"I started playing baseball in 1965 as a southpaw pitcher and first base. The first time I ever saw a lefty catcher's mit was 2005, I bought it. I would be terrified of being a catcher. Why? Because I know how lefties pitch."
"Good point David. One bad play can so greatly affect a ball player's self esteem, even when having performed well the rest of the game. That bumbled BIG CATCH that lets in the winning run is always the play that draws…"
"David - Players (even more so parents and coaches) do take the game too seriously and the abiltiy to brush off failure and focus on the next play is huge in baseball and life. But I disagree that baseball is just a game. It…"
"I often tell young players, "Someday, you will look back at all the time and effort you put into baseball and your memories will consist of just a few moments. Let's make every play in today's game like it is going to be one…"
"Hi Michael. To be honest with you, I don't have a prob with placing an emphasis on winning. As long as "we" don't carried away with it! You mentioned "self esteem" and also "learning the skills." They are two…"
"Hi Michael and welcome to Check Swing. I think you'll enjoy this baseball community as it's all about talking baseball and helping each other. If you ever want to talk hitting, pitching, coaching or umpiring feel free to contact me (with…"
"Michael- Thanks for joining us at CheckSwing! I am the Founder of this baseball community and excited to have you with us. Have a great time making new connections and talking baseball. Please invite any players and coaches that you know to…"
Hi Michael. To be honest with you, I don't have a prob with placing an emphasis on winning. As long as "we" don't carried away with it! You mentioned "self esteem" and also "learning the skills." They are two points that I think are critical. As far as self esteem. I coached for about 10 years before becoming a certified HS umpire. (I also umpire younger levels of play.) As a Coach, I thrived on building self esteem in my young players. I coached from t-ball through 15 year olds. Case in point, I coached a 12 year old team that ended up winning the championship. Had this player Eli Bernstein, a terrific kid who lacked confidence and was not one of my stronger players. To be honest, I had to dig real deep to find something positive and finally I got my chance. In one of our playoff games he was playing right field and a ball went over his head. Opposing team had the tying run on 1B in the next to the last inning. Eli retrieves the ball, throws a PERFECT relay to Joey Barbalaco who makes a perfect throw to our catcher James Hopkinson. It's a banger and the runner is about by a foot or two. We end up winning by that one run. I made darn sure that I congratulated Eli in front of all. At our year's end party, I mentioned Eli again in front of the team and told Eli that without that perfect throw from deep right field we might not be celebrating right now. One of my top priorities as a Coach was to make my weaker players feel good about themselves. When managing 10 year olds through 15 year olds, we had a nice stretch of going to the finals 4/5 years and winning the championship 3 times. Was that my proudest achievement? No way! MY proudest achievement was that not once did a parent ever say that I spoke to their child inappropriately. That's what I do take pride in and I have a major prob with coaches who do not speak to these KIDS properly. I guess they don't realize that they can "crush" a young kid. Very sad when that happens.
As far as learning the skills...these kids are not being taught properly. I find it very difficult to criticize a volunteer Coach who rushes from work to get to a game or a practice, spends time sending emails, etc. But some of them do not teach these kids the game. I umpire younger levels of play. I see young hitters standing two feet from the plate. And sometimes in a game I'll see six young pitchers and three of them are pitching from the TOP of the rubber. Shouldn't this be the first thing you would teach a pitcher. It takes all of about 30 seconds to teach a pitcher how to pivot on the rubber. (Or should I say against the rubber and not on top of it?)
Like I said Michael, I don't have a problem with trying to win the game, within reason. But I do have a problem with coaches not building self esteem in these kids and not teaching them properly, in that order. Hey, Eli was a very smart kid and he knew he was not one of the stronger players on the team. So when I make a kid like Eli feel good about himself, it makes me feel good too. Like I told him while pointing at him from about 10 feet away at our end of season party, "You don't make that perfect throw Eli and we probably would not be celebrating as much right now."
P.S. If I'm a Board member and I see a Coach "crush" one of the players, I'd give them a week off to think it over as to whether or not they want to continue coaching. If it happens a second time, I'd give them a year or two to decide. I think that's pretty fair for all parties involved. This was way too long Michael....sorry.
Hi Michael and welcome to Check Swing. I think you'll enjoy this baseball community as it's all about talking baseball and helping each other. If you ever want to talk hitting, pitching, coaching or umpiring feel free to contact me (with NO sales pitches from me.) You can read some of the articles I’ve written on hitting and pitching by doing a “Google” search, using my name. I’ll gladly share them for free for any website, newsletter, blog, etc if you contact me at http://www.LarryBaseball.com. Take care!
Michael- Thanks for joining us at CheckSwing! I am the Founder of this baseball community and excited to have you with us. Have a great time making new connections and talking baseball. Please invite any players and coaches that you know to join us as well. Enjoy!
I'm a big AGOTO fan as well!
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