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Thread: Turning Negatives Into Positives

  1. #21
    I can talk softball all day dbronstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdc03120 View Post
    Just hard sometimes when I see them do it right in practices then wrong (or not at all) in games, and it makes me wonder, "What didn't I do for them?"
    There's nothing you didn't do. They are kids, that's what they do.

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  3. #22
    I can talk softball all day 55dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbronstein View Post
    There's nothing you didn't do. They are kids, that's what they do.
    Yup! I am having a blast with my 14U rec team but I cant expect them to be like 16 Gold. We celebrate all successes and several parents have commented to me that the girls are so much better than they were at the beginning of the season. Other coaches have commented about how fun it is to coach against such positive coaches. I truly believe in the power of positive coaching.

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  5. #23
    I can talk softball all day dbronstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55dad View Post
    Yup! I am having a blast with my 14U rec team but I cant expect them to be like 16 Gold. We celebrate all successes and several parents have commented to me that the girls are so much better than they were at the beginning of the season. Other coaches have commented about how fun it is to coach against such positive coaches. I truly believe in the power of positive coaching.

    Sent from my LG-H820 using Tapatalk
    That's what it's all about. When DD played 14U, there was a team in our league that was pretty much a bunch of girls who either never played or only had a year or so experience, and a few of the players were 12U because they didn't have enough older girls to fill out the team. We played them four times, and beat them easily each time, but you could see the improvement they made by the end of the season. I thought their coaches were awesome - besides how the team improved, they had great attitudes and interacted really well with the players. It was a shame there wasn't a place for them to play against teams closer to their level.

  6. #24
    I can talk softball all day gdc03120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbronstein View Post
    ...there was a team in our league that was pretty much a bunch of girls who either never played or only had a year or so experience, and a few of the players were 12U because they didn't have enough older girls to fill out the team...
    That's pretty much my team. Commitment in this area is so weak that it's mostly a matter of "I get who I get" for athletes. My team right now consists of girls from 5 different communities, including 5 girls from the school I taught at last year (an hour away). 2 are varsity, 6 are modified (7th-9th), and 5 are 12U-level/youth commission-level players, so there is diversity both in age and definitely in ability. We really haven't had a lot of time to 'gel' together because I've had so many players come and go/start and stop that half the pre-season, the girls would ask me, "Who is that girl? Is she on our team now?" 5 of these girls have been here since the very start in April.

    My hope is to just be encouraging enough through the rest of the season that they enjoy the experience, learn a lot about the game of softball, and hopefully return for next season. The parents seem very upbeat and happy for the girls despite their lack of win/loss success, and gains have slowly been made each game (the number of runs scored, hits made have both increased in our 3 games), so I'm hopeful the trend can continue.

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  8. #25
    I can talk softball all day dbronstein's Avatar
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    It sure sounds like you are doing everything right. Make it as fun as you can and keep focusing on the positives.

  9. #26
    Allergic to BS Strike2's Avatar
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    Some great discussion here. Marriard's posts on this are gold...I'd really like to get this in front of certain coach.

    Nobody likes criticism, but most will be more open if you start out with something they did right. If something can be fixed in the post-game in preparation for the next game, go for it. Otherwise, save it for practice. If you're going to be longer-winded, harp on the good. I've sat through way too many in-game and post-game diatribes towards a team that's actually pretty decent.

  10. #27
    I can talk softball all day gdc03120's Avatar
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    So tonight we played our league's top 2 teams in a double-header (2 five-inning games, both from the same community). We were the home team vs. the better team first and lost 27-3. Very rough game (and this was with a 5-run limit per inning, 5th inning unlimited, no run rule). Attitudes were a bit down, mistakes were made, etc. Not too mentally focused despite our pre-game talk. Post-game, we chatted for about 2 minutes, gave them a break to wind down.

    We then played the 2nd game (us as visitors) - they use a slower pitcher to start. We get up 5-2 after the 2nd inning (first game all season we've scored 5 runs, let alone in 1 inning). They reinsert the starting pitcher from the first game (she's on both rosters - long story). She shuts us down a little (we're able to get some hits off her, etc.) and they come back. We lost 12-5. Post-game talk was MUCH more positive/upbeat than I could figure it was - girls were pointing out each other's positive contributions, the attitudes in the dugout were a lot more upbeat ("We've got this girls! Let's hold them! Let's fight, ladies!", etc) They did this on their own. I can't say our luck has always been there, but we've had NOTHING but growth since the start - increasing our runs/hits per game each individual game, the focus seems to be coming around. And all I told them before the first game was simply, "Focus - have faith in yourself and each other - talk to each other on offense and defense - have fun and play with pride".

    We're the Little Engine that Probably Could and Hopefully Will By the End of the Season. =P
    Last edited by gdc03120; 07-12-2018 at 11:39 PM.

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    Checking out the clubhouse csb43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbronstein View Post
    I agree. I think practice is for coaching and games are for playing. Obviously you want to help position players in the field and such, but when someone is getting into the batter's box is not the time to try to adjust their swing. And let the pitchers pitch without commenting on every single pitch. It drives me bonkers when coaches do that. "Bring it down!" "Follow through!" "That's a nice pitch!" and my favorite "Throw strikes!" Because they aren't going to try to throw strikes until you tell them to.



    I can't stand the extended post-game talks, especially at younger ages. The kids aren't listening, they just want to go home. Say a few words of encouragement and get out of there.
    Check out Domingo Ayala's postgame speeches video on youtube. Like most of his videos it's hilarious.

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  14. #29
    I can talk softball all day gdc03120's Avatar
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    So now a couple of player/parent issues have come up that I'd like to nip in the bud with our last week being next week and get some advice. Preface: I have 8 out of my 13 girls this week, and 1 was taken last minute from me last night, so I had 7 girls to play for me last evening. I was able to acquire 3 guest players to play for me last evening (2 for JUST last night, twin P/Cs, 1 for both last night and my game Thursday - all great girls, will play anywhere, no attitudes). So last night, I had 10 players - I batted all 10 and free-subbed around for the 9 - both guest players and my regulars swapped who stayed in for the inning to be fair, except the 2 I had for the 1 night - they pitched/caught, and my regular P/C said they were fine with that - gives them a night of rest. My regular LF (a 12U girl) has never played LF (she says she only played P/1B in youth level, but has never spoke up about an interest of 1B and has said to me she didn't want to pitch - she thought the step up in competition right now would be too much. At practices, ALL my players practice infield/outfield work no matter their usual spot.)

    Before the game, she asks me about possibly playing 1B in the next game (Thursday), and I told her "I would definitely take it into consideration for sure" (which I legitimately would - my 1B from last night will be my starting pitcher Thursday). Bottom 5th inning, 0-0 game, runner at 2B - ground ball hit hard past the SS that would've been an easy fielded ball for her, she stands there and does NOTHING (forcing my CF to sprint run to get it). She asks to sit out the next inning, and when I asked/talked to her about it (privately), she tears up and says she "Doesn't know how to play LF/only pitches or plays 1B" (I feel like she's trying to get pity to play somewhere else). I told her then, and all the girls in our post-game chat, that I/we coaches put everyone in spots for reasons that may/may not be about them or their abilities, but they should play the spot they are assigned to 100% regardless if it's their preferred spot.

    Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with her for next game - I will have exactly 9 girls (all bat, all field). I don't feel it is appropriate to reward that kind of behavior/effort, and obviously I want to set a precedent that coaches assign players and players play their spots, but I also don't want to lose players for this or next season. Any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

  15. #30
    Certified softball maniac MNDad's Avatar
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    Ran into a similar thing way back when. Our #2 pitcher would completely check out if she wasn’t in the circle. One game we had her in the OF and she said she couldn’t do it because her arm hurt. So next game comes and she says she’s ready to pitch. Coach told her no way if her arm is giving her trouble. She goes crying to Mom who just erupts and starts cussing him out. He was afraid they’d quit so he let her pitch. The rest of the season was a total nightmare because she knew she could get away with anything.
    Relax and enjoy the ride

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