I am watching my nieces go through JV and V softball in HS and also my nephew in JV baseball.
It seems the JV girls have been taught (at younger ages) a limited game with the infield always in, where you never go after the lead runner. The players seem content with one play and seem to doze off for cut offs or secondary plays. I find this odd as young runners love to run. Then when they get older they completely stop running and doze off when there are defensive errors. The girls are timid in all cases. They do not dive after balls. (My teammates in HS dove even when they did not need to, and were very much like boys).
I just watched a V play-off, using the international tie breaker. The lack of skill/decision-making, etc. in going after the lead runner really is apparent in this format. Of course the coach was not helping (he did not call out where the hitter hit previously, ask the defensive players to move according to the play or last hits, or call out where the offense was in the batting order, even though the two teams played several times this year.)
Does anyone else see this? What can we do about it?
My plea is to have the 10/12 u coaches teach more of the 'grown up' game and not be so concerned with getting the easy out at first. The arms coming out seem so weak and not footwork on the bases. (You can still get clobbered on the base even if less DPs.)
The boys on the other hand, go after everything often in a foolhardy manner, whether it is running down a pop fly, throwing, diving, or running to an extra base, from a longer distance away. (I know in 7-9th grade, some girls are bigger than some boys.) Their pivots at 2b are far better.