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About Riverdog

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  1. Riverdog

    Great Coaching Resource

    Great tip, thanks
  2. Riverdog

    Bad Sportsmanship

    Isn't it sad what some parents and coaches are teaching their kids about how to play together. There's no excuse for it. If the coach is part of this or not controlling his team, he should be removed. That type of behaviour isn't even tolerated at the higher levels of play.
  3. Riverdog

    Help With Strength For 10 Year Old Son

    My dad had me hitting a tire when I was a kid (and that was a long time ago). It actually does work but the problem with it is that it does not properly replicate hitting mechanics. What most of us use now is a volley ball on a tee and the volleyball is soft. The stronger he gets, the more air we let out of the tire. This way, his mechanics are closer to the real thing and he can actually target where the ball needs to go depending on the pitch location.
  4. Riverdog

    Help With Strength For 10 Year Old Son

    Just a small tip - basketball is great for footwork and raquet sports are great for coordination. All of these are also good for conditioning.
  5. Take a game, any game and really mess with the rules. If it's just for fun (and a little conditioning snuck in) nobody should mind. If you want to play soccer, add a little dribbling or make a ruling that goals only count if they're kicked in by the odd foot (LH for RH players etc.). How about a game of baseball played with a soccer ball? How about a basketball game where players have to leave the court as soon as they pass the ball and a sub comes on from the side? The point I'm trying to make is that it doesn't matter what the game or the rules are but the goofier the better.
  6. Riverdog

    Help With Strength For 10 Year Old Son

    Be very careful with kids that young. The best advice is probably to be patient. He will grow into it. The concern is that if muscles overdevelop at this age, it could affect the growth of their bones. He could end up as a very strong 15 year old with arms that are the length of a 10 year old (except maybe with a slight curve). Pushups or other exercise that involve body weight are generally considered safe at young ages. Doing pushups and pullups and squeezing a nerf ball are probably all that he needs. One of things that his body needs to learn is how the muscles work together. That's what sports will teach him. If he is involved in lots of sports of different varieties, his output will look stronger because his muscles will start working together better.
  7. Riverdog

    Streching And Warm-up

    It must have taken you a long time to get all those quotes. Nobody (including me) is suggesting that you put athletes into action without some form of warm up and stretching. The dispute is simply over the kind of stretching that is done. The traditional stretching calls for elongating a muscle and holding it in that position for 30 seconds or more. That weakens the muscle and can play havoc with the joints if not done properly. If, on the other hand, you perform the athletic movements from your sport in a slow and exaggerated fashion, you will be stretching the appropriate muscles in the appropriate manner. This, naturally, is preceded by some activity that warms up the muscles. When a 2nd baseman on my team takes his warm up between innings, he stands behind 2B and his movements to pick up the ball and to throw the ball are very exaggerated. We're not really "warming up", even though that's what we call it. In fact, we're stretching the muscles that most need it. The warm up is the hustle that gets them on the field. (By the way, they have learned that if they don't hustle on to the field, their replacement will be hustling out to their position before the next pitch.) Please warm up and stretch your athletes but please do it in a way that actually helps them perform the tasks you are hoping that they are about to perform. By the way, I have been coaching this way for the past several years and we haven't had an injury that didn't involve a collision with something (bats, balls, ground, bases, other human beings, fences,etc) since we started doing this. If this all sounds evil, I suspect it's only because I'm not explaining myself well. By the way, if you're teaching pliometrics, I sincerely hope you have the training to do so. Now there's one activity that can cause long term injury if done incorrectly. It's also an extremely effect means of training that we use in the off-season.
  8. Riverdog


    Getting kids to focus is tough. If it's any consolation, it doesn't get a whole lot better as they get older. The fact is that they are engaged in sports for the social atmosphere, for peer acceptance and because mom or dad has made them. You need to find ways to entertain them. Sounds goofy but that's the reality of it. You have to have games in their practices that are fun to do. You have to set up some sort of competition that they can get excited about. There's nothing wrong with running them but why not make it a competition: - put 3 balls on the pitcher's rubber and have a coach at 2B - each player in turn has to run from home plate to the rubber, pick up one ball and throw it to 2B - after the throw the run back to home, touch the plate and repeat the trip to the pitcher's rubber - time the event from the moment they start running until they cross the plate after the last throw. - record the times. - cheering the runner is mandatory I have done this drill (usually with 4 or 5 balls) with several different age groups. They usually have a blast and forget very quickly that it's supposed to be a punishment. Remember that these kids need something new to be happening at least every 10 - 15 minutes or they'll get bored.
  9. Riverdog

    Streching And Warm-up

    Trust me, you won't find yourself in court for not stretching your players. On the other hand, if you stretch them wrong, you might. I've watched a lot of team do their stretching and I have yet to see it done properly. I have coached at the college level and I can assure you that there are alot of teams that don't do stretching in the traditional way. It's not that stretching doesn't work but standing on one leg and holding on to your foot is not going to help your athletes stay away from injury. On the other hand, a slow jog and some slalom exercises might. Besides, if you hold your foot wrong, you're going to put some nasty stresses on that knee joint. If read up on some of the newer exercise books you'll find that some sports doctors are saying that stretching can actually weaken a muscle and they recommend doing it several hours before any stength tasks are expected to be performed. That's why my guys stretch in the morning. Most of arm injuries I have seen were done by players who were "properly" stetched out. It would be something like the SS going deep into the 6 hole and try to throw out their lead off batter from there. There's no way he was prepared for that; particularly early in the season when it's getting cool at night. Sorry for the long winded response - this is a passion of mine.
  10. Riverdog

    How To Defend A Power Hitting Team

    Speed rules. If you run alot you will fluster even the best teams. Convince your players they only need to get one out at a time. Sweat not the mistakes. Pitch low and away to everyone. Don't swing on the first pitch. Don't call for a take on a 3 and 0 pitch. Bunt twice in the second inning - it will bring their defense in and put them off balance. Make sure the whole team cheers loud and constantly. Nothing rattles an opponent more than to think that you know something he doesn't. No matter what the score is, keep cheering and keep smiling. Tell jokes if you have to but keep your players smiling and they will all do better. Besides, the only thing they will remember the next day is how much fun they had.
  11. Riverdog

    Getting Frustrated

    I have a meeting before and after every game and every practice. All meetings are very short because players of any age have a short attention span. Pre-game is about reminders. Pre-practice is about the plan. Post game is about what worked and what didn't. There's always somebody that get a pat on the back and there's usually a game situation to learn from. Post practice is about thanking them for the hard work, quick reviews and what's next. Remember, players of any age are there more for the fun than anything. The good athletes can play any sport and you want them to stick to yours. Everyone plays better and learns better when they feel good about themselves and the guys around them.
  12. Riverdog

    Need Help With Boy Swinging Late

    Without more information it's a tough call but here's some thoughts. Late might be an eye problem. He just might not be seeing the ball well. Get him to try to pull the ball in practice. Ask him to hit the outside of the ball, in practice. Ask him to swing just before the ball reaches him and try to miss. Ask him to hit the ball before it can reach the plate. There may be mechanical problems but you didn't mention anything about that. The most likely problem there is a wide swing. Casting or flinging. If his swing is long you need to get his hands closer to his body and keep them there. The list is very long and the page is short.
  13. Riverdog

    Base Foot Placement

    There are several different ways that a second baseman would receive the ball from the shortstop and each depends on exactly where the ball is caught, what kind of arm the SS and the 2B have, how fast the baserunner is and how fast the batter/runner is. On the other hand, since you're coaching young kids you need to keep it basic. I would suggest that they should be on the corner of the base that is closest to where the ball is coming from. I would also suggest that they try to stretch with their glove foot so that the can stretch as far as possible.
  14. Riverdog

    Streching And Warm-up

    I hate to be the one to burst bubbles but many studies done recently suggest that not only is stretching not the answer to these things but that it might even be the problem in some cases. It seems that some sports medicine people are now saying that sport specific training is the answer. What that means is that if the activity is throwing something then the warm up and stretching needs to involve throwing but that it would be done in such a way as to exert little force on the joints and that the movements be exaggerated to cause stretching. An example is the one-knee throwing. If your players are going to be throwing, then this is an excellent exercise. They all get down on one knee, opposite a partner, and make long, sweeping, exaggerated motions to throw whatever kind of a ball they are throwing. Being down on one knee takes the lower body out of the picture and allows the upper body to stretch out. All motions that will be involved later in the game will be warmed up in the same manner. I have coached for over 25 years and the number of injuries started dropping when I started getting smarter about the stretching. Athletic stretching is done by my players when they get up in the morning, not before games and practices.
  15. Riverdog

    25/8 Bats For Youth Baseball

    The biggest barrel that has been allowed in Little League for the last hundred years or so has been the 2 1/2" barrel. I doubt that it's changed but I'm sure you can find a Little League web site with equipment rules on it.