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Practice versus game batting

May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
I have a daughter who just turned 12.
She has good form using a Tee, soft-toss, dropper, and hits fine with a machine (45-47 MPH) (at 40 and 30 feet).

She also bunts righty & lefty fine, but has not done so this season as her coach is encouraging just two girls to do this.....

The problem is...during a game she doesn't swing with the speed, force, quickness that we see during a clinic or practice.
This is more mental than anything.

We only have one pitcher in our league over 50 MPH so most of our pitchers are 35-48 ish....not that fast.


Any thoughts on methods to get her thinking Swing Hard/fast?
 

May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Help her define success, for the moment, as putting a good swing on a good pitch. Or maybe just having a good swing. Lots of young girls think the worst thing in the world is to strike out and we reinforce this with things like "Way to put it in play". Tell her she has your full permission to swing hard. If it gets bad enough, in the interests of development, you can really get her attention a couple of times by sitting her down after a bad low effort swing puts a ball in play. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that but it would get her attention. I've gotten young girls and boys to laugh offering to give them a written permission slip to swing hard to show their coach. Sometimes that has helped. Nothing cookie cutter here you just have to find out what their thinking and motivation is and figure out how to coach that particular player.

Now let me back up. Knowing something with a dry swing is one thing. Knowing it on a tee is another. Knowing it on soft toss, then front toss, then bp and then a live game is another and another. You can't expect a kid, with some exceptions, to learn something on a tee and take it to the game. Habits are habits. When they can demostrate their new skill on a tee, take it up one level of stress at a time always being ready to revert to the last known level of competence before starting to work your way up again. As any pilot instructor will tell you, under stress, we all tend to revert to our primary training. In this case, their primary training has resulted in whatever bad habits you coaches are fixing and the stress is the game situation. It's not usually a case of doing a few good reps on a tee and then taking it to the game.

Having said all that, it sounds like you are working hard and are very serious about getting better with a bunch of young ones. How serious and committed are you and how eager and fired up a bunch of students do you have?
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
Hitting game versus practice.

She's always been more timid and reserved. I would sit her down in a minute if I thought she was being a pain....

Tonight she swung hard and got a hit down 3rd base outfield line...then next batter ended up in her 1st pickle and pulled it off perfectly and ended up on third.
Pitched two innings, no walks...field errors ended up one run,
Fielded a grounder at 3rd and threw out the runner...a very gooo day.

My poor 9 year never touched the ball once ... perfect Sac bunt, though...


We will do whatever we can for our own kids ...we work hard a lot and have fun doing it ....
....

The girls are on a team with a coach who spends way too much time trying to get his daughter on the All Star team...pretty sure she hasn't caught a ball at 3rd all year. But he's nice enough ...

Our girls in the League (48) this year are all very vey nice and work hard....they are fun to coach and many go to the clinics. I help at the clinics so I know them all pretty well.

Yes ..we are all willing to work hard ...
As long as we are having fun we will still work at getting better ...
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Five Pots, great message, "Have fun." I tell my children if this ceases to be fun, we'll find something else. I have been a Yankee fan for 38 years...I don't NEED them to play for my benefit. The Yankees will see me through. I could enjoy watching my children paint a picture if that is what they were passionate about and enjoyed. My son's team played in a tournament this weekend. As we waited for the previous game to finish, I recognized a pitcher I knew from several years back. He used to throw REALLY hard, and I commented to my son it didn't appear he had the same speed that he had three years ago. I heard two men talking behind me on the bleechers. One said, "I can't believe he's out there so soon after tearing his ACL...why is he throwing curve balls (12 yrs old)?" The other person replied, "Because we need that curve to win." My heart was troubled. I sat quietly and observed him coming off of the mound screaming at his mom and dad with them screaming back. I thought to myself, "Where is the fun???" Sad story.

Ang (having fun with my kids)
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
She's always been more timid and reserved. I would sit her down in a minute if I thought she was being a pain....
I'm not talking about sitting her down as punishment. I'm talking about getting a kid past the fear of swinging hard in games and possibly striking out. A lot of kids get there as a result of us giving praise for just making contact which though done with the best of intentions can end up limiting such a kid. If nothing else works, bringing such a player in after a less than full swing where they made contact and having a talk with them about how you WILL not be upset with them for striking out but how you want to see them get past this less than best swing in games thing because it is going to limit them in the future may work to get a kid past this. Different ways to get different kids past a mental block. You have to adapt your coaching to the kid.

That all star thing in league ball can certainly be a source of problems. Not a big fan myself. I'd rather just see the league play more games for everyone but too often "all stars" ends up being the big deal. Those who want more can play travel/select rather than politicking to get their kid on the all star team.
 
May 12, 2008
11
0
Not having any of my children playing fastpitch or baseball. I will do anything to help the team I coach suceed. I don't mean win every game but improve as individuals and as a team. One of the things I tell my girls when they are in the box is to breath, don't choke the bat, and have fun. Some of mine looked like they would break if you touched them they were so tense in the box. I remind them fundamentals and fun, they seem to responde to that.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
I am appreciating all the healthy discussion on the threads of this forum...I have spread the word in our softball community. Great tips, great words of encouragement, and lots of knowledge.

Thank you again Marc for your administration.

Ang
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
hitting game All Stars/Tournaments

We have one girl in our league playing Middle School, travel, and in our League...we have 4 teams and her coach pitches her 3 innings so they win.....but the result is that no one gets any fielding experience for half the game as she strikes everyone out, the other pitchers get almost no pitching, and the opponent batters don't have a prayer of hitting her ... Big ego feeding family. Isn't really productive for a develpmental league.
I personally feel as though Travel players shouldn't be playing in our League. Generally I am not exclusive....but they only show up when they can and it throws off the balance of the entire league. Last year they were not allowed to play All Stars, this year, they can in addition to their travel teams.

Our coaches daughter can't catch a ball ... so every hit or throw to 3rd goes right by her followed by a comment about the throw from him. He has her lefty slapping as he thinks as though the All Star coach will take her as he likes that...she has only hit one all season. I love this little girl...good kid, great base runner....but that's about it.

I hate the politics....my daughter played last year and pitched the 3rd game for 9/10. It was really a huge growth experience for her....struck out 11 kids while only walking 3 in 5 innings.

I realize that this is just part of small town taking care of friends .....but there are girls who have potentional...but are left out of consderattion due to politics...
..or even worse...once a kid is viewed as great....that perception never goes away no matter how bad they are....
...and yes..once you get the rep of being a lower level performer, no matter what you do the following year....you don't get the benefit.

The girls are often nicer that the adults running the League.....
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
Mark : hitiing game versus practice

"I'm not talking about sitting her down as punishment. "

I thought you meant that if she was not swinging due to "girl attitude".
No...she's just so timid and not agressive at all......odd that she pitches pretty well...but the running and swinging are a challenge..

Last night was a good start...struck out swinging, fly ball swinging (full count), walk, and a shot to third base line outfield.
Stole her first non pass ball saturday and got herself out of a pickle last night by being smart....

We have actually been talking about the effort she needs to make to get on an All Star team (she says she wants this) and to make the Middle school team next year.
Basically that she has to come out of her shell and go after it.

At first she thought she was too fat (5'1", 110 pounds) .....but after watching some of the College softball games, she got that it wasn't about size....more about her pushing herself.....
(she isn't fat ... mostly puberty driven changes this last year)

We also have a few girls who think it is cool to back away with hands up as if the pitch was too inside....drives me NUTS! They are getting more strikes called against them .. not less.

Wondering what drill we could do with batting to increase speed to "5 frames"
Basketball on a tee?
Would rapid sift toss help....just to get her swinging...or would that throw off a good form swing?


She just turned 12 ... don't want to overdo it...we only have a few weeks for All Stars prep (so we may have to hope they need a 3rd pitcher as I am unwilling to push her into the ground for 2-3 weeks as that probably isn't enough time and neither of us will be happy).....but we have 8 months for Middle School...

My 9 year old will easily make the 9/10, but she doesn't want to as she doesn't want to have this coach again. He keeps bugging her to play catcher (a natural, but isn't really into it so I'm not pushing it). She can play any position well (pitching a challenge ... but we'll get there).

So...any hitting drill to help with my 12 year old would be great.....
how many times per week is worthwhile too.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
We have one girl in our league playing Middle School, travel, and in our League...we have 4 teams and her coach pitches her 3 innings so they win.....but the result is that no one gets any fielding experience for half the game as she strikes everyone out, the other pitchers get almost no pitching, and the opponent batters don't have a prayer of hitting her ... Big ego feeding family. Isn't really productive for a develpmental league.
I personally feel as though Travel players shouldn't be playing in our League. Generally I am not exclusive....but they only show up when they can and it throws off the balance of the entire league. Last year they were not allowed to play All Stars, this year, they can in addition to their travel teams.

Our coaches daughter can't catch a ball ... so every hit or throw to 3rd goes right by her followed by a comment about the throw from him. He has her lefty slapping as he thinks as though the All Star coach will take her as he likes that...she has only hit one all season. I love this little girl...good kid, great base runner....but that's about it.

I hate the politics....my daughter played last year and pitched the 3rd game for 9/10. It was really a huge growth experience for her....struck out 11 kids while only walking 3 in 5 innings.

I realize that this is just part of small town taking care of friends .....but there are girls who have potentional...but are left out of consderattion due to politics...
..or even worse...once a kid is viewed as great....that perception never goes away no matter how bad they are....
...and yes..once you get the rep of being a lower level performer, no matter what you do the following year....you don't get the benefit.

The girls are often nicer that the adults running the League.....
Yep. All Stars. My advice is work hard through the off season and move on up to travel where you only have to find one coach who you like who thinks your kid can play is my advice. There are problems there too but you have choices.
 

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