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Softball war stories

Aug 2, 2019
I had two girls on the last 10U rec team I coached that were free swingers. Super aggressive. They both signed up for 8U, but not enough players, so they rolled them into 10U.

One girl was maybe 3'6". She swung at everything. After a three pitch at bat with three big swing and misses, and by big miss I mean the bat literally came no closer than five feet from any pitch, we had a little talk. I asked her what her goal was. She said to hit the ball. Good start. I asked if she could have hit any of the pitches she saw in that at bat. She said no. OK, still same page. I asked her why not. She said they were too far away. Excellent. I knew the strike zone conversation was a little too advanced, so I suggest only swinging at pitches if she thought she could reach them with the bat. She agreed. She went on to be an on base machine, because she was impossible to throw strikes to, but she still took those big hacks at anything close.

The other girl was working with her dad on her swing and actually had a really powerful, violent swing, but was crazy wild. Her head would fly around like crazy, and had a leg kick that made Josh Donaldson's swing look measured and controlled. And she swung at everything. Worked hard to get her swing under control, but dad didn't like me messing with her.

I had to go through the whole, you can't hit what you can reach, and explain that it's OK to take a walk (what's a walk?). I finally got her to hold her head still enough she could see the ball, and in her last at bat of the season she finally hit the ball. A hard grounder that the pitcher knocked down and threw her out, but she smashed it. She had the biggest smile on her face coming back to the dugout.

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