Mysoftballcoach.com Blog

The mysoftballcoach Fastpitch Softball Blog keeps you up-to-date with all additions and changes to the Mysoftballcoach.com Web site. The Blog will also allow for common questions to be answered and quick updates and tips that don't necessarilly warrant a full web page. Stay on top of the Latest and Greatest by clicking on "that Orange button" to subscribe to the RSS feed.

Apr 07, 2016

Expanded Lead Runner Discussion

Getting the Lead Runner out is always a Hot Topic and Most Coaches get it WRONG.

Continue reading "Expanded Lead Runner Discussion"

Mar 30, 2016

Essential Equipment - Game Face

A Game Face could have prevented this, "...particularly amog female pitchers who are hit by a batted ball."

Continue reading "Essential Equipment - Game Face"

Feb 21, 2016

Fastpitch Equipment - Louisville Slugger Pitching Machine

Turn your batters into HITTERS with the Louisville Slugger Pitching Machine which does NOT require electricity.

Continue reading "Fastpitch Equipment - Louisville Slugger Pitching Machine"

Jan 09, 2016

The Bunting Game

If you really want to have a successful softball team, you must be able to play the bunting game on offense and defense.

Continue reading "The Bunting Game"

Jan 09, 2016

Fastpitch Softball Bats Review

This Fastpitch Softball Bats review takes a look at the cost, the result, and the necessity of supplying your team with softball equipment that WINS games.

Continue reading "Fastpitch Softball Bats Review"

May 23, 2011

Calculating On Base Percentage

The question asked is: If my daughter reaches base on an error does it count for or against her On Base Percentage.

The short answer is AGAINST. The formula for On Base Percentage is: (Hits plus Walks plus Hit By Pitch) divided by (At Bats plus Walks plus Hit By Pitch).

A "Reached on Error" is not a hit.

Now, I would tell you to be sure and score the At Bat with consideration for the age and skill level of the players. Just as I don't expect many 9 year olds to hit the ball to the fence, I also don't expect 9 year olds to make a lot of back hand grabs and be able to throw the runner out. These are not MLB players. They don't hit as hard nor do they field as well.

Coach

May 04, 2011

Need Your Help

Hello Coaches.

Earlier this year I developed an App for tracking your kids offensive statistics. If you purchased the app, I would really appreciate it if you would log back into iTunes and Rate the app. So many people have purchased the app, and I receive great feedback via email, but not too many people take the time to actually Rate it on iTunes. You can write a review or not, but at least give it a rating.

Also, if you have a negative comment please email me so I can address your issue.

For example, one person that rated the app a 4, put the comment that when his kid reached base on an error it counted against his kids On Base Percentage...Fix this.

Well, I don't have any way to tell him, but the app is CORRECT. Reaching base on an error does count against your On Base Percentage. Check out MLB rule 10.21 (as I recall).

I don't even have a way to post that info on iTunes. So if you have a question, please just email me.

Thanks for your support.

http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/statmaster.html

Coach

Apr 24, 2011

Reader Mail, The Lead Runner

I love getting mail from readers. You can send an email or I get a lot of comments through the survey submissions. I want to share this one I received from a 12U coach in Oregon. He has been coaching for 7 years.

"I really enjoy the personal insight you offer! I also found the information about getting the lead runner humbling and extremely informative/helpful...decreased the number of runs scored on us by half!"

For more info on the lead runner check this out: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/softball-defense.html

Go Get 'Em!!!

Coach

Mar 29, 2011

Another Scholarship Player

I need to congratulate Morgan B. on her recent scholarship to Grambling. Morgan primarily played catcher for us but could also play every other position on the field except Pitcher. In fact, one tournament I think she played every position except pitcher and second base.

Morgan loves softball and loves to compete. You can see it in her when she takes the field for games and for practice. Mo wore #11 for us. I used to say she was so good we gave her number one, twice.

She played with us for 5 great years. I've watched Mo grow from a sweet girl to a beautiful young lady. We've laughed together, we've cried together, but mostly we competed together.

I'm just so very proud of her and thankful that I was able to enjoy 5 years of watching her compete. Now as she goes off to college, I'll look forward to catching a Grambling softball game from time to time.

Go Get 'em Mo!

Coach

Mar 18, 2011

Stat Master Mail From Oregon

This is a completely unedited email I received from a Stat Master user in Oregon.

This is a fantastic program! I have a varsity baseball and a varsity softballplayer that are D1 recruits. I previously had developed my own spreadsheet, but this goes beyond my own efforts. Most other apps available don't use plate appearances and lack full feature stats for multiple players and multiple tournaments. This program allows the serious college recruit to report season progress to college coaches with ease.

Your backup advice showed me just how serious you are.

One note, I used a "season" for the regular league high school season with each three game in conference series as a tournament. This way I can provideperformance statistics for the season by team faced as well as full season. This is more meaningful than arbitrarily splitting the season into first half/second half; although that's where I got the idea.

E.H.

To learn more about the Stat Master just go to http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/statmaster.html

Coach

Feb 24, 2011

Team Wheeled Equipment Bag, SCHUTT

It only took 100 years for someone to invent the team wheeled equipment bag. This survey of the Schutt, Reebok, Louisville Slugger, MacGregor & Mizuno show the best value based on size and price.

Continue reading "Team Wheeled Equipment Bag, SCHUTT"

Feb 17, 2011

The Stopwatch - Powerful Fastpitch Softball Coaching Equipment

Information is POWER and with a stopwatch as part of your softball equipment, you will be well on your way to building a winning fastpitch softball team.

Continue reading "The Stopwatch - Powerful Fastpitch Softball Coaching Equipment"

Jan 31, 2011

My Big Announcement

My Big Announcement that I've been mentioning is the completion of the StatMaster. This project has been five months in the making. I called my wife from work 5 months ago and told the lovely Mrs. Coach I had an idea for an iPhone App that every softball and baseball parent should have and we immediately started outlining exactly what it should do and what it should be.

I first had the idea for a personal statkeeper three years ago when my oldest daughter started High School. Since I wasn't coaching the team I didn't really care how the other girls were performing, BUT I always wanted to know how my slugger was doing. At that time there wasn't a platform for Apps.

Thanks to the iPhone (iTouch and iPad also) now there is a platform for such an application. So I bring to you the Statmaster.

No need to track the entire team. It just takes a few seconds when your child is batting and on base. It is simple enough ANYONE can use it. There's no need to know all of the official scoring rules. That is built into the program.

The program tracks Batting Average, Plate Appearances, On Base Percent, Slugging Percent, RBIs, Fly Outs, Pop Outs, Ground Outs, Strike Outs Swinging, Strike Outs Looking, Walks, Stolen Bases (BY BASE), Doubles, Triples, Homers, and much more.

Plus it keeps all of these stats as a total, and versus right handed pitching, versus left handed pitching, and with two outs.

For those who can't get enough of the numbers, it tracks all of these statistics by game, by tournament, by season, and by career. PLUS it lets you email the statistics in PDF or CSV format to anyone you wish.

Could there be more you ask? YES! There is also a spray hitting chart that indicates where every ball was hit and if that hit was an out, a single, or an extra base hit. And YES, you can email that graph as well.

I honestly believe every parent is going to love having this app and having this information available to them.

I really hope you will give it a try. Then, tell 10 friends about it.

For more info just copy and paste this into your browser: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stat-master/id415570935?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Go Get 'em!

Coach

Jan 26, 2011

Baseball or Softball Batting Stats - StatMaster

The StatMaster was created to be the most comprehensive Baseball and Softball Batting Stats iPhone App on the market

Continue reading "Baseball or Softball Batting Stats - StatMaster"

Jan 23, 2011

PreSeason Coaches Preparation

Part of our Preseason activities is always goal setting. And one of those goals is ALWAYS to hit better. I'm sure it's one of your goals also. Several years ago I came across the ASA USA Hitting Fundamentals DVD. I think this is absolutely the best Hitting DVD on the market.

I think it is very important for you and all of your coaches to be on the same page when it comes to hitting instruction otherwise the player is going to get mixed instruction from each coach. I STRONGLY suggest that your coaching staff watches the video together and agree to coach according to the video. I also STRONGLY suggest that you have the team watch the video together as well and let them know you will be coaching according to the video. The greatness of this is the girls get to see great demonstrations of what good hitting fundamentals look like.

I found this video and a few others from the ASA USA series are now carried on AMAZON. I've put the links on my shopping page (copy into your browser: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/shopping.html). On the first row of AMAZON links I have put the Hitting Fundamentals video, Hitting Drills video, Defensive Drills video, and Catcher Drills video. I think these are all top notch and specifically the Hitting Fundamentals DVD.

As a coaching staff, YOU MUST be on the same page.

Go Get 'em!!!

Coach

Jan 19, 2011

Hello Softball Fans

Is everyone starting to get geared up for the Spring 2011 season? It's right around the corner. We've already had our first team meeting. If you haven't had yours yet, you need to start planning one quickly. Be sure to read through the Softball Managers section for a few things you need to take care of.

Sometime in the next week I hope to have a HUGE announcement. I can't say what it is now, but I think it is going to ADD to the parents experience of watching their child play softball or baseball. So STAY TUNED, CHECK BACK OFTEN.

Good Luck to ALL.

Coach

Jan 17, 2011

Fastpitch Hitting Fundamentals - Grip It & Rip It!!!

Since you are coaching youth fastpitch softball, it is Imperative that you teach the correct fastpitch hitting fundamentals that are tried and true.

Continue reading "Fastpitch Hitting Fundamentals - Grip It & Rip It!!!"

Jan 04, 2011

Kickoff Softball Team Meeting

The Pre-Season Kickoff Softball Team Meeting is the opportunity for the Softball team manager to set the goals, expectations and tone for the season to come.

Continue reading "Kickoff Softball Team Meeting"

Sep 17, 2010

Jugs Pitching Machine Review

Jugs pitching machine review and Jugs Jr. Batting practice, Outfield practice, are your ready to go to the next level?

Continue reading "Jugs Pitching Machine Review"

Aug 12, 2010

The Incident

Hi coach: I am writing to let you know of an incident at the Lower Mainland Peewee Regionals today with one of our pitchers. We were facing a team with very big girls and composite bats. Our pitcher threw a beauty pitch which the batter connected with in the sweet spot. I was at first base and could not even see the ball come off the bat it was moving so fast. All I heard was the "Pock" of the bat and then our pitcher falling backwards. The ball hit her square on the chin.

FORTUNATELY, she could not find the mouth guard she usually wears to protect her braces top and bottom, so I got her to wear my daughter's game face. The ball hit our pitcher so hard that it took the game face right off of her and sent it flying in the air about 8 feet from where she was standing. In the end, our pitcher ended up with a slightly bruised lower lip (the game face compressed so much so fast it managed to push her lower lip into her lower braces).

This was by far the scariest incident I have ever witnessed. I have watched the scary "pitcher gets hit in the face" videos on Youtube, and can assure you that this was as bad as anything on there. If our pitcher had not had that game face on, she would have no doubt been hospitalized, concussed, and likely had to have major dental work. Probably a broken jaw on top of it. This is no exaggeration. EVERYONE that witnessed it was upset and concerned, and then absolutely marveled at what trauma the game face had saved. The game face itself was inspected by the umpire who had never seen an incident that vicious before, and he was shocked to find that the game face only had a circle of dust where the ball hit her, and no structural damage. After taking 2 innings to recover from a shock response, she was able to continue playing for the rest of the day -- with a full smile.

Having now witnessed "the incident" that we all dread, and just by dumb luck (the missing mouth guard would have done nothing to protect her) not had to deal with myriad negative repercussions, I am fully convinced that all coaches need to have their pitchers wear Game Faces.

Regards, Robert North Langley Diamond Sports

For more info on the game face please click this link or copy and paste into your browser. http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/game-face.html

Jul 19, 2010

Viewer Mail - Coach Tim's Success Story

Hi,

My name is Tim and my wife found your site sometime last fall and started reading away. Because of your help we took a fall team that consisted of 5 - 8 year olds and 5- 9 years olds who had never played 10 u much less girl pitch.....we ended up going 8 & 2 and the only team that beat us was a team that in the spring was moving up to 12 u and both games were close. This spring we played league ball, I got some girls that I wanted and some I didn't know, along with some first timers that had never seen the ball.....we taught them small ball and used a lot of your drills and went 13 and 2 getting second in our league and 3rd in our district.......we scored 202 runs and had 94 runs scored on us the whole seasons including district.....we really appreciate all your help and will implement more next season, a lot of these girls, 6 to be exact, including my daughter are now going to be playing on a select team for a high school coach!! Just wanted to give credit where credit is due, so thanks!

I wanted to tell you one more thing, the high school coach saw the district tournament and told me that even though we got third that we had the he thought we had the best coached team there and our girls knew what to do with the ball and he is a firm believer in small ball.Just made me feel good but again this is thanks to you.

Thanks again,

Coach Tim Spit Fire 2000

Jun 14, 2010

Schaumburg Illinois

Hey Coaches. I've been sent to Schaumburg Illinois through this weekend for work. I would love to get out and watch some Illinois style softball this weekend. Somebody send me an email of a game being played this Saturday and maybe I can stop by and watch. Be sure to include an address for the fields (so I can find you on the Garmin), a game time, and a team name and colors. Email to coach@mysoftballcoach.com

By the way, I love a good concession stand with either nachos or frito pie.

Coach.

May 11, 2010

Coach Rob, CHAA X-treme Eagles, 8U, Georgia

I love emails like this one:

Coach,

I just wanted to say thank you for ALL your tips and techniques!!

We just finished our spring rec season with a 12-0 record!

I tried to incorporate everything, from placement of the players, to the batting order, to some of the drills. It worked!

Based on previous seasons and the draft, I knew we did not have the strongest bats, but they were consistent throughout the order. By the second game, even my 1st year girls were hitting on a regular basis.

I was most proud of our defense, 11 of the 12 wins were “run rules”, and 5 games we allowed 0 runs! A tough feat in Pee Wee.

All Stars start next week, and I plan on continuing with the same game plan!

Thanks Again,

Coach Rob

May 05, 2010

Coaching Ground Ball Technique

Using Correct Ground Ball Technique will aide in Eliminating Fielding Errors and is a sure way of Eliminating LOSSES.

Continue reading "Coaching Ground Ball Technique"

Apr 12, 2010

My Softball Field Problems and the SOLUTION!

Can't find a good softball field to practice on? Here is the solution and it perfect for practicing fastpitch drills.

Continue reading "My Softball Field Problems and the SOLUTION!"

Mar 25, 2010

Miken Icon Update

I just wanted to give you a quick Bat review/update. As you know, I am a HUGE fan of Miken bats. So this year for Christmas I got my oldest daughter a new Miken Icon bat. She started out the season batting 6th on her team and has now moved up to 4th in the line up.

Last week she had an inside the park home run and a stand up triple. Now, it's impossible for me to say that it's due to the bat. I mean, you still have to have a nice swing and you have to hit the middle of the ball. So I'll just say, I have been very, very pleased with her hitting and with her new Miken.

The Miken Icon is normally $279 but Amazon has them priced at just $144. Here is the link to my shopping page: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/shopping.html, then scroll down to the bottom of the page for the direct Amazon link.

Go Get 'Em!!!

Coach

Mar 23, 2010

Q&A, Covering the Base - Positioning

Q) I'm coaching 10U girls fastpitch and this is my first time coaching. I was wondering what's the best way to show them on how to cover their base. What foot should be on the bag, where they should position themselves for catching the ball & tagging out the runner. Anything you might could tell me would help me greatly.

A) The rule of thumb on positioning yourself on the base is to take the corner of the bag that is closest to where the ball is being thrown from. This makes for a shorter throw and keeps the runner from coming between the ball and the fielder. Catch the ball and tag back to the base.

1st Base: Generally the 1st baseman will put her foot on the corner of the base closest to pitchers mound. Whatever hand she catches with, she should put her opposite foot on the base. If she is right-handed (catches with her left hand) she will put her right foot on the corner of the base. This allows her to stretch farther to catch the ball.

A Shortstop taking a throw from the catcher to throw out a base stealer: The shortstop should be positioned with her left foot against the corner of the bag closest to the catcher so she can field the throw and tag back and down to the front of the base.

In general, closest point to the ball and such that the runner will not come between her and the ball.

Do NOT EVER have them straddle a base, even your catcher. This is going to put them in position for a collision with them on the receiving end.

Of note: If the ball is not coming to them, they need to move off the base and clearly out of the runners way or they can be called for "obstruction".

Let me know if you have other specific examples I didn't cover that you need help with.

Go Get 'Em!

Coach

Mar 16, 2010

Jugs Instant Screen - Batting Practice Anywhere

The Jugs Instant Screen allows a team to take batting practice virtually anywhere and any time. It's lightweight, portable and sets up in minutes.

Continue reading "Jugs Instant Screen - Batting Practice Anywhere"

Mar 09, 2010

Ultimate Fun - Machine Pitch Tournaments

Softball League Sponsored Machine Pitch Tournaments Provide the ULTIMATE in Fun for Youth Fastpitch Softball Players.

Continue reading "Ultimate Fun - Machine Pitch Tournaments"

Mar 02, 2010

Magnetic Lineup Board

A Magnetic Lineup Board is an essential coaching tool to give your fastpitch softball team their best chance to succeed on game day.

Continue reading "Magnetic Lineup Board"

Feb 28, 2010

Signals For 8U

I had a question about hitting signals for 8U teams. Here is my reply:

Believe it or not, 7 & 8 year olds understand signals. For this age group I really like to use the Nose as an indicator. Which means that the very next thing you do after you touch your nose is the signal. I like to use the nose and explain it to the girls that "you knows the signal is coming". I know, really poor english, but they get it. For the bunt signal I like to use the hand on the chest. Explain that when they bunt they have to turn their chest towards the pitcher. For the hit signal, I usually make two fists, one on top of the other, and hit them together (almost like you are gripping a bat).

Don't get too elaborate with your signals. 8 year olds confuse easily. For example, don't give the bunt signal without giving the indicator and expect the girl not to bunt. If she sees you touch your chest, she will bunt regardless of you touching your nose or not. Also, don't run through 16 different body parts looking like you've got fleas. Keep it simple, and go through maybe 3 to 5 motions.

One more signal to know. If the player doesn't understand the signal then she should put one hand on top of her helmet. This lets you know to run back through the signals.

Good Luck!

Coach

Feb 17, 2010

Softball Training - Speed Rules

Some practical softball training drills for every team to enhance coordination, speed, and agility.

Continue reading "Softball Training - Speed Rules"

Feb 09, 2010

Stepping in the Bucket - The Question

Coach Dawn writes:

I am a coach of a 10U rec and travel team. The majority of the team is 9years old. I have been lucky enough to have 2 really good fast pitchers, andsuch we have always kept the team playing up higher than their age dictates.

In our rec league we are in a 5th/6th grade division even though the girlsare mostly 4th graders. I took the team into ASA this past fall for theirfirst time playing 10U as mostly young 9 year olds. We did fairly wellconsidering.

We have a very strong defense. I looked over your defensive strategies and Icompletely agree. I utilize almost the exact same strategy as your 12Udefense. We have what I would consider an average offensive game tho. I have2 very small (under 4' tall) and quick girls that are my lead off hitters.No pitchers can get a strike into their very small strike zone. So they bothalways walk and are on 3rd and 2nd by the time my 2 good hitters come up andthe 3 and 4 spot. But after those 4 batters we are hurting. The rest of thegirls have the very bad habit of stepping backwards with the left foot when the pitch comes. I believe its due to their intimidation and lack ofconfidence in their hitting. When I pitch to them and they know they willnot get hit they do not step out and are all capable of hitting. They arenot at all intimidated playing defense with hits coming at them full speedbut they continue to be intimidated at the plate. I have done drill afterdrill, tried idea after idea to rid them of this dreadful bad habit to noavail.

I would love any and all of the ideas or drills you might have on thissubject. -- Dawn

Feb 09, 2010

Stepping in the Bucket - The Answer

Coach Dawn-First, I'm proud of you for stepping up to play tournament ball. This problem is not at all uncommon for teams making the jump from league play to tournament play.

There are two challenges to overcome. Confidence and now a bad habit. Any time you get a player stepping out, eliminate the step. Spread the stance out further and further until they eliminate the step or stop stepping out. We teach all of our players to NOT step. We still use the front heel as the trigger. When the pitcher releases the ball the batters heel goes up and back down, then the batter just rotates with her hips.

Now for confidence, I suggest having them bunt every other at bat (especially in pool games). This will get them used to standing in the box, watching the pitch, and realizing the pitch isn't going to hit them. Also, there should be only minimal footwork when bunting so this should help break the habit. Let them hit the next at bat and watch their feet. Once they have broken the habit of stepping out you can just let them hit going forward.

Good Luck!

Coach

Feb 02, 2010

Fastpitch League Development of Pitching

How a Fastpitch League can be Proactive in Developing Pitching Skills

Continue reading "Fastpitch League Development of Pitching"

Jan 29, 2010

Building Your Youth Softball League

Need Ideas to Improve Your Youth Softball League? Has your fastpitch softball enrollment fallen behind?

Continue reading "Building Your Youth Softball League"

Jan 25, 2010

Fastpitch Softball Player Contract SAMPLE

A sample Fastpitch Softball Player Contract to use as a guideline for your Fastpitch Softball Tournament Team.

Continue reading "Fastpitch Softball Player Contract SAMPLE"

Jan 21, 2010

My 1ST Player With a College Scholarship

A GIANT CONGRATULATIONS to Haley N. She is the first player to have played for me to receive a college scholarship to play softball. Haley is the only Senior on our team (the rest are younger), so she is also our first player eligible to receive a scholarship.

Nobody loves playing softball more than Haley. This has been a lifelong dream to play at the college level.

She's a great kid from a great family. I couldn't be any prouder for her. Way to go Haley! You earned it and you deserve it.

Coach

Dec 29, 2009

Softball Sliding Mat

Just a quick note. Today I ran across the Schutt Slide Rite sliding mat for only $269. That is significantly cheaper than I have seen it priced in over a year. I have place a link for it on the bottom of this page: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/softball-sliding-mat.html. I think you have to copy and paste the link into your browser.

I'm a big fan of the sliding mat. I know it's expensive. You will never have a better sliding practice than with this mat. AND, since you have gone to a drills based practice, you can throw the mat anywhere and make it one of the stations the players rotate to EVERY practice.

Go Get 'Em!

Coach

Dec 15, 2009

Still Christmas Shopping? Need the Killer Idea?

This is completely off topic as far as softball goes, however it is relevant to the season. I was talking with a friend who was so excited that he had bought his wife a Kindle for Christmas. Evidently she is a big reader. He was so excited and sure this was the newest, coolest gadget on the market. So, I put a link to it on my shopping page at the very bottom of the page. Just copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/shopping.html

Happy Holidays!

Coach

Dec 10, 2009

Miken Bat Special

Just a quick note, I was shopping for a new bat for my daughter and found the Miken Icon bat for $145. This is last years model, but it is a GREAT price. I believe it is only available in size 33 or 34 length. Which means it's probably only for a girl 13 or older. I put the link for it at the very bottom of this page: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/shopping.html (I think you will have to copy and paste the address into your browser.

Good Luck!

Coach

Sep 23, 2009

Coach Lisa, Blaze, 8U

Coach Lisa of the Blaze gives her outlook for 8U Fall Ball.

Continue reading "Coach Lisa, Blaze, 8U"

Aug 16, 2009

First Two 18U Tournaments - Results

We took the plunge these past two weekends and decided to play 18U Open tournaments. Mind you we are a team of 15 year olds and a couple of 14s. I was a little tentative but the girls were chomping at the bit to see how they measured up.

The results are in. Last weekend we came in 4th place out of 20 teams. Our two losses were 4-7 and 2-5. But along the way were 5 wins.

This weekend the girls played with much more confidence and were more accustomed to the 43' pitching distance. The result, 3rd place. The two losses were each by one run, 3-4 and 1-2. Along with those two losses came 4 wins, 3-1, 2-0, 7-6, and 5-2.

I couldn't be prouder of the team. Lots of heart, hustle and desire. Looks like we are in 18U to stay.

Coach

Aug 10, 2009

Watch Out for Caoch Jason and the Thunder. Pg 1

Hey Coach,

I still refer to your site quite often. Thanks for the great info and coaching the coaches. Every rec and summer/fall team I pick up a few new asst. coaches and I ALWAYS send them the link to your site for reference.

I thought I’d send another Picture of “Irish”; 3 ½ years after the last one I sent you! In this picture she DID actually get the perfect game; in fact she was 5-0 on the weekend with 3 no-hitters to take the Championship home. Also sent a pic of the Roseville thunder 12u Blue team that benefitted from your coaching leadership/suggestions. 27-8 for the summer, pretty good for a first year 12U team! On Base % of .525 with 184 steals in 96 innings! Just wait til next year huh!

This summer I had a 1st year 12U ASA “B” team and was really having trouble with 2 things. First was the “Statue of Liberty” outfielders running across the field in pursuit of a fly ball with their glove hand fully up in the air and the other was getting the girls to pick me up in the 3rd base coaching box on their way to 2nd, not once they got there.

Here is how we remedied both…(Read the following Blog for the Remedy)

Aug 10, 2009

Watch Out for Caoch Jason and the Thunder. Pg 2

Here is how we remedied both…

I put the girls in a line at 2nd base with their gloves on and told them to steal 3rd (no slide – just run through) with stopwatch in hand. Then after I gave them all two times to get their best time I told them to do the same thing but with their glove straight up in the air…any guesses Coach? Yup, .3 to .5 second slower across the board and that was in 60 feet. I then moved them out to the OF and had them do the same from CF to RF to further show how bad this was slowing them down. It was a very effective demonstration, way more than me just telling them and them thinking whatever!

For the pick me up at 3rd stuff I had them do a similar drill but starting at 1B and not looking at me until right at the bag. Stopwatch in hand when they picked me up about halfway to 2nd they dropped at least a second off their times. I had my asst coach stand on 3b with ball in glove and marked off the 17 feet or so that 1 second resulted in and showed them the actual distance they can be safe (or out) by, by just looking at me 1 second sooner! They all got the point rather quickly!

My base running strategy was this, and I preached it all day every day!!!...Run until a base coach stops you and unless you hear “UP…UP”…slide. Fairly simple right! The hardest part was letting them know that if I messed up and didn’t stop them and they ran into an out, then that was my fault. It happened once and I made it a POINT to apologize to the team and that runner all together at the same time. Once they knew I would fall on my sword and own MY mistake, they were all about it!!!

Thanks again Coach!

Jul 14, 2009

Viewer Mail - Coach Jeanna

Hi Coach,

I think those suggestions will work perfectly tonight. Tonight is our last season game.

Now on to the good stuff: We finished 2nd place in a tournament hosted by the coach of the team that got 1st place. He coaches his rec league team, and several of the girls from his rec team are on his travel team as well. So we were facing players who have seen 2-3 times more games than my girls have. The final score was 8-6, and we never had a chance for a good "lead runner" out, anyway, so we didn't lose because we didn't get the lead runner. Some highlights from this game: 10 of the 12 girls on the team hit the ball into fair territory!!! That's because we've had so much hitting practice! My girls were awesome on the field, and they went for the outs at FIRST BASE!

What made me give a little tiny smile was when the other team's 3rd baseman went for the NON-EXISTENT force out at 3rd, when she should have gone to FIRST BASE!In the first inning, the girl I put in as first batter (who has great speed and I know this because of the power of the stopwatch) walked. Second batter, my own kid, laid down a bunt, got to second base and the runner on first base scored! Oh, it was beautiful.

In the game before the championship game, the team's speedy pitcher got injured so we could actually compete in that game. What I loved about that game was how the other team kept going for the lead runner. Their coach has trained them this way and it just makes me smile, like when the 3rd baseman tried to get the force out at second, while the second baseman was trying to beat my runner to 2nd to take the throw.

You are awesome!! Feel free to post anything from this e-mail. The last time you did, I saw it and boy did I feel famous!

Thanks again,Coach Jeanna

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Coach Jeanna-

Thanks for the props. I LOVE hearing the success stories.

Coach

Jun 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - The Era that Was

If you grew up in the 70's and 80's you recognize Michael Jackson was the King of Pop.

Continue reading "Michael Jackson - The Era that Was"

Jun 24, 2009

8U Batting Order Question

Coach,

I have been using your batting order the last 8 games and after staring 1-5 we finished up 8-0. My issues, which is a good one, is I have (3) POWER hitters. They either hit a double or a base clearing triple almost every time they are up to bat. I put my most consistent "light" hitters at 1-2. I have 5 girls that either go 3-3 or 1-3 depending on their mood. Then (2) girls that get hits but it is rare...these are girls that the whole crowd goes nuts if they even nick the ball. I have (2) of the Power hitter back to back right now which is OK but was wondering if you had any ideas on a better way to maximize my runs with the girls I have currently. The power hitters back to back are at 7-8 were there are usually always girls on base. If one of them does not clear the bases...the other usually does the job. Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated!________________________________________________

Coach Jeremy-

Sounds like you have had a pretty good season so far, especially after the rough start. Your batting order can change from week to week depending on who gets hot and who gets cold. At 8-0 I would be hesitant to make many changes. "If it ain't broke don't fix it". However, I think you now have the main theory behind the 8U batting order. Don't bunch up all of your good hitters, mix in a little weakness to help get you further through the line up, but don't spread your hitters so much that you leave the bases loaded but never score.

You might consider swapping #5 and #8 in the order to help ensure you get a run or two at the top of your order, or you might consider moving moving #9 in between your current 7 and 8 to get further through the line up.

I have confidence in you. It looks like you've already learned a lot this season. You are now looking at your line up more strategically for the length of the game and not just your best hitters at the top.

Hey, I know what you mean about the two girls that are lucky to get a foul tip. But isn't it fun to watch and hope, and then celebrate their success (however small it is).

Good Luck!

Coach___________________________________________________

Coach,

We won the league championship over the weekend. Although batting did not really matter because we only allowed 4 runs in 5 games, thanks for your assistance. Your website is a great tool for coaches. Thank you again!

Coach Jeremy

Jun 04, 2009

ITB Continued - Home Team

Building on the previous blog, what is the strategy if you are the Home Team? I'm glad you asked.

The answer is that it depends on what happened when the Visiting team was on offense. If the Visiting team scored 0 or 1 run, then your strategy will be to bunt with your first batter to move your runner to 3rd base. This gives you the greatest chance of scoring the one run needed to win or tie. Play for the tie first then worry about getting the win.

If the Visiting team scored 2 or more runs then you will need to play your offense straight up. Whether that is hitting, slapping, or bunting.

Great teams win games in Extra innings. You will have the advantage. You know your players abilities, you play sensible defense, you have taught ALL of your players how to bunt and you keep a positive attitude with your players. They WILL have confidence in your coaching, they are well-coached, and as such they will have confidence in their ability.

Good Luck!

Coach

Jun 01, 2009

International Tie Breaker (ITB) - Strategy

A common way Softball games are decided if the game is tied at the end of regulation is the International Tie Breaker aka ITB. In ITB your player that made the last out is placed at 2nd base and the inning is played out normally.

So the Question is, what should be your strategy if you are the visiting team?

The answer is you must bunt her to 3rd base with your first hitter.. Get the runner to third with one out and take your chances from there. Once your runner is on 3rd she can score in so many different ways. A hit, a sacrifice fly, an illegal pitch, a passed ball, a wild pitch, an error, a squeeze play, a delayed steal.

As the visiting team you MUST put the run on the board and force the home team to execute. If you fail to score guess what the Home team is going to do? That's right, bunt their runner to third. Now you're just one wild pitch from losing.

The question comes up, "But what if it's my best hitter at bat?" The answer, BUNT.

How to perfect your bunting game: http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/bunting.html

Good Luck!

Coach