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Independent pitcher?

May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
This is my daughters friend...really like her....definitely a future.

Note: this is not about that we lost...but it is......

Close game....
This pitcher was going our last three innings.....the other team had the very fast Travel pitcher pitching their last three inings...so we put in our best.

Our pitcher is not as fast...but she is more accurate and has a super change up.

Bottom of the 6th.....up by two runs ......their worst four batters coming up.
Instead of just staying calm, our pitcher decides that it is time to throw as hard as their pitcher.
All she had to do was throw a couple of nice easy strikes with a couple of change ups and we would have been out of the game with a win.

Kids ended up on base due to walks and then their beginning line up comes in and we ended the inning tied.

Thier top of the line up ready so the othercoach pushed for a 7th inning......
we get no hits against their pitcher.
One walk...one base hit by fast pitcher to 2nd base (2nd base throws to first instead of second because she doesn't like the pitcher)
Our weakest two players in left field (not sure why the coach did that) with a very consistant left field line shot hitter...
pitch....slam...right to left field .... poor outfielder ducks (she's like 50pounds)... it was right to her chest didn't even have to move ... chubby little LC runs after it ....game over....

First....I would have pulled that pitcher immediately when she didn't do as asked after the first batter.... she refused to listen and let her ego get the best of her.
I would have certainly had a chat with the 2nd baement about leaving Middle School politics out of the game.

The poor girls in left felt awful as they felt responsible for losing the game...when two of the strongerst outfielders were in right field.....


What would you have done with the pitcher? Love her...but that attitude still remains and she will do it again....
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
I'd have her flogged.

You pretty much can't tolerate that kind of behavior on a team where the left fielder weighs 50 pounds and is ducking balls.
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
pitcher

I wasn't unhappy with left fielder ...little 12 year old....should have been on
2nd or right
coach knew the batter well...she ALWAYS hit in that spot....

Pitcher disobeyed and wild pitched us into a loss instead of smart pitching 4 weak batters .....

I would have swapped both left with both right...
...but would have given the pitcher two pitches to be smart ...not let ego interfere.

I don't care that we lost .. .... it was the way we lost.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
Tried to post this last night but had problems. Hopefully today is better.

I have to say I disagree with the whole approach of telling a pitcher to throw easy strikes so you can win a youth game rather than encouraging her to do her best and give it her all. She sounds like a competitor to me. She saw the other pitcher throwing hard and determined she would try to match her. Nothing wrong with that. Learning to compete and give your all is much more important than winning any single game. Especially at what sounds like the 12U or so level.

Look at it this way: would you ask a hitter to just try to stick the bat out there rather than swinging because you don't think she can hit it but might get lucky if she just holds the bat out there? I would hope not.

Personally, you should encourage this pitcher to practice that way and learn to throw that way all the time. The control will come, and she'll be a better pitcher for you -- and will help you win more ballgames.
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
496
0
Montreal, Canada
Experience being gained.... Attitude showing up.... I think the best thing is to use this as a lesson and see what can be learned out of it.

She experienced that she didn't the right thing. Question to her.. what could she do differently next time in the exact same situation to have a different outcome?

Ask her the question and let her answer - don't feed her the answer. Let her spit out the right thing by asking the right questions. Best approach.

She will not change over night but little by little she will learn and become a better pitcher as a result of it.

REMEMBER - we are in the business of developing young softball players; not in the business of winning at all cost.

That loss is a great lesson that will probably benefit her more than a win if it used a learning experience.

Marc
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
independent pitcher

I love her spunk and spirit...
...a kid who should be playing Travel ....
I actually talked her and Dad into coming to the pitching clincs we have last Fall.

....didn't mean that we wanted her to hold back ....
...just wanted her to pitch as she always does.

Instead she kind of lost control by over-throwing ......

Coach has no control and she does what she wants...some of the time she makes good decisions....but there have been a number of instances when she was told to hold upo at 3rd.....or whatever...and did what she felt like with a not so positive result.

I would love to have chatted with her ...the coaches (male) just don't know what to do and don't have the knowledge to deal with this type of stuff.


Tonight we beat that team .. my daughters (9.5, 12) both pitched 2 innings.
9 year old should have been out in 4-5 batters in her 1st inning....routine grounders just not completed...2nd inning 3 batters.

12 year old daughter & their last at bat ..we were up 10-8 ....my daughter threw a few balls, but along with well placed strikes and three perfect change ups .. 4 batters and done.

My 9 year old stayed in and faced their "wicked" travel pitcher....struck out swinging...came back in tearrs...I gave her a huge hug, she smiled and said "I almost peed in my pants"


A GOOD night!
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
Nice story. Always nice to hear when a kid succeeds.

On the other, I wasn't aware that not listening was a pattern with her. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention to the post.

I feel somewhat different knowing that now. You can't have a player freelancing whenever she feels like it. The whole team concept breaks down, and so does any discipline to the team. The player herself isn't very well served being allowed to get away with negative behavior either.

I still think the learning opportunity is to put that much effort into her pitching all the time so she can improve beyond where she is now. But the bigger learning opportunity is to learn what it means to be part of a team instead of a lone ranger.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
I'd like to refer back to an earlier post of mine in one of these forums. Girls are emotional and temperamental at certain times. When threatened, they begin to compete in all the wrong areas. Rather than staying with her style of pitching and getting the strikes...she competes with the other pitcher's speed and loses. This girl will grow considerably when she realizes she was trying to be independent, and there is no such thing as an independent pitcher.

Ken, I am in agreement with you about letting up...but in some areas it's a fine line. Maybe I should ask, "Does it depend on the team experience?" I watched the coach of a VERY young 12U travel team get thrown out of the game because of words exchanged with the coach on the opposing team. This little team with great potential began slamming a poor team with bad coaching and little talent. They were both ejected because the less talented team's coach made a snide remark that the other team was not showing mercy, and they got into words.

I have watched more seasoned teams show mercy by limiting base occupancy, working on their slap bunting, switch hitting, etc. I have to agree, however, with the coach of the young talented players. They are just beginning this journey, and they need to play hard, both individually and as a team. A day may come they can limit their speed around the bases or choose to take just one base, but not when they are learning competitive travel ball.

Fine line and not everyone will see it the same way. I did not see it as lack of sportsmanship. The stronger girls were not showboating or being disrespectful to the other team...they even kept their cheering to a minimum! Cheering 12Us...now that's a whole different thread (positive and negative)!

Regards,

Ang
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
Fine line mercy

We have 4 teams.....one considerably weaker than the other three.
When we play them, we go into with the attitude of trying someting new ....use the younger three pitchers...everyone tries a position they haven't ...etc...

We played a neighboring towns team ... we thought they were super, but it turned out it was their B team ... so we quickly swithed to our younger pitchers .....my daughter volunteered to waive her innings so it would be a more even game ....

I also believe that pitchers should throw their best ...but there are times when ego makes a kid try to overthrow. That situation was one where she had to throw some nice easy strikes and we would have been out in 3-4 batters and won.

There are times when you know they are the weakest hitters and making not scarying them to death is more appropriate.

It sure can be a fine line and girls are definitely somewhat unpredictable at this age!
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Unpredictable (smile)...my husband claims we don't grow out of it.

Five pots. It sounds that you will be entering the travel team arena sooner than you might expect. It is a different beast. Mercy and rec blend a little better than mercy and travel depending on the lead. I have expressed in other posts my opposition to travel players either using rec to practice travel skills or not knowing when you've outgrown it. There are teams in travel that look for substitution players. I think this is a great way for athlete, parents, and coaches to evaluate the environment, player/coaches under pressure, and parental positioning. If there is a talented softball player that does not want to commit to full time competitive ball (which I understand), there are other ways to continue an enjoyment of the sport.

Ang
 

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