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Excessive bunting?

Apr 8, 2019
5
1
Hello! New poster, but I am a long-time lurker on these forums. I'm the HC of a 12u TB team. Quick background: I have my main AC as my 3rd base coach (that's another story) and he has a fixation with bunting. His philosophy is that if a girl generally isn't doing well at the plate, he gives them at least one bunt attempt per at-bat. He does this without fail unless the bases are loaded. He has done it with 2 outs (not that this is always wrong), with no real strategy behind it.

His main goal here is "avoid a strikeout" because his main goal overall is "win the game". My main goal is to develop the girls into solid ballplayers. So, I'd like to check my own ego because I am far from a perfect coach. Am I wrong in disagreeing here? I don't think a struggling hitter should be made to bunt just because she's struggling. I want them swinging at the plate. Bunt if the situation calls for it, otherwise SWING AWAY. Softball gurus, what are your thoughts? How can I be tactful about this?
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
3,576
113
Hello! New poster, but I am a long-time lurker on these forums. I'm the HC of a 12u TB team. Quick background: I have my main AC as my 3rd base coach (that's another story) and he has a fixation with bunting. His philosophy is that if a girl generally isn't doing well at the plate, he gives them at least one bunt attempt per at-bat. He does this without fail unless the bases are loaded. He has done it with 2 outs (not that this is always wrong), with no real strategy behind it.

His main goal here is "avoid a strikeout" because his main goal overall is "win the game". My main goal is to develop the girls into solid ballplayers. So, I'd like to check my own ego because I am far from a perfect coach. Am I wrong in disagreeing here? I don't think a struggling hitter should be made to bunt just because she's struggling. I want them swinging at the plate. Bunt if the situation calls for it, otherwise SWING AWAY. Softball gurus, what are your thoughts? How can I be tactful about this?
Unless your girls are a hybrid between Bo Jackson and Nellie Fox, that strategy won't work very well against decent teams...In terms of what you can do you can either tell him this goes against your MO and hope he changes or you can relay the signals to him to take the decision out of his hands. Of course if you can do the latter you can probably coach third base, which you said you couldn't do. Were you banned from coaching third because of a water bottle throwing incident..(inside joke.. :) ) ?
 
Last edited:
Jun 11, 2013
2,033
48
There are times when certain players are just completely out of sync. In those cases I'll try and do whatever to get them to put a ball in play. You aren't going to fix a fundamental flaw during a game with a pitcher firing at 60 MPH at the kids. We'd try and work on it between games or the following week. Now if it was a situation where the game was out of hand either way I would always have them up swinging.
 
Mar 22, 2016
286
28
Southern California
You're the HC. You need to set the tone. This is your team, not his. If your main goal is to develop the girls in to solid ballplayers, then your AC needs to be in line with that, or you need to find a new AC.

Now - are the girls becoming incredible bunters because of this? I agree that you don't become a better hitter by bunting - you need to swing it.
 
May 2, 2018
22
13
Central Virginia
As for the specific question of your post, I think you are leaving out some details.

Can these girls normally hit pretty well?
Can they even bunt well?
Is AC the hitting/bunting instructor in practice?
Do you and your AC discuss offensive philosophy?

If a girl is struggling to hit in general then I think giving her a bunt attempt is OK. If a girl can hit and is just in a slump, but can bunt then bunting to get on base can be a confidence boost. If the girl either can't hit very consistently but also can't bunt, I don't see how attempting a bunt will help.
 
May 6, 2015
1,033
63
had this happen to DD for part of a season, had her trying to bunt for base hits (no problem with sac bunt though), she fouled a lot of attempts off, then was in 1-2 or 2-2 situation a lot when she got to swing away. they moved away after a month or so though.

unless they are really speedy, should only be bunting in sac situations (depending on score). rest of time, swing away, they need to learn to hit, and when to bunt and when not to. now if corners are playing near OF grass, different story (everyone has seen that MLB bunt double against an aggresive shift, bunt rolled untouched to OF grass in left field).
 
Apr 8, 2019
5
1
Unless your girls are a hybrid between Bo Jackson and Nellie Fox, that strategy won't work very well against decent teams...In terms of what you can do you can either tell him this goes against your MO and hope he changes or you can relay the signals to him to take the decision out of his hands..of course if you can do the latter you can coach third base, which you said you couldn't do. Were you banned from coaching third because of a water bottle throwing incident..(inside joke.. :) )
LOL. I guess I have to go in to it... I'm stuck with this AC for better or worse. My team is part of a larger org whose organizer assigns coaches to each age level. I can't fire him, and despite my best efforts, this AC isn't going anywhere since he has 2 girls in the organization. I let him coach 3rd to appease, but also because I like being a little detached from the play-by-play and looking at the bigger picture.

Heman, So Cal, you're right. I could stand to be more assertive with my philosophy. To answer your questions:
They're strictly average hitters; their strength definitely lies more in defense
They're above-average bunters
Hitting, yes. Bunting, no. I mainly coach them in that.
We often discuss offensive philosophy. Like I stated above, I am stuck with him whether I like it or not. I didn't put up a stink over the bunting thing over the summer season because we already had *friction*, but now we're in a new season with a few new girls I'd like to turn over a new leaf.
 
Last edited:
May 6, 2015
1,033
63
with the new information, definitely talk to him about it, and document it with an email to your org. make part of it their headache. if he does not change, you go to org and say I cannot work with him. If he backslides, talk to him, quitely, during the game. next inning, if he does not correct, again go to org, tell them you cannot work with him. If you are HC, you should be able to get rid of an AC really.
 
Oct 4, 2018
800
63
My username should probably be changed to "I_Hate_Smallball". I get the strategy, I can mildly applaud a good bunt, but it bores me to tears and I want to see girls swinging.

So, if I were you?

I'd quit and find another team. :p
 

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