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Thread: How aggressive is too aggressive

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    Checking out the clubhouse bss09's Avatar
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    Default How aggressive is too aggressive

    I need some advice with our catcher. I feel like she is too aggressive with trying to pick off players, especially those on third. Is there a rule of thumb that you teach your catchers? Iíve been telling her you only get one throw per runner, but she has taken that to literally mean she gets one throw per runner! Itís great when we get the out, not as great when the ball sails to left field. I appreciate her aggressiveness, but Iím curious what you teach your catchers.


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    Last edited by bss09; 03-13-2018 at 03:06 AM.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    Curious what level you play?

    We have had the runner on 3rd just take off on the throw and score a few times.

    Maybe give her 2 throws, if both are safe no more throws or if a runner advances on throw no more pick offs that ģame.

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    I'm a fan fuzzy2651's Avatar
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    Our coach lets my DD know that if she thinks she can get her, go for it. Now LF needs to recognize what's going on and book it in to back up 3rd. He gives her the green light 90% of the time and lets them know it's on him if it doesn't work out. Just like if they get caught stealing a base if they get sent. He'd rather make the mistakes now in these winter tournaments. Learn by doing right? haha

    Edit: It's also situational. Up by a lot or down by a lot, go for it. Tight game where if an error makes a huge difference, then just run her back and get the ball to the circle.
    Last edited by fuzzy2651; 03-13-2018 at 09:17 AM.

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    Certified softball maniac GunnerShotgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bss09 View Post
    It’s great when we get the out, not as great when the ball sails to left field.Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You can't trade outs for runs. If she is throwing it into left field then the she is allowed zero throws until she can pitch and catch from roughly 50 ft.

    In a blow out either way you may give her some reps but in a competitive game the answer is zero.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Curious what level you play?

    We have had the runner on 3rd just take off on the throw and score a few times.

    Maybe give her 2 throws, if both are safe no more throws or if a runner advances on throw no more pick offs that ģame.
    This is an 8th grade school team. We also have a 16u team starting in May. Her throws have actually generated outs, third baseman is ready to throw home if the runner takes off, we get the runner in a pickle or just nail her. Do you mean 2 throws per game? Or per inning?


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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    Per game, let her pick her spots.

    DD pitches and constant unsuccessful pick off throws can break flow of game.

    Curious what your pitchers think.

    Once DD knows C will attempt to pick her off a base she will bait them all game, nothing good is going to come out of it for the defense.
    Last edited by quincy; 03-13-2018 at 09:56 AM.

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    Softball Junkie Tatonka's Avatar
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    It's a risk/reward thing that she needs to learn...coaching on the situation and circumstances along with game time experience will go a long way. If she is sailing them on a regular basis she needs to work on her mechanics of that move/throw and mentally work on calming down and slowing the action in her mind a bit.

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    I'm a fan fuzzy2651's Avatar
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    I do agree with quincy that too many and it throws off the pitchers rhythm. That said, we average 1 or 2 attempts a game, maybe 3 on the high end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Per game, let her pick her spots.

    DD pitches and constant unsuccessful pick off throws can break flow of game.

    Curious what your pitchers think.

    Once DD knows C will attempt to pick her off a base she will bait them all game, nothing good is going to come out of it for the defense.
    Yes, I feel like it breaks the flow of the game. This is perfect. Thanks!


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    Certified softball maniac marriard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bss09 View Post
    I need some advice with our catcher. I feel like she is too aggressive with trying to pick off players, especially those on third. Is there a rule of thumb that you teach your catchers? I’ve been telling her you only get one throw per runner, but she has taken that to literally mean she gets one throw per runner! It’s great when we get the out, not as great when the ball sails to left field. I appreciate her aggressiveness, but I’m curious what you teach your catchers.
    Pickoffs and throwdowns are situational and the catcher needs to understand this. I am going to care less if our catcher can explain they thought it was a good idea even if they airmail it. "Coach, I tried the pickoff/throwdown because...". You do it for a reason - if they made a bad decision we can talk about it and they gain experience on when it is a go/no go. If they are just throwing down for the sake of throwing down - that does not fly.

    For example - not a complete list

    GOOD:

    - We ALWAYS try a pickoff on the first pitch after we give up a first baserunner. We show off the cannon, show we are willing and look to keep the baserunners just a little hesitant. A small pause is the difference between a go/no go or a caught stealing. I have seen teams totally give up on baserunning once they see our catcher throw this once.
    - When we are up or down 5
    - When there is only a runner on 1st and she is asking for it.
    - After a leadoff triple or a runner on third with no outs and we are down or up 2. The runner is likely scoring, so it is worth a shot or two even if she scores on a bad throw.
    - Throw directly to SS if the runner on 2nd is taking a big lead because no one is covering 2nd base bag (we scare runners and get outs with this)
    - If the coach says to.. there should be a sign to go after someone. There shoudl also be a quick throw to pitcher and pickoff sign for the pitcher to make the play
    - On steal threats taking big leads
    - On slow girls who are leading more than they should
    - If my corners are good, I get more aggressive in throwing down.


    BAD:
    - In close games that are half over I am not throwing down to third and hesitating to 1st unless there is a real chance of an out
    - If there is ZERO chance of getting an out. Wasting time with risk, not good.
    - Unless planned, after a failed bunt where SS is covering 3rd
    - On a 1st/3rd steal with a fast runner on 3rd (though our catchers have big arms and we will often go for a caught stealing/throw home double play and we have bats so sometimes an out for a run isn't a bad thing early in games or if we are up big)
    Last edited by marriard; 03-13-2018 at 10:54 AM.
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