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How to keep the team focused?

Apr 11, 2009
6
0
Oregon
Just a question. I play on my high school's varisty team. im first base and relief pitcher. At the start of the season, our team looked very very very promising. in the preseason, we went 6-2, and won a tournament in las vegas. we came back to oregon and finised the preseason here. our last game of the preseason we lost 10-0. our first game of the season, we won 6-3. second game lost 8-0. 3rd game won 5-3, fourth game, lost 20-0 (horrible, right?), and fifth game lost 4-7. at first i didnt mind the pitching rubber being set back 3 more feet, but it seems like our team cant stay consistent with defense. We will have an amazing game, and then just tank...completely. No one really knows what is going on. We thought it might be our warm up for the game, but our warm up is never the same. there are some girls that like to be quiet, and some that get ready by joking around, but it seems like we cant find the happy medium of the two. from what our coach says, we have all state players, but it seems like some of the girls really just dont care. im completely confused on what to do. like everyone else, i just want to have a good season, and for our team to do good.

thanks so much,
Jacqui Jenkins
 
May 13, 2008
832
16
We thought it might be our warm up for the game, but our warm up is never the same. there are some girls that like to be quiet, and some that get ready by joking around, but it seems like we cant find the happy medium of the two.
Jacqui, I think you hit it pretty well with that statement. Your warmup is never the same. The truth is that when you hit the field for warmups you should already be in softball mode. You should have already put aside your everyday stuff and start focusing on the task at hand.

If you can get to the field earlier then the players who like to be quiet can do that on their own. The players who like to joke around can get that out of the way. Maybe that time is on the bus. Maybe it is at home before you get to your field.

I think your coach needs to establish a routine. A set of things that you do prior to the start of the game that remains relatively the same. This will help everyone get focused and ready to go when the first pitch is thrown.

Remember, when you are warming up the other team is watching. Do you want them to see you goofing around or tossing crisp throws to your throwing partner? Give your best effort when warming up to set the tone of the game.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,921
83
Dallas, Texas
The reality of sports is that the team that hits better, fields better, pitches better and throws better wins. The other teams are doing the skills better than your team, so you're losing.

It sounds so simple, but everyone goes to extremes to ignore those facts. People want to blame it on team chemistry, team bonding, focus, desire, etc. If it were all that simple, all a team would need are really good slumber parties. But, it isn't. Winners are always the teams with better skills.

So, given the scores of the games, it is pretty clear that the coach isn't working on skill development.

The lack of a warmup doesn't mean anything directly, but indirectly it says that the coach is not doing his job.. If your coach knew what he/she was doing, you wouldn't have a minute to notice that the warmups weren't the same. From the time you got off the bus until the first pitch is thrown, you would be running, hitting, taking ground balls, catching pop-ups, etc. It is a mad house.

The same goes for practices. If you have time at a practice to talk with your friends, then the practice is not a good practice.

The way to have a good season is to have good, hard, long practices. In other words, the team and the coach have to work really hard. Winning is about who works the hardest.
 
Apr 11, 2009
6
0
Oregon
thanks for the replies...
cshilt:
we did have a routine last year, and it didnt really seem to make a difference. i guess we will just have to do the whole "trial and error" thing.

sluggers:
i dont even know how to start my reply.
warmup: we have a warmup. we have our quiet/focus time on the bus on the way to the game. when we get to the field, we run and stretch. after that, we do hitting, which consists of a tee or softtoss, and a coachpitched soft toss with the foam balls. then, we throw and get our arms loose and warmed up. after that, outfield takes popups and infield takes grounders, while the pitchers warm up. this continues until our pregame starts. after the pregame, the game starts.
team chemistry/bonding: i think that it has a lot to do with how the team plays. when we went to las vegas for a tournament, we were always together, doing activities, having team bonding days and guess what? we wont the tourney.
skill: our team is so good...in practice. it seems that they just cant get their act together for a game. for our preseason, everyone was batting at least .300. in the whole tournament, we had 2-3 errors. in 6 games!
practice: i dont know how ur team, or ur daughters team does it, but we have 2 1/2 - 3 hour practices every night except saturday. sometimes, or well a lot of the time, the practice is inside, because in oregon, it rains ALOT!

last year we focused a lot on mechanics and fielding/defense and our hitting was horrible. so this year, we decided to focus on hitting, while still doing quite a bit of defense, and now the defense has gone down the drain. the one thing that someone has mentioned on our team is the direct correlation btw how much we cheer and whether or not we win. sometimes this is true. and sometimes not. one other thing that i have noticed is that our team rarely "wins the first inning." if our team does win the first inning, we usually win the game. it seems like we give up too many runs in the first inning and then in the 6th, we find ourselves finally getting a rally, that rarely ends in success. our pitcher struggles through the first inning, and then once we hit the third or fourth, she is untouchable. but the runs that were scored in the first or second are the ones that kill us.

thanks again
 

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