Coach D, Outlook for her 10U Fastpitch Softball Team
Date: 15 May 2007
Subject: Coach D, Dirt Divas, 10U, Missouri
I am a 4 year veteran coach. But this is my first year at 10U. I have a team of 13. 5 of them have been with me since T-ball, and are really good, aggressive ball players. And actually, 2 of those 5 are playing up for our division. For the other 8 players, about 2 of them are really good and 6 of them have no interest in ball. Honestly- I think their parents are making them play.
I just found this site, and am really impressed with it. I thought it was really educational. Last season, my 8U team was 10-2. And placed 2nd in championship. I thought we have done pretty good in the past, but there are still things these girls should know by now.
As the only female coach in my league, I take a lot of slack- like I don't know how to coach, but with what I already know and the helpful tips from this site- I think this season I might shock my fellow men coaches.
One question- we have a rule on our team. If one player messes up- ex. misses an easy grounder or over throws from 2nd to 1st, etc. we make the whole team run bases. Do you feel that is too harsh at this level? We've caught a little slack from parents- but we feel this a team sport and team effort, everyone is responisble for everyone's actions.
Sounds like you have been doing a pretty good job. 10-2 is a GREAT record.
As to encouragement (running bases) for your players, there is certainly a time and place for it and it can be very effective if not over done. If I notice a common error creeping into our team, such as dropping fly balls or over-throwing 1st base, I would use running as encouragement for the team. Common errors tend to be a result of poor mechanics or lazy mechanics. Typically, I will address the team at the beginning of practice that we have not been using two hands to catch fly balls. So any fly balls dropped during practice and the team will run the poles. However, the player that dropped the ball doesn't run. She stays put and catches fly balls until the rest of the team finishes running. Talk about pressure.
I don't have them run for all errors and I don't enforce this at every practice. I want the players to enjoy coming to practice and not to think it's just a punishment party. Then, the practices that we do use encouragement, the players understand that particular error MUST be corrected.
Besides, if we ran for every error, I would have a better cross-country track team than softball team. I really don't want to spend half of my practice running or letting them rest because of running. Instead, I prefer to spend the time working on a drill that will correct the problem.
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