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Thread: The player isn't good at anything

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    Checking out the clubhouse njdad's Avatar
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    Default The player isn't good at anything

    I was watching a YouTube video with Kristine Himes (University of Kentucky softball coach) and she said, "all your athletes are good at something -- and if they're not, you have to make them good at one thing."

    This has really stuck with me... particularly in Rec, where there's no cuts and everyone has to play.

    What are your success stories when it comes to getting that girl who isn't good at anything, to be good at one thing?

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    I'm a fan MoparFin's Avatar
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    I had a girl on one of my fall rec ball teams. She showed up with a brand new glove with tags still on it. She had no idea what was going on. Wanted to play cause she was an ex-dancer looking for something new to do and her best friend talked her into it. She was 13 I think? Anyway, was teaching her how to catch, turn around to check on the other players a little, blam, smacked in the face with a ball. First 5 minutes of her first practice. I thought she was going to quit. So, she goes and ices her face a little and gets back out on the field. Slowly worked with her for about 2 practices on just basics. One game my normal catcher wasn't there, so I looked at her and though, hmm. She put on the gear and that was a wrap. She loved it. By the end of the season, she was a pretty good catcher. Next spring season in the draft coaches were trying to get her cause of her catching. She wasn't that strong at hitting, but turned out to be a good useable catcher, threw a few kids out and all.

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    Checking out the clubhouse CRJC's Avatar
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    This year DH and I have a team with some really good ball players and some really not good ones. We had trouble with one girl in particular not wanting to forth any effort, but after going off the advice of others here at DFP, we got on the same page. She's been playing and practicing her little heart out, but she still wasn't able to throw or catch or hit. After some extra lessons, she is now able to bunt and get on base. Tremendous boost of confidence!! I think her knowing that she can do something, and do it well, makes her want to try to be good at other things.

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRJC View Post
    I think her knowing that she can do something, and do it well, makes her want to try to be good at other things.
    Ladies and gentlemen...and the rest of you...THIS ^^^ is where the magic happens. THIS ^^^ is the single best part of rec-level youth sports.

    CRJC (and DH) - Well done!!

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball chinamigarden's Avatar
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    I don't know if he became good at any part of the game, but I had a kid in LL machine pitch baseball, who was so slow swinging the bat that his only hit all year was off the knob, he didn't even get the bat around until after the ball had left his bat.

    It didn't matter to him, it looked like a line drive single in the box score

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    I can talk softball all day Orange Socks's Avatar
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    Your job as a coach at the rec level is to get your bottom 4 players better than the other team's bottom 4 players. If you have a draft every team has the same pool of players to work with and they all have last round picks. The kids that are good are gonna be good. The ones at the bottom will show more progress quicker than the top players. When I was commish of our league during the coaches' meeting I told them that you had better spend more time with those girls and do not neglect them. I get more satisfaction out of seeing progress with those players. Now that DD is a soph it is fun to play the other schools in the district and see all the kids that I coached over the years. Yes some are playing JV, but many of them are kickin' butt on varsity.

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    Super Moderator Amy in AZ.'s Avatar
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    I have one right now, at 14u. She was missing for a week and now, seems to be back. He dad is a tool and yells at her.
    Last night, at practice, the concession stand gave us a pizza. I handed it to the girls and went and set up my next drill. After practice, one of my players told me that ______ didn't get any pizza. I have thought about that all day.
    MTR - A foul ball is a foul ball. Nothing else, just a foul ball.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    This is BB but applies.

    I had 1 player that could not throw, catch, hit, etc. We spent more time with him then anyone else. My father warned me that having him work on throwing and catching while the rest on the Team was fielding was singling him out might not be a good idea. I told him I did not care, he was going to be able to throw and catch before end of season. I failed.

    He had absolutely no lack of hustle in him though and was the primary CF, no cheap home runs when he was out there.

    For the most part players know what is going on. I got him a couple innings pitching and his name in the local paper after 1 game. (For pitching no less, you would have thought he was being recruited by MLB)
    Last edited by quincy; 04-20-2017 at 08:51 PM.

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    Certified softball maniac BobInMadison's Avatar
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    I love this thread.

    I was always the really, really, clumsy one.

    There were some coaches who treated all the kids the same.
    There are some gym coaches who wouldn't want to waste their time with me.

    There were a few who worked with me, and took pride in the baby steps towards competence I made.

    When I read this thread, I remember the best and the worst coaches.

    I am not a coach, but realize that decades from now, one of these useless players you helped turn into a less useless player will look back and remember you fondly.

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    Certified softball maniac BobInMadison's Avatar
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    I used to be a teacher, so can I give a couple of examples from teaching?

    Example #1, I was teaching a chemistry class at a community college in Manhattan (Boro of Manhattan CC). There was one girl who was the extreme ditzy type. She seemed destined for an F the entire semester, and a low F at that. When she dared to speak in class, the other students rolled their eyes at her, but I always treated her with respect, and tried to build her confidence. She never gave up, and I never gave up on her. Well, she got a D in the class, but that felt like a victory to me. Not everyone passes science classes, but she did.

    Example #2 and 3. I was teaching at a bilingual community college in the South Bronx. I could see the House that Ruth Built (now torn down) out the window of the labs. Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College.

    One time I had an environmental science class that was 100% immigrant. One from Hong Kong, one from Jamaica, the rest from Latin America.

    Some of these students were MUCH better in Spanish than English. The college also had a Spanish version of the class, but these students wanted to challenge themselves by taking the class in English.

    There were two students who seemed to be complete opposites in their abilities.
    Student 2 from Jamaica was by far the best English speaker in the class, being a native speaker. She seemed bright, and very articulate, but she couldn't put her thoughts onto paper well. Everyone else was getting an A or B, and she was in danger of flunking, even though she seemed to understand the class.
    Student 3 was from South America, bright young lady, but had TONS of trouble with English, no matter how hard she tried. She was headed for an A, but was it really going to help her in her quest to improve her English?

    I came up with an interesting idea to help out both of the students. It was a small class, so I made the final 50% written and 50% verbal. I knew the students would talk between their turns, so I made it so the students couldn't share the answer. The question was specific for each student. It was to describe the environmental challenges of their home countries.

    Student 2 was doing well enough by the end of the written final to be borderline D/F. As I expected, she sailed through the verbal part of her exam, with a very articulate and thorough description of the environmental challenges in Jamaica. Wound up with a C in the class. Perfect score in the verbal part.

    Student 3's final was one of the most memorable moments of my former teaching career.
    Student 3 came from a country where the banana republic government let foreign companies come in for development and completely destroy the environment. She was extremely passionate about the situation, but struggled to put her words into English. There was more emotion from her in her description of the environmental ravages in "my coouuntry" than I have ever seen from any other student in any situation. By anger and sheer force of will, she made sure she described exactly what was going on. Her grade? Perfect score on the verbal part, A in the class.
    Last edited by BobInMadison; 04-20-2017 at 10:33 PM.

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