The Little League manager and coach 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 Little League manager must be something more than just a teacher. Knowledge of the game is essential but it is not the only badge of a Little League coach or manager.
While an adult with training and background in the game is a desirable candidate for manager or coach, league screening committees should look for other important qualities. Screening of managers, coaches and others at the local league level who have contact with children is also important in attempting to discover those with a history of child abuse.
The heart of Little League is what happens between the adult manager/coach and player. It is the manager more than any other individual who controls the situation in which the players may be benefited. Improving the level of leadership in this vital area must be a continuing effort.
Children of Little League age are strongly influenced by adults whose ideals and aspirations are similar to their own. The manager/coach and player share a common interest in the game, a desire to excel, and determination to win. Children often idolize their managers and coaches, not because the adult is the most successful coach or mentor, but because the manager and coach are sources of inspiration.
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. It has been stated many times that the program of Little League can only be as good as the quality of leadership in the managing and coaching personnel. New leagues particularly, should make a determined effort to enlist the best adults in the community to serve as managers and coaches.