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Lefty Issue

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
965
63
Don’t ever make threats, it doesn’t ever end well.
The "threat" is politely presented as "give her a reasonable chance or we look at other options". It ends one of two ways...she gets a chance, or you're looking for another team. Both options are acceptable, and at least you gave the current coach a chance.
 
Mar 8, 2016
187
43
Leftys are the best but I am biased since dd is one. If your dd is athletic the best thing you can do is have her work in the outfield. The best ball reading outfielders i see all started out as outfielders at a young age.
DD is a tall lefty. Always the tallest and fastest on the team. She was pigeonholed as a firstbaseman through 14u. Coaches never practiced her anywhere else. She was good. Freshman year at high school they needed her to play LF to put tbe best 9 players on the field. Up to that point she had played hunderds of games at 1B and less than a games worth of innings in the outfield. It was the best thing that ever happened to her. One game early her freshman year she was actually subbed out while one hit short of the cycle after misplaying a fly ball. I had to hit thousands of extra balls to her to get her up to speed. She was recruited as both a 1B and as an outfielder depending on the school. She is now at her dream school as an outfielder. She is still 10-20 percent short of her potential as an outfielder. She was lucky enough that her bat kept her in the lineup in both hs and travel ball while her skills developed as an outfielder.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,179
83
There are lefties at younger levels who can play IF but as you get older there just aren't many. They have to be really good to make up for the extra time. At 12U though there is still a chance to play some IF on the right team. Long term it's unlikely but not impossible to play IF as she gets older. If she wants to play college she'll likely need to work on OF or 1B but for now go out and work with her in the IF. Unless you are playing at a National team level (which it sounds like you aren't) a good coach will give chances if someone shows they are working on it.
 
Jul 15, 2020
46
8
There always comes a time in sports when someone tells you that you cant do something and there's always an opportunity to show them they're wrong. I love nothing more than shoving something like this up a coaches !@#

In 1978, Michael Jordan was just another kid in the gym, along with 50 or so of his classmates, trying out for the Emsley A. Laney High School varsity basketball team. There were 15 roster spots. Jordan—then a 15-year-old sophomore who was only 5'10" and could not yet dunk a basketball—did not get one. His close friend, 6'7'' sophomore Leroy Smith, did. The team was in need of his length. "It was embarrassing not making the team," Jordan later said. He went home, locked himself in his room and cried.

Then he picked himself up and turned the cut into motivation. "Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I'd close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it," Jordan would explain. "That usually got me going again."

Jordan, using that sizable chip on his shoulder to his advantage, spent his sophomore year as the star of the junior varsity team. He put up multiple 40-point games and attracted crowds that were unprecedented for a JV affair.

The summer leading into his junior year, Jordan began to morph. In 1979 he grew 4 inches and worked out constantly. That year he made the varsity squad and instantly became Laney High's best player, averaging more than 20 points a game. Despite having secured his spot on the team, Jordan's work ethic didn't drop off. His senior year he averaged a triple-double and led Laney High to a 19-4 record. Jordan capped off his high school career in style, being named a McDonald's All-American. He wasn't yet His Airness, but he was well on his way
We just relayed the Michael Jordan story to DD. Thanks for the details! It's always the best story to tell when you want to make sure this current setback is not the end of the story.
 
Jul 15, 2020
46
8
If you're in Colorado and you're playing fall ball, I'd look for another option for the spring. Multiple coaches' daughters pitching is a bad sign. Sitting a girl for most of a tourney is a bad sign.

Out here at 12, just being a lefty is going to be enough for 2-3 Ks a game. Girls freak out. But get her working on speed and power as soon as you can, even if you forgo some accuracy for a while. if she starts out throwing accurately, she has a good idea of release point. So get her working on speed. While I don't wish being a pitcher's parent on anyone, if she's got a foundational understanding of release point and she can then work on her leg drive and spin, she wold be a valuable asset to anyone.

And frankly, everyone is looking for pitchers, even after tryouts. So look around -- contact some local organizations and see what other options are out there. It's hard to get past parental pride and love when it comes to playing time :)
Thanks for the advice. Still getting my sea legs about who the organizations are (and where they're located). But, let's say we decide to play somewhere else for the spring, we would have already paid a substantial amount of money to this team (the fall and spring season fees are due in December). Do people really walk away from that and start over (pay over)?
 
Jul 15, 2020
46
8
As others have said, lefties that play 2B, SS or 3B beyond a rec level are the exception rather than the rule and they tend to be extremely gifted athletes - if that's not your daughter then...
Lefties do make excellent 1Bs though but if you have to beat out 4 other girls for the position you that can be rough.
Lefty catchers are fine but you may bet some blow back if the head coach is from baseball background where lefty catchers are a rarity...but given the number of successful left handed catchers at the D1 level you'd think most SB coaches would come around to lefty catchers being just fine in SB
As others have said P is a option for sure, but it is a totally different skill set and practice routine all it's own.
And from 14U on (even some good 12U teams) a good outfield can win you a ton of games...or at least not lose them like I've seen "girls who were stuck in the outfield becuase we had to put them somewhere"
She's not a gifted athlete. Loves the game, dedicated to improving, has a good pitching motion, is developing a good glove. Definitely needs work, but I appreciate all the advice and thinking here. I think we are going to really devote our time to her pitching and really work on getting her speed up, making her a really great 1B glove so even if it doesn't work out with this coach/daughter-heavy team she will have options elsewhere, and starting to get those outfield skills that she didn't need to have in Rec but needs them now (or at least will need them in 14U). I agree a good outfield can make or break a game but right now I feel that they stick their non-chosen-ones in the outfield. Thanks for the thoughts.
 
Jul 15, 2020
46
8
Leftys are the best but I am biased since dd is one. If your dd is athletic the best thing you can do is have her work in the outfield. The best ball reading outfielders i see all started out as outfielders at a young age.
DD is a tall lefty. Always the tallest and fastest on the team. She was pigeonholed as a firstbaseman through 14u. Coaches never practiced her anywhere else. She was good. Freshman year at high school they needed her to play LF to put tbe best 9 players on the field. Up to that point she had played hunderds of games at 1B and less than a games worth of innings in the outfield. It was the best thing that ever happened to her. One game early her freshman year she was actually subbed out while one hit short of the cycle after misplaying a fly ball. I had to hit thousands of extra balls to her to get her up to speed. She was recruited as both a 1B and as an outfielder depending on the school. She is now at her dream school as an outfielder. She is still 10-20 percent short of her potential as an outfielder. She was lucky enough that her bat kept her in the lineup in both hs and travel ball while her skills developed as an outfielder.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
Yup -- I think we're going to get on the outfield thing. I wish at this age outfield saw more action (which would make her more motivated to getting the skills needed for the position), but given all I've heard here, we need to keep pitching and get her good at outfielding. Need to buy another couple of buckets of balls! Thanks for the help!
 
Jul 15, 2020
46
8
There are lefties at younger levels who can play IF but as you get older there just aren't many. They have to be really good to make up for the extra time. At 12U though there is still a chance to play some IF on the right team. Long term it's unlikely but not impossible to play IF as she gets older. If she wants to play college she'll likely need to work on OF or 1B but for now go out and work with her in the IF. Unless you are playing at a National team level (which it sounds like you aren't) a good coach will give chances if someone shows they are working on it.
I hope that's so about the coach. We'll get on the outfielding and 1B skills while continuing to work on her pitching. I appreciate all the help here -- it was demoralizing at first to consider a coach was telling an 11yo to forget infield because she's lefty. But now I feel like we have a plan and a mission. Thanks!
 
Jun 6, 2016
1,120
83
Chicago
If she doesn't have the mentality to be a catcher, start working with her in the outfield ASAP, especially if she's fast (if she's not, you can work on that, too!).

Here's the thing: Yes, it might be a little boring at this level. But people still hit the ball to the outfield at 12U. So work with her. Get her to be great out there. Now you have a kid who excels at a position that is typically ignored, which makes her more valuable not just to her current team, but to other teams. Most teams put whomever's left (or whomever's lefty) in the outfield, but you think they wouldn't welcome a player who is actually good out there?

And, as others have said, it becomes really important not too far into the future, so get a head start on it.

Really work on it with her though. Get her to enjoy the experience of tracking and catching fly balls. She may only get one a game right now, but if you get her anticipating, wanting that ball to come to her, she'll be much better prepared for later.

I had a 12 year old this summer who was playing for the first time. Good athlete, picks things up quickly. She became our starting CF pretty early in the season (infield was taken by more experienced players, so I think she realized she had an opening out there; plus, her cousin plays RF on the team). Now she doesn't want to play anywhere else (I've tried!), which is fine with me. I love developing outfielders. As long as she keeps working at it and getting better, she basically has a starting spot with us locked up all the way through high school.
 

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