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Let me start by saying, I have coached for 9 years and was a catcher for 18 years. For a variety of reasons I like for my son to play with different kids in the fall. I am always trying to pick up new things from others, After 6-7 practices with the new team i asked the coach about his practices. We had not hit, worked catchers or pitchers. He said he had 2 philosophies, stop them with defense or pound them. I'm trying to get my head around the concept of having 2 different thoughts. Can a winning program work this way? We may get 15-20 swings every 3-4 practices and we've had 3 pitchers throw 1 time in 12 practices. I have started pushing the issue with him. Am i wrong?
My teams hit, pitch and work defense every practice. Its worked for me. I work with my son at home.

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I too have coaching experience, but I have decided that the only place I will coach baseball again is at a orphanage.

Personally I don't think your sons fall coach is giving them enough work in the areas you mentioned.  I look at pitching, hitting and defense when we lose or win a game.  I feel you have to have 2 of the 3 to win (any).  For example, if your pitching isn't good for a particular game then hitting and defense needs to be there.  If you're not hitting in a particlualr game then pitching and defense needs to be there and so on - practice has to revolve around all phases.  Some coaches take it light in the fall and work on players weaknesses and improve them.  I always ask the coach about his philosophy before my son tries out for a team.  Saves a lot of time and averts issues. 


as much as I agree with you post, I also want to add that defense must be a mainstay every game. Yes, guys are going tom make errors, which is just part of the game. But if your defense doesn't show up every game, your team or any team will always be susceptible to losing each and every game. 

yes Kipp I agree.  I was just thinking that if the defense doesn't show up in a particular game, and this is possible, then you're pitching and hitting give you the only chance to win. 

Danny, I know where you are coming from. Just to tell you a litle bit about myself. I have coached for over 20+ years in all different levels of baseball. I currently have one kid playing college ball and my other one was the 2nd pick in the draft for the Marlins this year. I can honestly tell you i have learned quite a bit going through the whole draft process. The one thing i learned most is that hitting trumps EVERYTHING. No one, and i mean no one, really cares about fielding. If you can hit, you will play period. My oldest one (college) is probably one of the best defensive players i have ever seen. They compare him to Omar Visquel. Unfortunately he doesn't have the power to hit with the big boys. My youngest one (Marlins) is a beast at the plate but, he can't hold a candle when it comes to defense compared to the older one. Soooo, hitting is the key. I always worked both my kids out on defense and hitting. I made sure that at every practice they did both equally. I always told my kids if you went for a tryout and your defense was terrible, you will never get a chance to demonstrate you can hit. They were not pitchers so i didn't bother with that. 15-20 swings every 3-4 practices is ridiculous. If i had to do it all over again i would seriously concentrate abot 70% hitting and 30% defense. My sons always hit during practice and after practice.  

Congrats Avery. To have a son drafted must be really special. Thanks for your insight.


you're not wrong at all. Baseball has many many aspects to the game regardless of what some people think. Yea, I always tell players that baseball is a simple game, you catch the ball, you throw the ball and you hit the ball, which is correct. But in the bigger scheme of things with a TEAM, they have to learn to work together as a group and they have to understand that each and every position on the field is a little bit different than the others but all are very important to learn. 

Personally, I like to start every practice off with hitting, and during the hitting the players work on ground balls, fly balls and even the catchers work on catching batting practice. All of this is done during BP. Catchers do need to work on the side with receiving the ball and blocks and footwork for throwing to all bases. Middle infielders need to work together with double plays and 1st basemen need to work on receiving throws from all the bases. And the outfielders as well as infielders need to work on cutoffs on relays. And it might sound very small, but pitchers need to work on backing up bases and pickoffs and PFP's. And yes, pitchers need to throw bullpens regularly to not only get better, but to work on their mechanics and any new pitches they might be wanting to throw. 

Let's face it, there just isn't enough time to do as much as we want in practice unless this is our job, but they all do need to be done. 

OK THIS IS COMPLETE BS! this is wrong, just tell the coach to run a day care, 15-20 swings every 3-4 practices??? wow Look my uncle is Victor Santos, former MLB pitcher, i have 2 cousins Jimmy Paredes, Houstos Astros and Kelvin Perez, NY Yankees. I know a lot i have practiced with a lot of players im currently playing for college and this is totally wrong, Practice needs to be hard, 20-60 every practice, pitchers should throw a small bullpen every 1-2 practices, how are their arms going to get stronger by throwing every 12 days and thats if practice is every single day, which most of the time isnt for youngsters.You're completely right to be concerned, Im a catcher, when i played in the Dominican my Monday to Friday consisted of this, Practice 7AM to 12PM stretch, jog for 1 mile, long toss for 20 mins, i would catch 3-6 bullpens daily, after have batting practice and when i wasnt hitting i was in the outfield shagging fly balls. leave practice get home at 1230PM, Rest, eat Rest till 3PM 330PM have another practice that just consisted of arm strength, long tossing till about 530PM, after that hit the gym till about 8PM lift some weights, get home at around 815PM shower, Ice my arm, then play basketball from 9pm to about 1030PM, Ice a little more, Then go to sleep start the day all over again. Sat-Sun, 6am Saturday jog 5 miles to the beach and do about 20, 60-Yard sprints in the sand, walk home, due to my legs being on fire. get home at about 10AM eat breakfast, watch some TV at 1PM eat Lunch and leave at about 2PM to hit some BP, i would be done with that at about 4PM, then the day would be mine to do what ever i wanted. Sunday was just wake up a little late about 12PM eat lunch, leave my house at about 130PM hit batting practice, go home and take sunday as a rest day. Your Son should be working his butt off, lots of hitting throwing to build arm strength. Im 20 now, i was in the dominican when i was 19, i was born there, but i saw kids 10-15 work as hard as i did, trust me. PUSH HIM!! 

I appreciate the feedback guys. This was just one of those things that was so far out there that it made me question myself... as I said before, I played and have coached. I have been to the DR to work with players and i havent seen this. I work with my son on a regular basis. There is no doubt he's a catcher. This isnt my team so I've been cautious about pushing too much. But i may have to because this aint gonna get it.

SO as a father that would love to see his son perform at a big level and move on this isnt acceptable. Not at all!!!!!!!! Trust me, and since im a catcher then therefore i can help him out and tell you what kinds of things are good but since your a coach you should know but this isnt right for him, he needs to practice a lot and work really hard, being a catcher isnt a joke. Its tough stuff!

"stop them with defense or pound them" 
At 9 I would say you wont stop them with defense if your pitchers can not throw strikes.  That is where defense starts.

I am like you.   You can work defense but kids love to hit.  If it aint fun they wont want to play.  They don't care about winning.  I think the coach needs to decide what his goal should really be.  Develop the kids not winning games at 9

I wonder if the coach you refer to isn't just a guy who isn't all that experienced and is trying to sound confident by saying things like "stop them with defense or pound them."

Maybe he just doesn't have the knowledge to properly run a practice, but is too proud to seek out help.  I'm amazed at how much EGO drives people's actions when they get involved in sports. 


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