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About Saugussoftball

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    All Star
  • Birthday 07/30/1956

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    If I can reach one child, just one, I have done my job.
  1. Hi I've coached for many years and at many levels. One thing I have always used is "soft toss". I take a big bucket of balls (all conditions), go BEHIND the backstop, and position myself about 4 ft away from the batter (who is facing me). Then just lob a ball to her and have her swing and hit into the backstop. The better the batter, the faster I lob until we get to rapid fire. I have found that this is a great way to quicken bat speed and it gives one on one attention to each girl. In my bucket I have some of the most pitiful balls (recovered from swampy fields) loose stitching and really deadballs. We name them (baldy, deadball, sticky steve etc) and at the year end banquet, I give them away to the most improved, best team spirit etc. along with a brand new ball inscribed with the team name and year. Have a great time with the girls! It's all about them!
  2. Oh My! You're in a "pickle"! Good going, being on top of this. I've also coached various sports for 9 or 10 yrs and the coach in me also wants to secure a win. (winning feels better than losing!)But..........we're dealing with a very difficult group of girls. Some are truely still little girls, some are young women and some are betwixt and between. Yelling at the little girls will make them cry, make the young women angry (motivated?) and the others won't hear you! It's such a balancing act! When you look at the numbers in the rec league and realize that only 14 or so will make the HS varsity team you might want to step back and let them just have fun. The serious players (and you'll be able to spot them throughout the league), will have enough inner drive to handle discipline, not punishment, discipline, and will move on to more specialized teams (Travel select/AAU etc.) As far as "standing up" to the head coach....buy him a cup of coffee or a can of soda and ask his advice on how you can better mesh your philosophy with his. Then go find all you can about softball (this site has great info) and vow to be the most informed coach you can be. Next year, put in for a head coach/manager's position. That way you'll be able to coach and mould a team the way you want. At the end os the season, we have the usual,"everyone gets a trophy" banquet, but I like to make up a folder with the team color and include and individual "gold medal certificate" which I make up on my own. If I have time, I include a special distinction on each girls' certificate ie: most improved, best team spirit etc, (all positive things tailored to each girl) This goes a long way to bolstering bruised egos and might just foster enough confidence to keep that one girl "in the game" and that's all I've ever asked for...just one. If I've reached just one girl and helped her then I've done my job. Keep Positive and Have fun!
  3. My daughter used her brother's little league bat for her first year until we determined that she was interested enough in continuing to play softball, which she was. We then bought her the lightest and cheapest bat we could find (18 oz/$20.00?) because she did not have the arm strength to get a heavier bat around quick enough and every other girl wanted to use her brand new bat..and thus it got tossed around, stepped on and flung into the back stop many times. A broken and dented $20 bat is easier to absorb than a $300 one! And you make the kids paranoid about their possessions at a much too young age! My way of thinking is to get a cheap bat, don't worry about the "pop" yet. Just being able to hit the ball well, and learning how to "place" it into which area of the field is enough for this year. Bottom line....at 9 and 10 yrs old, it's about learning the game and learning that win or lose, competition is FUN!
  4. Hi What I've done is not free and took a bit of figuring, but it was nice....I went to Staples and got the blue and gold awards paper, a gold "ribbon" sticker and folders in the same color as our uniforms. I had Stapes copy the team picture on photo paper. copied the article from the town newspaper. configured the girls names to fit into the award in the right space.(I did this on a blank paper and a sacrificed award) configured a space for the Manager's name and the coaches names and the date of the season Bundled all these together into the folder and gave them to the girls at the trophy night, with their trophies. This was a huge hit because al the other teams just handed out trophies. But as my team(s) have won the championship (s) it sort of put a nice spotlight on them. Loads of parents came up to me and asked if the league did this. Most of all the girls have told me that their award is framed and is hanging in their houses along with other family awards and trophies.
  5. My son did something unusual to break in his new (and very expensive!) glove. He soaked it in water and then microwaved it for 2 minutes on high. Took it out,oiled it, put a ball in the pocket and let it dry in the shade(NO SUN!) for about 10 days. It is the best feeling glove I have ever seen! It's like an extension of his hand! I almost killed him when he told me what he was going to do, but he researched it on the net and promised to re-buy the glove with his savings if it didn't work. He was 12 at the time and this glove was bought for All Stars. He's 13 now and has used it through Pony league and now again in the All Stars. It has really held up well! Stick with no bigger than an 11 glove. My son is almost 6 feet tall and has large hands. His glove is an 11
  6. Hi If anyone is out there, just wanted to let you know that, although I questioned the depth of this year's team, THEY PULLED THROUGH! It was amazing! with 2/3 of the season done, they clicked and started playing like a real team. I did have to give them a talking to about being "catty" and critical of their team mates, and told them that if I heard any more, they would be batting last and only olaying 3 innings in the field. After that they really came around. I even "paced" the bench while I was giving them "the lecture" Good book to read is "Coach" by Michael Lewis. Very short very good!
  7. Hi, Just adding my 2 cents..........At 8 yrs old my son was pulled up to play on an older soccer team and chosen for the "select" team. He and the other selects had talent "up the wazoo" so to speak, dominating all the competitions..........He waited until he was 10 to play baseball and he was in the middle of the pack: great hitter but lousy pitcher. Now at age 13, almost all of the "selects" have quit the soccer team (too much running for their lazy adolescent bodies lol) and are playing baseball. Some are good but some need to catch up to the boys who have played since tball. Which is my point, kind of, I guess. Those who stick with it, will have an edge because they are more fam,iliar with the ins and outs of the game and those who come late, may have talent, but don't know the subleties of the game. Also, what I have noticed is that some of the guys who were the minoe league super stars in baseball, have not grown at the same pace as some of the other boys and are still small, good, but small. Some of the "not so quick" boys who were big at the time (minors) are now tall and gangly, all feet and knees, but boy can they hit! Kids, you gotta love "em. The all grow at different speeds, physically and emotionally but they all find thier own niche, hopefully, and turn out OK. That is if WE don't screw them up! I'm from Boston, ask your son if Trot Nixon thinks right field is a wimp position, or Manny Rameriz if being in left is really "left out"! Good luck, take a breath and have fun watching your son take the first steps in a lifetime of decision making. Help him understand that even if it makes him feel better to quit, it might not make everyone else feel good. There is no " I " in the word team.
  8. Hi I think every one of us who has fairly talented kids, feels your frustration.. My daughter was clobbered in basketball this past season, by her select team soccer coach. My daughter quit the soccer team because the hard feelings filtered down. This team lost more games than they ever did and came up short in the big tournament. Coincendece? Don't think so! They were missing a key player, "so there"! Last year my son played his last year of Little League for a coach who would let him pitch a grand total of 4 pitches, decided he wasn't up to it and pulled him. EVERY time he was up in the rotation. This is the kid who had pitching lessons and was asked to move up to a Babe Ruth team to fill in. He also practiced with a HS varsity team and struck out 3 players. Legitimately! He was selected for All Stars.....guess who coached? His former coach's brother-in-law! He sat him for most of the games. During practices he had his younger son's team to practice with them. We later learned that this particular coach's team was in tournaments and was using the All Stars to "ramp-Up" their game. To the detriment of the older boys. This year in Babe Ruth, he pitched a no-hitter, a shut-out and hit a triple last night with a WOODEN bat! His team is being coached by a veteran coach (williamsport team) and they are 10-0 for the season.............Coincedence? Don't think so! Hang in there, good things will eventually happen. Don't let it poisen your feeling for the love of the game! Politics!
  9. Update: As I said, I'm open to an honest excuse........One girl's grandfather dies over Memorial Day Wkend, another had a stomach bug, one had finals and two were at a Track meet (regional conference) One of my "always comes to practice" pitchers had pretty bad "lower right pain and her parents thought it may be appendix....................so Mea Culpa..I apologize for my grouchy-whine! We tied the #1 team last night, short handed and with my starting pitcher being pulled for "crow-hopping" in the 1st inning. So I guess they're not so rotten after all! --------------------
  10. What a difference a year makes! Last year I have the greatest team a coach could ask for. I guess "the other shoe had to drop"! This year's team is such a struggle and a dissapointment.I've had girls who have only showed up to 1/2 a practice, or not show at all. No call, no e-mail no excuse other than a shrugged shoulder. Parents drop late and pick up up to an hour after practice has ended. These girls are in 5th and 6th grade so I won't leave them abandonned at the field. The ones who seldom come to practice expect to play their full innings AND to start every game. This is mostly the 6th graders who will be moving up to the next level feel they have somehow earned this priviledge. Tonight, the night before playing the #1 team, I had 7 girls show and 4 were 5th (of my 5 th's) the others were the ones who are my neediest. Everyone of the "stars" were no shows. I am so angry, I feel like quitting. I may just NOT show up for the game and give them all "the shrugged shoulder" right back. Rules are that everyone bats and evryone plays a minimum of 3 innings in the field. My thoughts are put them all at the end of the batting order and sit them all. We could win against this team, but I really don't want to let them get away with this. I am open to an honest excuse, but this is not the first time this has happened. Any thoughts. They're still just kids and it's up to the parents to get them practices, but it's up to the kids to check their e-mails. (I don't phone them, I'm way too busy)
  11. Hi I love that age and would go back to coaching it in a heartbeat! I think what you have is a case of "stage fright". The girls know, that even if tyhere is no score kept, there is a score in their heads. And when they are up to bat "EVERYONE'S LOOKING AT ME !!!!!". For somwe kids, this is OK but for most, this is SO scary! Imagine if they had to pitch too! What you might try is emphasising defense. Most of the runs at this and the next level (Minors) come from walks, not hits and it's what they do in the field that holds a score down or runs it up to 25+ runs. Work on throwing in to the infield, getting it back to the pitcher and just plain catching the ball. Most of all, have fun! To get them used to hitting the ball, try "soft tossing" to them before the game. 5 balls each, more if there is time. I used this a lot and my littlest ones, became really confident when they knew what it felt like to make contact with the ball. Surprisingly, some of my girls said it hurt their hands when they made contact, which could also contribute to a shy hitter. Good luck and HAVE FUN! They grow up so fast anad become....adolescents.....AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!
  12. I'm "one of those" who advised one of my kids to wait for the walk........she was all of "a minute high" the pitches always went over her head, she was so little that a 17oz bat drooped down her back....BUT she had great speed and instincts. All she needed was to get on base and we were guaranteed a run! When they finally learned to lower the pitches, I taught her how to bunt! Have fun that's what it's about!
  13. Oh my goodness! He's 4! 47 months ago (MONTHS!) he was still in utero! Who wants to play soccer, him or you?? He's probably only 18 months out of diapers, PLEASE let him be a baby while he can! Both my kids played soccer from kindergarden through 6th grade, on both select and club teams. Both have quit playing. At 12 YO they are burned out of a wonderful sport. Hind sight is 20/20. DON'T PUSH! Keep playing, keyword PLAYing. When you stress organization and compitition, you've lost it.
  14. A final chapter (I doubt!) Last week, my daughter's b-ball team lost their bid for 1st place in the lower bracket They lost..... It's over. it's done.................WRONG! My daughter was nominated s an all star. she really is the best on her team.....she lost her bid. I was told, that the ONE board member (whom I have had issues with) tallies all the SECRET votes, and selects the "All Star"team. Tonight I asked to see the tallies and was told that they were "shredded" My daughter is a shy, struggling, talented athelete. Because she is shy, we don't push issues, but the older she gets, wer know we have to push. How much is OK and ow much is invasive?
  15. Hi Keep in mind that young "boys" right out of HS still have something to prove. Recent studies have shown that the male brain (apologies to all you guys, but the studies have been ONLY done on teenage boys) has not fully formed until at least the age of 18. Some say 25. It's physiological, the synaps's have not connected yet! Young men are still in the high rev testosterone haze and truly NEED to roar! Unfortunately for you it seems that you have s roar'er. Any kind of logic is still going to be met with a bit of teenage defiance. My son had a "right out of HS" little league coach (an all american all star) who could not relate to 12 YO boys, great kid but I could see where he was still so very immature. You might want to double up your presence and not give him too much slack or alone time with your team. Delegate him to soft toss or teaching basic drills like getting the ball out of the glove, turn, step and throw. And take heart, what you're doing will far surpass pettiness Just stick with coaching fundamentals and realize that if you have taught all the basics, and you lose now, the rewards will be reaped much later when your team members instinctivly do what needs to be done in a crunch situation. A bad coach's name will be remembered forever.....a good coach's teachings will live forever.
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