BB has been sick and so, had to take some time off from coaching. She is also injured and had to get fitted for a brace. She asked me if I could run practice today for her. I didn't know that her AC would not be there. I'm sure for these young ladies (14U), this was a little culture shock even with BB coaching them. For me, it is hard for me to be laid back at any coaching endeavor. I have been the HC in 4 sports and I have found that while I have mellowed over the years, that, mellowing, is relative to the intensity that I have always had. I give these young ladies a lot of credit. Their efforts were commendable and they did their best to do what they were asked to do. I wanted to mention a little bit about the practice. We hit for the first hour and I had 4 stations in two cages. Hitting can be so confusing to players these days. It seems that everyone tries to control the verbiage and so, impress their hitters that they are end all, know all to hitting. Tell em, show em, let em is a pretty good way to get things done. You don't have to kill their enthusiasm with the latest terms. In coaching and coaching hitting, you need to have a dialog with the player. You can both come to some kind of understanding if you can let em and then ask them what they did and why they did it. You can help those that fail by explaining the "why" and then coach them to do better. We did things like put restraints on what they did. For example, what I call "restraints" are some limitations to drills. I had them do what we call the "manny drill" based upon the video of Manny hitting that has been popular lately on these websites. They kids were terrible at first doing this and then, it click and they got it. It was fun seeing the light bulb go off. We hit a front toss station with two plates. When the feeder took the ball back to feed, they said, "load" as they reached the back point of their toss and then delivered the ball. On the plate furthest from the feeder, they were asked to have a high leg left, hold that life, show the heel to the feeder and ride the inside part of the leg. On the closer plate, they were told to load and go. That ball was coming in considerable faster than the ball fed to the back plate. They were to get a sense of how their body works, feel the load, stretch, ... all in the swing and, naturally, feel how the back hip controls the swing. That is what I coach and so, if you don't agree, great. I thought that the players all tried hard on this and they certainly talked about how different it felt to hold the load. We hit at another station with a WhipHit. That was fun and they laughed a lot trying to use it. The final station was a one handed drill.
For fielding, I went back to the basics. There is a Kent State YouTube video that is similar to what we did today. Long story short, they were sweating a lot when we were done as was I. We did run downs and they had a good time with that once we let them speed it up some. Attention to detail is so important in practicing rundowns. We did a fielding drill where the fielder fielded the ball and then flipped to either the right or left side. That was very telling and they messed that up a lot. I stopped them and asked them about their attention to detail on that. They didn't understand why I said for them to feed the ball, keep the arm straight and parallel to the ground and follow that toss. We fielded for an hour. Oh, I did a throwing demonstration. BB had told them about my accuracy and so, one of the girls asked me to show them. I told them I have not throw a ball overhead in a very long time. I asked them if they could see the yellow bucket across the floor that was behind the net. They all said that they could. I told them that I was going to spin and throw and hit that bucket but the net would stop the ball first. I asked them if they thought I could do it. Most did not. I did. One of the girls asked me how I could do that. I had one simple answer but an important answer. I never think about failing. I always believe in myself. I think that this is important at any thing you do in life. Sure I fail but even then, I know that life is peaks and valleys and so, I don't dwell on the failure. I get ready for the peak.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. I had a blast doing it. On July 12 I had my right hip replaced. I don't take the things my body can do for granted. After throwing that ball, I kind of got happy because I have told my HS girls that I am going to throw to them again this year and bring the big cheese. That throw was the first step. LOL