founded in 1999 and based in Baltimore. Ripken is involved in all aspects of the business and regularly instructs at youth camps and coaching clinics. Through his work with these programs, he has become recognized as one of America’s premiere baseball instructors. Ripken also is involved in the continued development of the Ripken Academy in Aberdeen, Maryland, and the management of Ripken Baseball’s minor league teams in Aberdeen and Augusta, Georgia.

Ripken lives in Fallston, Maryland, with his wife, Candace, and his children, Miranda, Anna, Reese, and Jack.

Scott Lowe joined Ripken Baseball in 1999 after eight years working in college sports publicity. Lowe initially served as the general manager of the company’s camps and clinics division, developing Ripken Baseball’s youth camps, coaching clinics, and other instructional programs. Presently he writes and designs Ripken Baseball’s Coach’s Clipboard e-newsletter, which is distributed to amateur baseball coaches around the world on a monthly basis. He also oversees the creation and distribution of Ripken Baseball instructional products and is involved in the development and implementation of the company’s coaching education and other baseball instructional programs.

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Maryland College of Journalism in 1991, Lowe spent two years as an athletic communications assistant at Princeton University. He was the assistant director of sports information and served as the athletics marketing coordinator at Drexel University in Philadelphia from 1993 to 1995 before returning to the Baltimore area to become the assistant director of athletic communications at Loyola College. Lowe served in that capacity before being promoted to the position of head sports information director in 1997. Lowe left Loyola in 1998 to form his own baseball camp business prior to joining Ripken Baseball in September 1999.

In addition to his full-time position at Ripken Baseball, he has served for three years as the head coach of varsity baseball at the Park School in Baltimore, compiling a 45–19 record and leading the Bruins to three consecutive MIAA B Conference playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2006 championship game, after the school had failed to reach the postseason the previous seven years.

Lowe resides in Owings Mills, Maryland, with his wife, Robin, and children, Devin and Sydney.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (December 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736067825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736067829
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hanie E. Cole III on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written book on coaching baseball for all ages. I read this book to get more informed on how to coach 5-6 year old T-Ball. This book provided a very good framework for this age group. Many well timed photographs used to describe practice drills.

Table of contents

Part 1
1 Responsibilities of Coaching
2 Realities of Coaching
3 Reasonable Expectations
4 Baseball Practice Basics

Part 2
5 Hitting and Baserunning Drills
6 Throwing and Pitching Drills
7 Fielding drills

Part 3
Practice Planner
8 Practice Particulars for Ages 4 to 6
9 Practice Particulars for Ages 7 to 9
10 Practice Particulars for Ages 10 to 12
11 Practice particulars for Ages 13 to 14
12 Practice Particulars for Ages 15+

Favorite parts of the book:

Page 6
As coaches, we need to be able to cater to the needs of the kid who can't catch one ball and still make baseball fun and exciting for the kid who can. It's a difficult balance but one that's important to understand at all levels.
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We think anyone who coaches young baseball players should read and use this book. One of Cal and Bill Ripken's biggest goals is to get young players to LOVE THE GAME and have fun! We originally picked this book because it is written by the Ripkens (and we think Cal Ripken is one of the best ballplayers of all time!)

The book is not just a list of drills but they also take time to discuss coaching responsibilities and philosophies and reasonable expectations. They include great ideas for practices and how to run games at the younger levels - we wish this book was required reading for ALL volunteer youth baseball coaches. Drills included are several for Hitting and Baserunning, Throwing and Pitching, and Fielding.

The best part of the book is the Practice Planner, where they go over Practice Particulars for each age group (4-6, 7-9, 10-12, etc.) They also tell you what skills you should be teaching kids at what age level. I was amazed at the "basics" that my 8 year old son hasn't learned yet. The Ripkens want kids to learn and have fun doing it so they love the game.

We found ourselves agreeing with everything the Ripkens had to say and we will be using the rest of the spring/summer to "backyard coach" our 5 year old, 8 year old and 10 year old daughter now that baseball is over for the year - keeping it fun, of course! We would love for our children to go to one of the Ripkens' baseball camps, but this book will have to suffice.
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I bought this book to help with specific tips for coaching my daughter's softball team. Although softball pitching is not covered (after all, this is a bok on coaching baseball) the book provides a multitude of teaching points for teaching kids of all age groups. Although there is some overlap, I would strongly suggest purchasing Play Baseball the Ripken Way: The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Fundamentals also. That title breaks down the necessary skills by age groups and provides a series of drills that can be brought right to the diamond. Both of these books seek to instill the Ripken Way - a philosophy of how to approach youth sports (with obvious emphasis on baseball) with a focus on making the game fun for the kids, while teaching the fundamentals.
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This was a great read; very helpful. Their sensibility in how to get kids excited about the game and make it a positive experience that creates life long fans without hangups about team sports is very inspiring. In addition to the drills and age-appropriate fundamentals, the book helps a coach manage one of the tougher aspects of Little League: the parents. Highly recommended for new Little League coaches. In fact, it should be required reading for anyone involved.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book for all coaches no matter the experience level. Good tips on understanding the mindset of young little leaguers. I especially like how the Ripkens tell you not to expect too much from young kids and to keep drills to under 15 minutes so kids can focus. Download the sample and you will see how much info they can give you.
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If you are looking for a way to ensure you are teaching the correct skills and at the same time making baseball practice lively, this is the book. The Ripkens are, obviously, well qualified to talk about baseball, but I was surprised at the wisdom, perspective, and pace of the book. First things, as they say, first. This is not a book that you get if you want to be a crazy baseball dad or mom -- this is the book you get if you want to be able to teach and explain the workings of baseball in an interesting way. Can't recommend this book highly enough.
I was in something of a rush and bought this book on the Kindle (which I love). Since it is a reference work, however, in retrospect the hard copy might have made more sense. I do a lot of flipping back and forth in the kindle, and bookmarks are okay, but right yet I don't think the Kindle software is nearly as efficient. Still, no gripes or regrets about this purchase -- I might just have to buy the hard copy as well.
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I'm new at coaching youth baseball. I bought this book to get a good foundation on coaching techniques. I'm about half way through the book and so far is very good and full of ideas and great techniques to apply during my coaching times.
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