Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Great article in the NFCA Fastpitch Delivery newspaper

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
Saw an article this morning in the current issue of the NFCA's Fastpitch Delivery newspaper. It's one of their great member benefits.

Anyway, the article was on generating offense and was written by Jay Miller, a well-known offensive guru. He was talking about what a shame it is that so many coaches at all levels are so conservative and risk-averse, because they leave so many chances to win on the table. I think I liked it most because it espouses a similar philosophy to what my organization teaches.

One of the first things he talked about was teaching runners to be aggressive, and to think aggressively. They are two different things. Runners being aggressive often depend on the coach for the final word. Runners who think aggressively understand that the point of getting on base is to get back home. Don't take one base when you can get two, and don't take two when you can get three.

Another point was to make sure you pressure the defense all the time. Aggressive baserunning puts a lot of pressure on the defense. They have to make perfect throws and catches every time, which can be tough to do. If you sit back and run station-to-station, or don't take chances, you let them off easy.

There are many great hints in the article. But there's also a caveat. When you take more chances, you're going to get more runners thrown out too. You have to be willing to take that risk in order to reap the reward. Not everyone can handle it. But if you're tired of losing games by one run, think about getting aggressive. You never know what can happen.

More...
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
Hey Ken. I agree with that article.

You MUST be willing to trade an out for a run, or you will never see a championship trophy. If you create the opportunities to trade an out for a run every inning, you would have at least 7 runs at the end of the game. That is normally enough runs to win.

What I have seen more times than not, are runners that are simply afraid to be aggressive because of controling coaches. If they do ANYTHING on the bases that they are not told to do, THEY ARE BENCHED, no matter what the outcome of those actions are.

Too often the players are not allowed to think and make a decision.

That is one of the reasons college coaches still have to call the pitches in most cases; because the pitcher and catcher were never allowed to think and make those choices, they were never taught because there was no need, the coaches did that.

If you, as a head coach, have done a good job teaching your team what they need to know, you should be able to do this once in awhile; You and the other coaches take a game off and watch it from the stands. You might have to set up the starting line up, then, put them on auto-pilot and see if what you taught actually took. Change in the line up, you might have to help. If they have a question they CAN answer, totally ignore it and enjoy the hot dog and soda. They will quickly figure out who is going to coach the bases.

And, watch how fast your pitcher and catcher start making the right calls now that they cannot blame the outcome of a pitch on the coach. "Not my fault, I threw exactly what the coach called!" When all that responsibility rides on their shoulders, watch the change, it will happen instantly!

You might be very surprised how well thay can do without you and the other coaches doing ALL their thinking for them! Maybe then you will understand why you get all those 'Do you think I'm stupid or what?' kind of looks after you yell to every single infielders name, one at a time, where to throw the ball if it is hit to them!!!! (I hate that with a passion and so do your players, GUARANTEED.)

Give them the chance, loosen those reins and see if you have as good a team as you THINK you do.

Oh yeah, YOUR PLAYERS WILL LOVE IT!

On the other end of that, especially for the younger teams, you might have to dive back in during the 2nd inning if you find out you have NOT taught them well enough to learn the game.

That is the only way I know to find out for sure.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Great article.

Hal...I believe I understand what you are saying and concur. The athlete must be able to utilize some instinct. My husband encourages this. He also coaches football where it is even more relevant.

Ken...I forget the college game I was watching where the girl tried to stretch a triple into an inside the park homerun. I believe it scored two RBIs, but she was called out at the plate. When interviewed, the coach was visibly irritated because she took it upon herself to advance. He blamed in on the fact she was a freshman with a lot to learn. I don't dispute his comments, but I wonder how he would have responded if she were safe??? Did you see that game?

Ang
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
Hal,

I totally agree, both on the philosophy and the cause of so much timidness. With our team, one of the first things we have to do when we get the kids back from high school ball is get them to relax and get aggressive. They're all used to hugging the bases and running station to station, waiting to be told what to do and when to do it.

At 16U, we tell the girls we want them to think for themselves. It's faster than having a coach say something, processing it, then reacting to it. I will wave them around going from second to third. But on tag plays, passed balls, and other plays we try to teach them to be aggressive and make good decisions. At the plate, the girls have the green light to bunt any time they see the opportunity, and a couple of our players regularly run delayed steals on their own. We have two of our three catchers calling pitches right now, and are working on teaching the third. She's not comfortable with it because no one ever let her do it. The other two are doing a great job.

As we always say, it's a fun game when you play it.

Ang, I did not see that game, but it's typical. The girl who ran and got called out sounds like a playa. Hopefully the coach won't knock that out of her.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
Today I decided to practice what I preached. In our second game, we had runners on second and third when one of our girls singled to right. I took a chance and sent the trailing runner, knowing it might be close. The throw was off-line and both runners scored standing up. We won the game 6-5. Wouldn't have happened without being aggressive.
 

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
33,079
Messages
477,543
Members
14,923
Latest member
bravencheese
Top