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Thread: What Baseball Is All About

  1. #1
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    What Baseball Is All About

    Coaching my kids (Rachel and Sam) in baseball this summer helped to take my mind off the Red's woes. I found more solace and joy in teaching these kids the fundamentals of the game, then watching the Reds not knowing what they were.

    This was Sam's first year at facing another kid pitching to him (Farm League). He was in a Coaches Pitch League last year. And he had his troubles this season adapting. he did fine in the field, but hadn't gotten a hit most of the year. In fact, the coaches and I couldn't even get him to swing. When he learned what a walk was ("You mean I can get on base witout ever having to swing?"), that is where he took his chances. Of course I worked with him consistently in the bakyard taking batting practice - showing him the proper stance, how to swing, teaching him the strikezone, following the ball, pitch selection, etc. And he'd hit the heck out of the ball. But when in that game he'd just stand up there. The coaches and I kept encouraging him and telling him that he can't hit if he doesn't swing. We tried every approach with him (and a few other boys who had the same problem). You almost have to be a psych major anymore to get into these kid's heads. Sam had mentally convinced himself, after numerous failures/attempts, that he couldn't do it.

    This kid ran me through the wringer as a coach and a Dad.

    Finally, in the last game of the regular season, I told him this is it - there's nothing more I can say to you....JUST SWING THE FRIGGIN' BAT BOY!

    Everybody in the stands had been encouraging Sam all year. In his 2nd A/B he finally made contact and fouled off a pitch. He looked over at me with this surprised look on his face, and Dad was pumping his fist telling him to do it. He ended up swinging, but struck out. Next time up I again encouraged him- watch the ball, wait for your pitch, and do like we have been doing in the backyard.- but you aren't gonna get a hit if you don't swing. Even if you strikeout, you are trying. There were two outs and the last batter in the game. He nailed one that the SS fielded and threw him out. But Sam didn't care... He had hit the ball! We drove home, with the tourney starting the next week, and the kid was filled with new hope. He had a grin from ear to ear.

    So to make a long story short, here are pics of Sam after his first hit, and afew other selected shots from that game. They ended up geting eliminated from the tourney, but they played very well. I was proud of them. Sam is the red-headed one with glasses.
    Last edited by GAC; 07-20-2006 at 06:19 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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  3. #2
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    His trade value will never be higher.

    Just sayin'
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  4. #3
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Congrats to GAC JR

    Kid in the dairy queen shirt has the Klu sleeveless thing going on
    Go Gators!

  5. #4
    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    And the kid behind him in right seems to be taking a potty break.
    0 Value Over Replacement Poster


    "Sit over here next to Johnathan (Bench)...sit right here, he's smart."--Sparky Anderson

  6. #5
    Member redsrule2500's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Nice Story.
    Coaches Pitch to Kids Pitch is a HUGE jump. I know that a lot of kids are scared of the ball hitting them, which creates a "back of the mind" fear.
    redsrule2500
    Go Reds!
    Baseball Bliss
    Im a normal guy blessed with the ability to hit a baseball. - Sean Casey

  7. #6
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Thanks for the post GAC and send congrats to Sam. I just finished Little League ball a couple of weeks ago and I'm already looking forward to our fall league-sure beats being a Reds fan.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  8. #7
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    Congrats to GAC JR

    Kid in the dairy queen shirt has the Klu sleeveless thing going on
    Alot of the kids on that Dairy Queen team cut their jerseys off like that. Our kids wanted to do the same too - but our head coach was a prude. Plus some Mom's didn't want their sons to ruin such nice jerseys.

    We lost the first game of the tourney to this same team 14-10. We then ended up playing them in the losers bracket for our 2nd game. We were all so proud of our kids - they came to play, and we had them down 9-3 going into the 5th inning. Our BP killed us, and gave up 7 runs!

    We came back in the bottom half and tied it 10-10; but they squeezed a run in in the next inning and then held us in check to win 11-10.

    In the Farm League a kid can only pitch 3 innings. So you really need two good pitchers. We had two; but then one quit because of all the other summer camps he goes to. That hurt us big time because the other kids we put out there were alot like Danny Graves in the 9th - you needed a 7-8 run cushion and then hoped for the best.

    But the kids had fun (as did the coaches). I thoroughly enjoy it.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  9. #8
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Quote Originally Posted by redsrule2500
    Nice Story.
    Coaches Pitch to Kids Pitch is a HUGE jump. I know that a lot of kids are scared of the ball hitting them, which creates a "back of the mind" fear.
    Sam got nailed in his first A/B in the very first game. Right in the side too. he came back to the dugout afterwards and was fuming (with tears in his eyes). I had to restrain myself from laughing in the dugout when he said... "Why are kids allowed to hit other kids like that? Isn't their some sort of rule against that? He should be arrested!"

    Sam got hit a few times more though as the season wore on, and took it pretty good. I always tell him... "Your sister hits you harder!"
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  10. #9
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Great stuff, GAC.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  11. #10
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    It's a lot of fun, isn't it GAC? I really enjoy coaching. Kids can say some of the darndest things. Keep encouraging Sam!
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  12. #11
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Do your team's pitchers pitch to the other kids during practice? It seems like that would help the kids get comfortable facing their peers on the mound.

    If psychology seems to be a problem, maybe you could try to re-create game situations at practice -- divide the kids into different "teams" with diferent colored jerseys, have more parents show up and cheer at practice, etc.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  13. #12
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    If you look at that group shot there is the BIG kid in the back row/center. He moves up into the next league next year, but this kid, while slower then Casey, can pure out hit the ball. He was also our 1Bman. His swing is so natural. He put one out of the park earlier in the year. I loved working with this kid. He really listened to you and was very receptive to instruction. I kept working with him all summer on his stance and correcting his tendency to be over anxious at the plate and reach for balls (he didn't like taking a walk). But I got him to learn plate discipline, pitch selection, and to wait for his pitch. He was one of the better hitters in the league.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  14. #13
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Do your team's pitchers pitch to the other kids during practice? It seems like that would help the kids get comfortable facing their peers on the mound.

    If psychology seems to be a problem, maybe you could try to re-create game situations at practice -- divide the kids into different "teams" with diferent colored jerseys, have more parents show up and cheer at practice, etc.
    We try all that Johnny, but once the season starts you have such limited time with everyone's busy schedules during the summer (parent's work, other kid's activities - camps, etc). You're basically trying to cram as much fundamentals as you can in the three weeks before the season starts to get these kids ready. And I find that alot of these kids don't play the game outside of the league (at home, in the backyard, sandlot, etc).

    Today's kids have so many other "distractions" in today's culture, that summer baseball is not very high on that list for alot of them. So they are very lacking, at ages 8-10, in the fundamentals of the game to begin with. It simply amazes me. When I was growing up/playing little league in the early 60's the kids lived/breathed baseball. When you weren't playing in a game, you were playing it at home and in all your spare time. The neighborhood kids were playing it every chance we got. So we were pretty sound fundamentally in the game, which made it easier on the coaches. That is just not the same with today's kids.

    It's also the reason why they have implemented so many rules that have been put in place because of the kid's lack/inabilities. Such rules as...

    - max of 4 BB's/inning
    - you can only advance one base on a steal, and you cannot steal home in any situation.
    - due to poor pitching skills/development, you can only bat thru the order once per inning. Once that #10 hitter bats, the inning is over.
    - a pitcher can only pitch 3 innings, and is limited as to how many pitches he can throw in a week.
    - time limit on games.

    It's not until you get up to Little League (ages 11-13), that those rules are relaxed.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  15. #14
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Nice story, GAC, and thanks for sharing. Looks like little Sam is a lefty. Forget the hitting part and teach that boy how to pitch! If he can throw 80 mph someday, he could get a job in the major leagues.

    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  16. #15
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: What Baseball Is All About

    Very nice story Thanks for sharing. You are one lucky man to have this type of experiences with your son. Enjoy all your time with him. You both will remember it forever.
    Reds Fan Since 1971


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