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About wwjdwithca

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  1. That's good advice!
  2. I guess we will just have to respectfully disagree on the the workout of their arms. Off speed pitches is another area we'll disagree about as well. I've done a bit of reading on this matter, and there's really no evidence of a slider causing elbow problems. The problem is that many kids don't want to throw a real slider, they want to see the ball break 3 feet, so they end up throwing a curve. I don't believe a slow curve is an effective pitch against a good hitter anyway, and since you don't throw curves at poor hitters...what's the point? But a well thrown slider is extremely effective. The hitter thinks he's seeing a fastball, and when it gets to the plate the bottom falls out. Extremely hard to hit! I will agree with you that any off-speed pitch should be thrown only at selective times in each inning, and really never against weak hitters. For several reasons: I Coach Minors, and these boys just can't get that pitch over the plate often enough, you need to have a good catcher who will block the ball with runners on base, plus it's just more effective when the kids don't see it often. But I cannot tell you how much more successful a young pitcher can be with having one effective off speed pitch. Now if the kid doesn't have any velocity on his fastball.....then forget it. What's the point? But if he has a solid fastball, he MUST learn a second pitch. There are just too many good hitters who can hit a fastball....one trip to the 40 MPH batting cage proves my point. After just a few pitches at the same speed and location even the weakest hitters can catch-up to a fastball. To be able to mix in an well placed off-speed pitch will take the best hitters to their knees. I'll agree with you on another matter too. Throwing strikes is much more important than knowing any number of pitches. Two of my better pitchers have very good fastballs, but constantly suffer from not being able to throw strikes. Strikes, strikes, and more strikes. Half the kids you'll face want to Walk. Got to throw strikes. That's why I teach them a pitch I call a "Nice and Easy Strike." It's fastball grip, but the pitcher just takes a bit off just to get it over the plate. Anyway, good discussion. Thanks.
  3. Preacherman, I have dedicated Pitching practices, and two of my pitchers are Catchers as well, and I've have never seen either of those kids get tired from Catching, Pitching yes, catching....never. Pitching has so much more energy involved. Not only do they throw much harder than 25% (as you say), they are throwing change-ups and breaking balls (I teach them sliders). This requires 4-5 TIMES more energy than a simple return lob toss from the catcher. Kind of common sense.
  4. Most of my kids need two things. Encouragement, and pratice. Now I'm not talking about "You can do it. Come on, just try." type of encouragement. I'm talking about "Get in their! Don't back down! Get angry! That ball needs to be scared of you!" type of encouragement. I've had kids after I say something like that to them just crack the ball. Then on the very next pitch, I don't say anything and they're timid again. Pretty amazing! And you just have to do it alot! Is he wearing batting gloves? Also, his bat might be too short, and he's hitting the ball on the bat too close to the end of the barrel. The sweet spot is just above where the barrel finishes it's taper, about 2/3 the length. Also, a larger diameter bat (within league reg's) would help too. Good luck!
  5. Try holding their right foot in place (by another player) for right handed kids. Make them use their whole body when throwing. Good luck.
  6. Some experts say you should have them throw until they are into a sweat, that one of the biggest mistakes Coaches make is to get their pitchers into the game too cold. Now I'm not the most experienced Coach in the world, but from my experience I've found that most of my pitchers work better with less warmup. Work them hard in practice, and on gameday just let them get warm, and let them fire! To me, the key is that they throw enough in practice. And I'm not talking about general playing practice. I disagree with previous poster. You cannot consider fielding practice, there is far too much delay between throws. You need to practice pitching, with nobody hitting, so they can build their arms, work on location, and teach them more than just a fastball.
  7. When you say he's, "taking a beating." I 'm not sure what you mean by that; Is he dropping every throw that hit's him in mit? Are the pitchers throwing every ball in the dirt? Not really sure what your saying. Anyway, I personally don't believe his situation (whatever it is) is about the drills that you do or don't do, it's just about practicing. Buy him a good mit, and glove pounder, and beat the glove silly until it's broke in. There are some mits that are made with softer leather (more expensive) and are almost broke-in when new. Every night take him out in the back yard and throw to him. Find a level that he is confident in, i.e. distance and speed, and just keep repeating at that level until he's real good. Then add more difficulty, but go back to his confident level after a few tough-ones, slowly building up the difficutly. Most importanly, understand the difference between skill and fear. If he's failing because of talent (he's confident) than just pound that area over and over and over again. If fear is an issue, you have to slowly approach it like in the previous paragraph. Make sure that 80% of what you throw at him he's not afraid of. Kids don't have any fun when they're constantly afraid.
  8. Pretty straight forward. Kids try-out, Coaches watch them, and then you have a draft. Any players that don't try-out become hat-picks. I don't recommend drafting every player, but at a certain point when the player level is severly diluted then hat-pick the last several rounds. Then select true-hat picks after the draft is over.
  9. Hey, don't forget, there is another answer!!! Out- Coach the guy!! Teach your kids how to combat a team like that. If he's telling his kids not to swing, then strike them out! Teach your kids to throw strikes for Pete's sake. If he's telling his kids not to swing because he knows your kids can't pitch. Teach your kids to pitch. Don't complain to the league or the Parents. Beat him at his own game. If he tries to take two bases on an overthrow, throw them out! So how do you do this. You as the manager need to think your strategies through before the games. You need to have well organized practices. Practice things that will help you in the games. If your playing a team that runs too much, you need to teach your kids to throw back to the pitcher immediatly on EVERY play. Once the Pitcher is on the rubber he can call time-out. If the runner tries to take another base teach the Pitcher to take two or three steps towards the base he's trying to steal and make a nice throw tothe base, and teach your infielders to tag the runner by sweeping the ground. OUT! That's how you take care of that. The problem is the ball get's by the Catcher, and everyone yells "He's stealing 2nd, throw to second." So he throws to second (late) and the ball get's by the 2nd baseman, etc, etc. etc. Run scores. Don't even teach the Catcher to throw to 2nd (EVER). Throw to the Pitcher. Let him have 2nd. If he tries to take third, let the pitcher throw him out by 4 steps. When he tries to steal 3rd on the next pitch, throw him out stealing. Make sure the Left Fielder is backing the 3rd baseman up on the play. Teach your Pitchers to throw strikes,your Catchers to block the ball, to only throw out runners going to third (make sure the left fielder is taught to backup, make him aware during the game situation), for every infielder to always throw back to the Pitcher after every play, immediatly. Then when you hit. RUN until the cows come home. He may not know how to solve the problem himself. Then after you've taken him to school, the next time you play him you go up to him before the game and say, "Hey Coach how ya' doing? Today, my philosphy is to only make proper running advancements, not to run until you get thrown out type of thing, but I really let the opposing manager take the lead there. I'll just follow what he does. Have a great game, and let's have a great time. Good luck!" Cause the fact of the matter is that his type of Managing is not effective if it's defensed properly. In fact he'll run himself right out of an inning every time. Let him. But you have to teach your kids to play. If it only bothers you enough to complain, than it doesn't really bother you that much. Do something about it, much more fun and gratifiying. Good luck!
  10. The number one criteria for a good pitcher is being able to throw strikes. Don't let a pitcher take the mound who cannot throw more strikes than balls in practice. Give the kids a called pitch that's just a nice easy strike. In other words, don't worry about velocity or movement, just make a nice easy throw across the plate to either get a strike or get the ball in play. It could be a three, one being a fastball, two being a change, and three being a nice easy strike. If they dont' have a change-up, make it the two. Then when they get ahead on the hitter they throw the heat. Have practices that only include Pitchers and Catchers. Work on their throwing motions, and teach them how to throw strikes, over and over in pratice. Why practice fielding drills when your Pitchers can't even get the ball in play? I've found kids are more accurate pitching from the wind-up, they naturally get more body movement going towards the plate. The footwork is more complicated so coaches like to teach the stretch, but again, I recommend pitching practices where you can work on these techniques, over and over again until it's natural for them. A little extra work on footwork will pay off with less walks....in my opinion. Give them incentives to pitch more innings if they pitch well, not pitch counts that put undue stress on them. Most importantly, don't put them on the mound until they can throw strikes. Quite frankly, if your kids aren't throwing strikes you better look in the mirror. If you've been dealt an extremely poor hand of pitchers you need to have one or two pitching practices a week until they can throw strikes.
  11. I personally haven't seen or used those, but it's really a low budget soft-toss machine. I guess you could say since they only have a split-second to react to the ball coming out of the tube it requires faster reflexes than a soft toss. Which would be true, but the soft toss you can load around 20 balls (depending on type) and they can fire away in rapid succession. EXCELLENT drill! Another advantage of soft-toss is you can move the ball approach around so that the ball comes from behind the hitter, which comes down to the same drill as the Quickswing. So I'd say, spend another $100 and get a much better hitting device. You won't be sorry! I'd recommend the gravity fed systems like Slotoss. Lugging a generator around, or finding power somewhere is not fun. Anyway, if you can't bust the extra dough, the Quickswing is still better than books.
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