Coaches Report 96 Texas Spirit

Subject: Coach Scott, Texas Spirit 96, 10U playing Up, Texas

I've got a 10U team playing up in 12U. What a big jump! Last year we had pretty good success - several tournament wins and placed 2nd and 3rd several times as well. The problem I had with the team is that they knew exactly how good they were and weren't pushing themselves to get to the next level. There were about 4-5 teams that, when we played them, my girls expected to lose. And, of course, they did. This is really the reason I decided to make the jump to 12U. I wanted them to feel challenged again and work hard to get their game to the next level.

So far we've played in one 12U tournament. I have to say that overall I am happy with how we did. We won two games and lost three. I learned how important my pitcher/catcher combo was during this tournament. In 12U it was the first time my team had to face dropped third strike and stealing home. We ended up giving up 11 earned runs and 26 unearned runs for the tournament. Most of the unearned runs were attributable to the passed ball or wild pitch - this wasn't an issue for us before. So we have put a bunch of emphasis on our pitching and catching, introduced some new drills in practice and are spending much more time focusing in this area.

I don't expect to start winning a lot anytime soon - but I do expect my girls to hustle more than they ever have and maintain a positive attitude. This is my strategy for getting over the intimidation hurdle. We are also bunting a lot more to try and keep the defense guessing about what we are doing. I'll let you know how my strategies are paying off as we go through.

One question I have for the forum would be in regards to how much practice is acceptable. I have two practices a week - one is a batting practice and the other is a fielding practice. I make my pitchers take lessons with a Pitching coach and my catchers are required to attend. My batting practice is 1.5 hours during school and 2 hours in the summer. My fielding practice is two hours on the non-tournament weekends. Is this average for everyone? I'd love to get more time with the team but worry about burnout and parent backlash. Your opinions are appreciated.

Regards,

Coach Scott



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