Ray Karpis

Coaching Youth Sports - Crazy ### Parents

514 posts in this topic

shadyridr said:


We have playoffs next week. We have league rule all the kids bat and must play 3 innings in field. I have 3 kids who have barely showed up the second half of the year. Its not fair to the kids that show up all the time that I have to play these kids. Of course they'll probably all show up and I will rotate them in the outfield and bat them last but so tempted to not tell them when playoffs start.


It's also not fair to those 3 kids that their parents suck. Let them play the minimum 3 innings.

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9 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Because they are little kids, most likely playing coach or machine pitch, and it seems silly to have them travelling and putting that much importance in a tournament at that early age.

 

I can't debate that they are little kids, but that's all relative.

8U is probably kid pitch.  In house at that age (around here) is maching pitch, though the better players go and play traveling which more generally starts at 9U (kid pitch).  I wouldn't be surprised at all if more places weren't kid pitch traveling at 8U.

As far as the importance of tournaments, that's personal preference.  I have two points to make on that.  First, tournaments, arguably, don't mean anything prior to varsity.  Who cares if you win state at 8U, 12U, or 15U?  It's just meaningless, local politics heavy, amateur sports that no one other than family members are watching.  Unless of course you are playing sports for competition, and in competition there are winners and losers.  But, again it doesn't matter, unless you have a good coach who is impartig the right lessons.

Secondly, my youngest lost the state tournament at 9U for baseball.  I can GUARANTEE you he remembers the feeling to this day of that loss.  It was a close game, and his team ran out of gas after a long tournament.  It hurt enough to lose, but when they saw the trophies the kids got for winning (metal stree signs with "State Champion" on it) they pain was amplified.  He's a highly competitive kid and remembers that defeat.  Sure, some of those kids aren't even playing baseball anymore, but others hopefully took a lesson from the experience as their playing days continue, just like any other experience.

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Where to start....eighth year coaching Little League, and 5th on the board (opened my mouth too much a few years back and ended up joining to "change things").  I've only had two issues with parents over the years, and its always about playing time.  I have a parents only meeting at the start of the year, explaining my philosophy, the importance of practice, and working at home with their sons.  One Dad (his kid fell three extra rounds in the draft due to him being a dbag) thought his kid was the best (of course), was probably our 6th best player, and was just a tool.  Other parents laughed and rolled their eyes at him. 

Worst was this year.  Really good buddy of mine, his kid isn't that good.  And was among the youngest on our team.  I told Dad when I drafted kid that he would likely get minimum playing time as it stood, but he could definitely earn more as he improved.   So Mom decided to have kid skip a good portion of our practices to go to swimming, and then Dad #####ed and moaned in the stands when the kid sat.  He would try and rile up other families "Oh, look, your son is out again too, this is BS".   And this is one of my best buddies. As it is, I played him more than the minimum 16/18 games, and it was agreed among other coaches that nobody else would have played him as much as we did. i had two talks with him in season, it got better (he just went down the LF line), and after the season we sat down over a few drinks and I told him that I'm perfectly fine with him putting his kid back in the draft (its a "keeper" league) next year.  His kid and mine are best friends, so that aint happening....and he was apologetic, but man....what the hell dude.

The worst thing about coaching and being on the board is that I hear all the political scheming.  There are three of us coaching who played D1 ball, and everybody wants their kids on our teams, so its just ugly.  "My kid will only play for X, Y, and Z".  Sorry Mom, that won't work.  Ironically, the three of us are coaching All Stars, and we played a team last weekend (lets call them Lompton) whose parents were drunk out in the OF riding our RF who dropped two balls.  Poor kid was in tears and none of us knew what was wrong until long after the crowd had cleared.  WTF is wrong with a parent to make them ride an 11 year old kid?

My favorite time of the year is after the season is over.  I send out a massive group text, it gets forwarded around,and we'll end up with 20-30 kids at the field.  We take them through warmups, ins/outs, and then walk away and let them choose teams and just play ball without the adults.  Adults mess up everything.

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1 minute ago, Bull Dozier said:

I can't debate that they are little kids, but that's all relative.

8U is probably kid pitch.  In house at that age (around here) is maching pitch, though the better players go and play traveling which more generally starts at 9U (kid pitch).  I wouldn't be surprised at all if more places weren't kid pitch traveling at 8U.

As far as the importance of tournaments, that's personal preference.  I have two points to make on that.  First, tournaments, arguably, don't mean anything prior to varsity.  Who cares if you win state at 8U, 12U, or 15U?  It's just meaningless, local politics heavy, amateur sports that no one other than family members are watching.  Unless of course you are playing sports for competition, and in competition there are winners and losers.  But, again it doesn't matter, unless you have a good coach who is impartig the right lessons.

Secondly, my youngest lost the state tournament at 9U for baseball.  I can GUARANTEE you he remembers the feeling to this day of that loss.  It was a close game, and his team ran out of gas after a long tournament.  It hurt enough to lose, but when they saw the trophies the kids got for winning (metal stree signs with "State Champion" on it) they pain was amplified.  He's a highly competitive kid and remembers that defeat.  Sure, some of those kids aren't even playing baseball anymore, but others hopefully took a lesson from the experience as their playing days continue, just like any other experience.

Fair enough.   When I coached 8U we were coach pitch and after our in-house championship we either hosted or played in one local tournament and then we were done.

I always hated tournaments because of the BS described in this thread and also the selection of "All Stars".   The politicking and crap that parents and some coaches did was ridiculous.  I actually know some guys that were good friends for years stop talking because of it.    The whole thing seemed a hell of a lot more important to the parents than the kids, most of which would rather be at the pool.

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Not sure if this would work for anyone here, but if you have your own kid on the team and need to make sure the rest of the team understands that you mean business about things, have a "pre-planned" chewing out of your own kid in front of everyone.  I told my son ahead of time that I was going to do this, and why I was doing it.  He understood.  When it happened, I didn't go off too much, but was firm about it.  He simply responded with "sorry.  won't happen again."  The look on the other kids face was exactly what I was looking for.  Wanted them to know I meant business (and the bonus of showing them that I don't favor my kid simply because he is my kid).

Now, this obviously might not work for everyone.  But, my kid was pretty good at self motivation, so I never had to push him.  It helped that he was one of the better kids on the team, so chewing him out when he was "slacking" also set a tone for everyone.

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I'm way harder on my own kid than others....

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51 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Fair enough.   When I coached 8U we were coach pitch and after our in-house championship we either hosted or played in one local tournament and then we were done.

I always hated tournaments because of the BS described in this thread and also the selection of "All Stars".   The politicking and crap that parents and some coaches did was ridiculous.  I actually know some guys that were good friends for years stop talking because of it.    The whole thing seemed a hell of a lot more important to the parents than the kids, most of which would rather be at the pool.

100% agree that tournaments can be ruined by the adults.  If nothing else, I think that is the main point of this thread; parents with the wrong impression of their kids, coaches with the wrong motivations, and board members/directors that are either lazy or biased, are 99% of what is wrong with youth sports.  It almost never the kids participating.

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19 minutes ago, bryhamm said:

Not sure if this would work for anyone here, but if you have your own kid on the team and need to make sure the rest of the team understands that you mean business about things, have a "pre-planned" chewing out of your own kid in front of everyone.  I told my son ahead of time that I was going to do this, and why I was doing it.  He understood.  When it happened, I didn't go off too much, but was firm about it.  He simply responded with "sorry.  won't happen again."  The look on the other kids face was exactly what I was looking for.  Wanted them to know I meant business (and the bonus of showing them that I don't favor my kid simply because he is my kid).

Now, this obviously might not work for everyone.  But, my kid was pretty good at self motivation, so I never had to push him.  It helped that he was one of the better kids on the team, so chewing him out when he was "slacking" also set a tone for everyone.

 

14 minutes ago, belljr said:

I'm way harder on my own kid than others....

I think it is nearly universal, at least among "old school" parent coaches that they are harder on their own kids.  It is these millenials (cheap shot) that have started the trend of getting in to coaching to baby their own.

My favorite story is of my least favorite coach.  His kids is massively talented, and while only a freshman I won't be surprised to see him go D-1 in either baseball or hockey eventually.  Anyway, he was the catcher for their traveling team.  11U at the time I think.  The other team is batting and they lay down a pretty good bunt.  Kid pops up, fields the ball, and makes a on target throw to first, getting him out by a couple strides.  Nice play?  Nope, here comes dad out of the dugout, "YOU GOTTA GET YOUR MASK OFF QUICKER THAN THAT NEXT TIME!"

I can usually spot the coaches kid on the opposite team by which one is constantly chewed out. I think most parent coaches of my own generation need to learn to go easier on their own kids than harder.

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33 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

 

I think it is nearly universal, at least among "old school" parent coaches that they are harder on their own kids.  It is these millenials (cheap shot) that have started the trend of getting in to coaching to baby their own.

My favorite story is of my least favorite coach.  His kids is massively talented, and while only a freshman I won't be surprised to see him go D-1 in either baseball or hockey eventually.  Anyway, he was the catcher for their traveling team.  11U at the time I think.  The other team is batting and they lay down a pretty good bunt.  Kid pops up, fields the ball, and makes a on target throw to first, getting him out by a couple strides.  Nice play?  Nope, here comes dad out of the dugout, "YOU GOTTA GET YOUR MASK OFF QUICKER THAN THAT NEXT TIME!"

I can usually spot the coaches kid on the opposite team by which one is constantly chewed out. I think most parent coaches of my own generation need to learn to go easier on their own kids than harder.

My daughter wanted me to coach her in the fall.  Told her she wouldn't like it.  Not because I would necessarily be harder on her then others but I wouldnt let her get away with letting the other team have the ball and just roaming around the field following the play and not getting into the game.  I told her my two rules are have fun and play hard.  She understood and still wanted me to do it.  Luckily she got picked for Xtras and I can still just sit and watch.

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2 hours ago, Joe Summer said:


It's also not fair to those 3 kids that their parents suck. Let them play the minimum 3 innings.

Some of the kids don't show up because they tell their parents they don't wanna come

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1 hour ago, belljr said:

I'm way harder on my own kid than others....

Yep and I told him that wasn't fair to him too 

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2 hours ago, 5Rings said:

My favorite time of the year is after the season is over.  I send out a massive group text, it gets forwarded around,and we'll end up with 20-30 kids at the field.  We take them through warmups, ins/outs, and then walk away and let them choose teams and just play ball without the adults.  Adults mess up everything.

This is way cool.

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Posted (edited)

These last few posts are bringing back memories of my son's 8U team...

The coach was everything that you could ask for: he knew the game, knew how to connect with the kids, was pretty willing to talk to parents realistically about their kid, and best of all, he gave every kid the chance to play just about every position. The fun began with the parents.

Of the 12 kids on the team that first year, 5 dads other than the head coach wanted to help out, and for the most part, they too were what you'd want in a youth sports coach: they didn't talk down to any of the kids and did what the head coach asked without complaining.  However, come game time, none of them could be bothered with paying much attention to the kids when they were on the bench; when the team was batting, the ones not coaching 1st (the HC always coached 3rd) would sit on ball buckets with their backs to the bench. To me, that was a recipe for chaos, since this team was comprised of neighborhood kids, albeit a group of decently talented neighborhood kids, and most 8 year olds who all knew each other already are going to do what 8 year olds typically do when they're together with their friends: horse around.   I hope not sitting on the bench with the kids wasn't the coach's idea, hoping they  would focus on the game on their own, but I concede that maybe that was his plan all along.  If it was, I didn't agree with it, because that also opened the door for moms and dads not coaching to involve themselves, and that led to the typical overzealous parents issues.

On that team, there were a couple of moms who I can now say 10 years later were real whack jobs when it came to that team.  One (whose husband was a part-time assistant for the team) had an older son who was on a pretty serious team, so not only did she view this team as not as good as her other son's team, but she also rode her son to the point where he would break down and cry if/when he didn't get a hit, or struggled to make a play in the field.  I think he would have been a solid if not above average HS player if he hadn't quit after 11U, but I know that he definitely became a happier kid once he gave up baseball.  Another mom was a younger single mom, so her kid was her whole world. Unfortunately, her son was a year younger but on the team due to a bad birth date for baseball (late April, meaning he HAD to play up).  She would try to volunteer for every little side job the coach would need done by a parent/non-coach, and I think part of her motivation was to try to win points for her son.  She was the kind of mom who would turn the focus of any discussion on to her son, in an attempt to brag about him.  She was one of the catalysts that led to a minor team implosion when they were at Cooperstown at 12U, and her antics continued into HS, where she had an ill-advised relationship with the new JV coach during her son's sophomore year. Another mom from that team grew up with a dad who had coached little league in New England somewhere, so she had her own preset ideas of how the team should be run, and our coach wasn't following most of them. Her son had talent, but she coddled him and was probably in his ear in the car before and after games.  The dad was the kids' favorite coach because he was always the most upbeat and best at speaking to them at their level; sadly, he also had the most pressure on him, as his wife was probably in his ear too, complaining about how the team was run compared to the way her father did things.  She was adamant about him getting the chance to pitch, was paying for a pitching instructor and was always reporting how her boy was doing so well, but whenever he pitched in games, he had the yips and always (not exaggerating, AL.WAYS.) struggled to throw strikes, which was the coach's main criteria for letting kids pitch. Every year he was on the team, she would complain to everyone about her son's lack of opportunities, until they finally found another team at 11U, and he fared no better on that team; he never found his confidence on the mound, and by 13U he was so discouraged that he gave up sports altogether.  Just for some more context, this kid was also the only one who could switch hit, had above average speed and was arguably the most popular kid on the team.  If only his mother had allowed him to just enjoy himself...

Believe it or not, I think I saved the worst of the bunch for last.  They joined the team at 9u and stayed through the end of the 12U season, which ended at Cooperstown Dreams Park.  The dad was a very cool guy; this was his 2nd marriage, his other kids were adults, he was 10 or so years older than me, and he was both laid back and involved when it came to the team.  The mom, on the other hand, was a combination of vain and immature, in part I think because she had married a sugar daddy.  She was very blatant about the world revolving around her son, not only treating him as if he were the star of the team but also expecting everyone else to think so as well, to the point where she tried to limit their interaction with the team to just the HC and his favorite assistant coach.  For example, my son and I were always just about the first ones to arrive at the field for home games, in part because he was excited to be there. One time, this mother and her son showed up shortly after we did, so I suggested the boys warm up together.  She looked at her son and said something along the lines of "you don't want to play catch right now, right?", and he quietly shook his head and wouldn't look anywhere but at his mother.  Now, we knew this family for at least a year, as the boys had actually played basketball together and had gotten along pretty well.  This mom, the single mom and the first mom I mentioned that rode her son on every play, would sit together during games, and I can only imagine the conversations they used to have.  I have to imagine them because they made it clear they didn't like me and there was no reason for me to be near them. The two moms who were still with the team when we went to Cooperstown were the epicenter of the mini-implosion I mentioned above, and the cause was as petty as anything mentioned so far, I think.  

The team played in a wood bat tournament the week before going to Coooperstown, as a tune-up; the season was over and this trip was the last event for the year.  During this tournament, the fences were set to the same dimensions as the fields at the Dreams Park, which meant they were actually a little shorter than they were used to, so hitting home runs became a possibility.  Anyway, the single mom's kid hits a home run in one of the games, and everyone's pretty happy about it, except apparently for the sugar daddy's wife.  I didn't notice it at the time, but apparently, she was pretty :mellow: while everyone else was celebrating.  Well, single mom noticed it and complained to the HC about it.  Again, I didn't know anything about this at the time, but when we got to Cooperstown, not only did I hear about it, but in the house that single mom shared with her mom and 2 assistant coach's wives, that was apparently the discussion they had over wine every night they were there.  By what turned out to be the last game they played, they were all fuming about this one little thing that happened a couple of weeks ago, and it boiled over when one of the other mom's confronted the "offending" mother about her lack of support for anyone other than her son. Actually, she didn't even confront the mom, she confronted the dad, aka, sugar daddy, who also was probably unaware of all the drama and the only time he got agitated was when it came to protecting their younger daughter.  And to add to the irony, this mom and this dad actually got along pretty well before this incident.  

And you know what?  I would GLADLY go back and relive every moment if I could.

Edited by Charlie Steiner
Fix some grammar
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4 hours ago, 5Rings said:

 

The worst thing about coaching and being on the board is that I hear all the political scheming.  There are three of us coaching who played D1 ball, and everybody wants their kids on our teams, so its just ugly.  "My kid will only play for X, Y, and Z".  Sorry Mom, that won't work.  Ironically, the three of us are coaching All Stars, and we played a team last weekend (lets call them Lompton) whose parents were drunk out in the OF riding our RF who dropped two balls.  Poor kid was in tears and none of us knew what was wrong until long after the crowd had cleared.  WTF is wrong with a parent to make them ride an 11 year old kid?

@5Rings  I am guessing you are referring to a blue team whose mascot is typically the Braves?

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I also forgot the story about the jerk (lives across the street from me) who brought a law suit and a 250 page affidavit to the Board because he was removed as a coach.  

9 parents in the draft that year had said they wouldn’t play for him, but we gave him a team due to lack of coaches.  1 week into practice two kids quit.  He has a heated argument with Board Mom (along with other little shot) and he is removed as coach.  He goes to local TV station, sends out mass emails blasting all other coaches, and then files suit.

short version is we let him back on the field as a helper only, all well.

this year he gets a team again.  Actually wins the league on the strength of two 12 yr old pitchers...who, unfortunately, can’t play all stars because both blew their rotator cuffs out due to the number of curve balls (he called pitches, had to be 40% of the time) thrown.  A real jerk. Fwiw, I don’t allow any curveballs nor does my asst coach on all stars who pitched D1 until blowing out his arm.  

Oh the stories I have about this guy...

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On 6/29/2018 at 4:58 PM, Charlie Steiner said:

These last few posts are bringing back memories of my son's 8U team...

The coach was everything that you could ask for: he knew the game, knew how to connect with the kids, was pretty willing to talk to parents realistically about their kid, and best of all, he gave every kid the chance to play just about every position. The fun began with the parents.

Of the 12 kids on the team that first year, 5 dads other than the head coach wanted to help out, and for the most part, they too were what you'd want in a youth sports coach: they didn't talk down to any of the kids and did what the head coach asked without complaining.  However, come game time, none of them could be bothered with paying much attention to the kids when they were on the bench; when the team was batting, the ones not coaching 1st (the HC always coached 3rd) would sit on ball buckets with their backs to the bench. To me, that was a recipe for chaos, since this team was comprised of neighborhood kids, albeit a group of decently talented neighborhood kids, and most 8 year olds who all knew each other already are going to do what 8 year olds typically do when they're together with their friends: horse around.   I hope not sitting on the bench with the kids wasn't the coach's idea, hoping they  would focus on the game on their own, but I concede that maybe that was his plan all along. 

This sounds like my youngest's 9U team.  4 coaches and they don't see a lot of things.  My son is 1 of 5 lefties out of 13 kids on the team.  Good thing he gets to pitch otherwise he might be up the creek.  I helped coach 5 of the kids last year with 2 of the assistant coaches.  Wife and I are numbers people and good with patterns and trends.  Like I said good thing he can pitch.  This is 9U and the first year of kid pitch.  They have 2 9U town travel teams supposedly split evenly.  My son is 1 of about 6 kids that have been getting to pitch.  4 of the others are coaches kids.  In addition to pitching he gets to play first base and right or right center.  Everyone bats and kids rotate the field.  So far it is supposed to be pretty equal playing time.  The coach did send and email about playing time being allocated some based on the kids playing attention.  He does a good job of being ready, he backs up throws, he knows where to throw the ball.  He has only really played every other inning.  He got an inning or 2 at 3rd base mean while the coaches kids all get chances at short and second.  And it is not a lefty thing as several of the other lefties have gotten shortstop and 2nd base.  Might also be harder to understand as his older brother's 11U team is so far on the other side of all kids rotating all over the place.

Not sure how much I should say but there appears to be other kids in a similar rotation of every other inning.

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9 hours ago, dino259 said:

This sounds like my youngest's 9U team.  4 coaches and they don't see a lot of things.  My son is 1 of 5 lefties out of 13 kids on the team.  Good thing he gets to pitch otherwise he might be up the creek.  I helped coach 5 of the kids last year with 2 of the assistant coaches.  Wife and I are numbers people and good with patterns and trends.  Like I said good thing he can pitch.  This is 9U and the first year of kid pitch.  They have 2 9U town travel teams supposedly split evenly.  My son is 1 of about 6 kids that have been getting to pitch.  4 of the others are coaches kids.  In addition to pitching he gets to play first base and right or right center.  Everyone bats and kids rotate the field.  So far it is supposed to be pretty equal playing time.  The coach did send and email about playing time being allocated some based on the kids playing attention.  He does a good job of being ready, he backs up throws, he knows where to throw the ball.  He has only really played every other inning.  He got an inning or 2 at 3rd base mean while the coaches kids all get chances at short and second.  And it is not a lefty thing as several of the other lefties have gotten shortstop and 2nd base.  Might also be harder to understand as his older brother's 11U team is so far on the other side of all kids rotating all over the place.

Not sure how much I should say but there appears to be other kids in a similar rotation of every other inning.

13 is a bad number for a youth baseball team: too many kids horsing around on the bench, batting the whole lineup is bad, and rotating them into the game is worse. My son's team had 12 the first year, then 11 every year after that.  Every kid on that team eventually 'played themselves' into or out of their best/favorite positions, and we had enough pitching to get through a tournament without burning out 1 or 2 players' arms.  If you think your son isn't getting as much PT as other kids, ask the coach about it.  I went through the same thing the first year my son played for the 'good' coach, and it was a revelation, as he had his own son on the bench even more than any other kid on the team.  He even actually was kind of pissed that I had even thought that up. When I took off my parent goggles and saw how things really were, I never said another word about playing time again.  There were times at 'key' points in games when kids weren't in their best positions and it ended up costing them the game, which at the time would cause frustration, but in the long run, the players benefited from having gone through that, so that every kid from that team that kept playing into high school were good enough to make varsity  

Anyway, I'm not saying that you don't have a legitimate point;  go ahead and ask the coach about it, but keep in mind that unless you have been charting in writing how many innings each kid has played, he may tune you out.  However, IF their thought is that he's pitching and that makes up for not playing elsewhere, they're doing him a disservice, as not every lefty grows into a pitcher, and even the ones that do should not locked into it at this age.    

 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 7:37 PM, dino259 said:

This sounds like my youngest's 9U team.  4 coaches and they don't see a lot of things.  My son is 1 of 5 lefties out of 13 kids on the team.  Good thing he gets to pitch otherwise he might be up the creek.  I helped coach 5 of the kids last year with 2 of the assistant coaches.  Wife and I are numbers people and good with patterns and trends.  Like I said good thing he can pitch.  This is 9U and the first year of kid pitch.  They have 2 9U town travel teams supposedly split evenly.  My son is 1 of about 6 kids that have been getting to pitch.  4 of the others are coaches kids.  In addition to pitching he gets to play first base and right or right center.  Everyone bats and kids rotate the field.  So far it is supposed to be pretty equal playing time.  The coach did send and email about playing time being allocated some based on the kids playing attention.  He does a good job of being ready, he backs up throws, he knows where to throw the ball.  He has only really played every other inning.  He got an inning or 2 at 3rd base mean while the coaches kids all get chances at short and second.  And it is not a lefty thing as several of the other lefties have gotten shortstop and 2nd base.  Might also be harder to understand as his older brother's 11U team is so far on the other side of all kids rotating all over the place.

Not sure how much I should say but there appears to be other kids in a similar rotation of every other inning.

Being a lefty makes things difficult with respect to positions.  At this age it isn't as critical however he will be better suited in the long run learning and getting experience playing OF/1B/P as those will be the only position he will likely play as he gets older.  It's not bad to play the other positions now but the sooner he realizes that he won't be playing those as he gets older it will allow him to focus on the positions better suited for him.  I know it sucks and shouldn't be that way but the way the game is set up it is reality. 

 

Focus on his improvement at the positions that will serve him into the future (if he wants to play baseball at higher levels - if he doesn't then nevermind).  He will benefit from that approach the most. 

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On 6/30/2018 at 9:11 AM, 5Rings said:

I also forgot the story about the jerk (lives across the street from me) who brought a law suit and a 250 page affidavit to the Board because he was removed as a coach.  

9 parents in the draft that year had said they wouldn’t play for him, but we gave him a team due to lack of coaches.  1 week into practice two kids quit.  He has a heated argument with Board Mom (along with other little shot) and he is removed as coach.  He goes to local TV station, sends out mass emails blasting all other coaches, and then files suit.

short version is we let him back on the field as a helper only, all well.

this year he gets a team again.  Actually wins the league on the strength of two 12 yr old pitchers...who, unfortunately, can’t play all stars because both blew their rotator cuffs out due to the number of curve balls (he called pitches, had to be 40% of the time) thrown.  A real jerk. Fwiw, I don’t allow any curveballs nor does my asst coach on all stars who pitched D1 until blowing out his arm.  

Oh the stories I have about this guy...

I am surprised the league even allows curve balls at that age.  Too good of a chance of injuries.

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On 6/26/2018 at 0:58 PM, belljr said:

first off - why wasn't the commish there?

team red seems to be more in the wrong.

your team shouldn't have added a player for the playoffs :unsure:

 

That being said thats why we have a rule that a kid needs to play in > 50% regular season games to be allowed on a post season roster...

Standard in our Premier Travel League here.

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On 6/29/2018 at 3:13 PM, Bull Dozier said:

 

I think it is nearly universal, at least among "old school" parent coaches that they are harder on their own kids.  It is these millenials (cheap shot) that have started the trend of getting in to coaching to baby their own.

My favorite story is of my least favorite coach.  His kids is massively talented, and while only a freshman I won't be surprised to see him go D-1 in either baseball or hockey eventually.  Anyway, he was the catcher for their traveling team.  11U at the time I think.  The other team is batting and they lay down a pretty good bunt.  Kid pops up, fields the ball, and makes a on target throw to first, getting him out by a couple strides.  Nice play?  Nope, here comes dad out of the dugout, "YOU GOTTA GET YOUR MASK OFF QUICKER THAN THAT NEXT TIME!"

I can usually spot the coaches kid on the opposite team by which one is constantly chewed out. I think most parent coaches of my own generation need to learn to go easier on their own kids than harder.

I barely speak to my son while I am coaching games. The only things I may say are...."great play", "no worries", "shake it off", "great AB" and are you OK? If he get's hurt.

That's about it. I let my assistant coach do the coaching with my own son. He hears me enough at home and when we work out together when our team is not practicing.

After a game....I let him bring up anything he wants good or bad about a game. I simply don't initiate that on the day of a game. I may bring up something when we work out one on one like "hey remember that toss you made for the DP on that play two games ago" Here is a better approach if that ever happens again".

He is now going into 14U and yes....we are still coaching his travel team and middle school team. I have one more year of this. It is a joy and I have a great relationship with my son as a coach/father.

I get a lot of satisfaction coaching up other young men in the game I love dearly. And the last thing I want to ever do is have my son have that "coaches son" stigma planted on his back. He has not had that issue at all mainly because....he is the hardest worker on the team, a great teammate, and I make him earn everything he get's.

A perfect example of that is the fact I have transitioned him from SS to 2B. Why?

At 50/70 and 54/80 he was a pretty dominant SS. But physically he is a late bloomer and we have another player who we added for our upcoming 14U season who simply has a much better arm suited for SS. My son can be an elite 2B vs a very solid SS. This will help the team tremendously.

This past week we were in Orlando for the AAU Grand Nationals. We played 9 games in 5 days. It was a very tough and gritty tourney. We had some heartbreaking losses. But we ended up knocking out the 5th seed (we seeded 12th in the diamond bracket) and then lost to the eventual champion. We finished 7th out of 17 teams. Not bad at all. We had a blast as a team. 

I played my son at 2B 80% of the tourney, 10% in CF and 10% at SS. He had a stellar tourney defensively. Really good. At 2B he made so many great plays. After the tourney he told me "dad....you were right about moving me to 2B for 14U...it's really best for the team" I said "son....what you just said is the definition of being a captain".

He has played SS since he was 8 years old. I know it has to be tough for him to hear his dad tell him that he really needs to move over to 2B until he get's bigger and stronger (he is a classic late bloomer like his old man LOL). He loves being vocal, and he still is. The new SS still has not fully embraced all that comes with being a SS (it's more than just making plays). But my son is helping him, showing him our silent communication signals, moving him over when needed etc. I am proud of my kid and this is what it is all about. Teaching life lessons and working together as a team. I tell every single player on my team...leave your ego at the door. This is not about you. It is always about "doing anything you can to help your team win".

 

Edited by Todem
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11 minutes ago, Todem said:

 

That's about it. I let my assistant coach do the coaching with my own son. He hears me enough at home and when we work out together when our team is not practicing.

 

 

I learned this too late in my coaching career.  It wasn't until I had a really good co-coach, and we each had a good relationship with each others kids that we were able to do this.

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On 6/29/2018 at 2:50 PM, bryhamm said:

Not sure if this would work for anyone here, but if you have your own kid on the team and need to make sure the rest of the team understands that you mean business about things, have a "pre-planned" chewing out of your own kid in front of everyone.  I told my son ahead of time that I was going to do this, and why I was doing it.  He understood.  When it happened, I didn't go off too much, but was firm about it.  He simply responded with "sorry.  won't happen again."  The look on the other kids face was exactly what I was looking for.  Wanted them to know I meant business (and the bonus of showing them that I don't favor my kid simply because he is my kid).

Now, this obviously might not work for everyone.  But, my kid was pretty good at self motivation, so I never had to push him.  It helped that he was one of the better kids on the team, so chewing him out when he was "slacking" also set a tone for everyone.

Have done this before! And it can be highly effective. Of course this is not for everyone. Every kid is different. My son understood as well. And like your kid he is one of the best players on the team and a hard worker.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 11:38 AM, bryhamm said:

I am surprised the league even allows curve balls at that age.  Too good of a chance of injuries.

Curve balls in themselves do not cause injuries.  You can find studies on both sides of this coin.  The real problem is throwing them improperly and over using them.  There is nothing wrong with teaching and mixing in a few curve balls starting around 12 yrs old.  The problem is most see how well they work then rely on them too much to the point they get overuse injuries and/or don't throw them properly.  That is when injuries start hitting. 

 

Learning how/when to throw multiple pitches is a big part of learning how to pitch.  Don't overuse and learn properly and you will fine.

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On 6/29/2018 at 11:01 AM, ChiefD said:

My son is 12 now, and has played soccer since he was 5. I played my whole life, but I have never coached my kids because I know how I am, and I didn't want my competitiveness to sour their experience.

Anyway, when he was about 8, he came to me and said: "Dad, you don't have to tell me what to do when you are cheering for me."

And he was right. I am the type of guy who cheers loudly for his kids, but I can't help myself in trying to "direct" things on a soccer field. But since then, it taught me a valuable lesson - that kids need to learn this stuff by themselves sometimes.

And with your daughter, maybe she appreciates that you are there to be a coach, but she may be at that age where dad doesn't need to be so boisterous and always doing the cheering. 

dude i'm right there with ya, i don't know how i'm gonna contain myself as kid(s) get older and keep playing soccer... or basketball for that matter... i'm gonna be a mess :lol:  

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On 7/3/2018 at 4:24 PM, Gally said:

Curve balls in themselves do not cause injuries.  You can find studies on both sides of this coin.  The real problem is throwing them improperly and over using them.  There is nothing wrong with teaching and mixing in a few curve balls starting around 12 yrs old.  The problem is most see how well they work then rely on them too much to the point they get overuse injuries and/or don't throw them properly.  That is when injuries start hitting. 

 

Learning how/when to throw multiple pitches is a big part of learning how to pitch.  Don't overuse and learn properly and you will fine.

Just wanted to confirm I have read this as well re: curve balls.  One study I saw said a curve ball places less stress on the elbow than a fastball. :shrug: 

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On 6/29/2018 at 3:09 PM, Bull Dozier said:

100% agree that tournaments youth sports can be ruined by the adults.  If nothing else, I think that is the main point of this thread; parents with the wrong impression of their kids, coaches with the wrong motivations, and board members/directors that are either lazy or biased, are 99% of what is wrong with youth sports.  It almost never the kids participating.

FYP

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1 hour ago, Bull Dozier said:

Just wanted to confirm I have read this as well re: curve balls.  One study I saw said a curve ball places less stress on the elbow than a fastball. :shrug: 

I'm not expert and can't link to any definitive studies anywhere, but from what I saw during my son's years of youth travel ball, I would advise just working on the 2-seam fastball, 4-seam fastball and the change-up during their youth career.  The only difference among those pitches is the way the ball is held, but that alone yields enough of a variety of movement for youth travel ball.

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31 minutes ago, Charlie Steiner said:

I'm not expert and can't link to any definitive studies anywhere, but from what I saw during my son's years of youth travel ball, I would advise just working on the 2-seam fastball, 4-seam fastball and the change-up during their youth career.  The only difference among those pitches is the way the ball is held, but that alone yields enough of a variety of movement for youth travel ball.

The bottom line with any of this is that moderation and rest are key to having the best chance of limiting injuries.  Some change-ups put a lot of stress on the arm/shoulder/elbow and can be worse than a properly thrown curve ball.  You can find studies that support every side of every pitch being better/worse than other pitches.  Overuse of anything is the big issue.  Overuse is more than just game day use.  It's not getting sufficient recovery time over the course of a year.  You should not be throwing 12 months a year.  Your muscles need a break for recovery. 

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Just now, Gally said:

The bottom line with any of this is that moderation and rest are key to having the best chance of limiting injuries.  Some change-ups put a lot of stress on the arm/shoulder/elbow and can be worse than a properly thrown curve ball.  You can find studies that support every side of every pitch being better/worse than other pitches.  Overuse of anything is the big issue.  Overuse is more than just game day use.  It's not getting sufficient recovery time over the course of a year.  You should not be throwing 12 months a year.  Your muscles need a break for recovery. 

I second your point about rest, but I was just referring the main point of the discussion, which I thought was more about curveballs specifically as opposed to general arm overuse. Again, I'm no expert, but what I was told about the three basic pitches is that the only thing that changes is how the ball is held, which to me would reduce added stress by eliminating the need to add extra movement of the wrist/elbow to create ball movement. I just think that keeping the motion simple in and of itself is a better approach than messing with curveballs at all if it requires different arm/elbow/wrist movement than what they do for the 2 seam, 4 seam and change up.

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45 minutes ago, Charlie Steiner said:

I'm not expert and can't link to any definitive studies anywhere, but from what I saw during my son's years of youth travel ball, I would advise just working on the 2-seam fastball, 4-seam fastball and the change-up during their youth career.  The only difference among those pitches is the way the ball is held, but that alone yields enough of a variety of movement for youth travel ball.

Its been a long time since I cought pitchers of that age, so I'm not saying it as a definitive fact.  But, at the 12ish age, I didn't see a lot of kids throw hard enough to actually get much movement on their fastball with just different grips.  I think that is a rare thing, since there are numerous pro pitchers that don't get much movement on their fastballs.  Change-up yes, I would agree with.  Kids at the early ages should be learning control, and changing speeds before they get concerns with curveballs.  But, I don't think curveballs are the axis of evil they have been painted as for a while.

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5 minutes ago, Charlie Steiner said:

I second your point about rest, but I was just referring the main point of the discussion, which I thought was more about curveballs specifically as opposed to general arm overuse. Again, I'm no expert, but what I was told about the three basic pitches is that the only thing that changes is how the ball is held, which to me would reduce added stress by eliminating the need to add extra movement of the wrist/elbow to create ball movement. I just think that keeping the motion simple in and of itself is a better approach than messing with curveballs at all if it requires different arm/elbow/wrist movement than what they do for the 2 seam, 4 seam and change up.

The point I was making on topic was that curveballs by themselves are not the problem and to learn how to pitch you must learn how to mix pitches and curveballs are part of that growth.  The problem with curveballs is overuse (just like all pitching) so the two situations are linked together.

 

I agree that younger pitchers need to be able to hit their spots and change speeds (while continuing to hit their spots) but learning a curve ball and using it sparingly is part of that process.  The idea is you need to learn how to throw all your pitches with the same arm slot/movement because that will benefit you most as you get older and face more sophisticated hitters.  As kids reach 12 yrs old and up, there seems to be an increase in skill that warrants mixing in other looks to batters so they start learning how to "pitch".  Moderate everything and you have a better chance of staying injury free (I just think the topics are too intertwined to separate out pitch choice without addressing use).

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Just now, Bull Dozier said:

Its been a long time since I cought pitchers of that age, so I'm not saying it as a definitive fact.  But, at the 12ish age, I didn't see a lot of kids throw hard enough to actually get much movement on their fastball with just different grips.  I think that is a rare thing, since there are numerous pro pitchers that don't get much movement on their fastballs.  Change-up yes, I would agree with.  Kids at the early ages should be learning control, and changing speeds before they get concerns with curveballs.  But, I don't think curveballs are the axis of evil they have been painted as for a while.

The 'ace' of my son's travel team was a lefty, which wasn't what made him most effective; it was his arm slot.  His motion looked more like slinging the ball than throwing it, but it was done at an angle that make it look different to batters than what they were used to.  His velocity peaked when he was about 13, yet he remained effective through HS and is now pitching for a traditionally strong DIII team and coming off a season which saw him pitch to a ~1.00 ERA. 

The curve ball is an interesting thing at the younger ages; it's like the holy grail of pitches but it's more myth than reality.  The parents (mom) of my son's best friend at that age were obsessed with turning him into a pitcher.  They took him to an instructor starting around age 8 or 9, going 2-3 times a week, yet he would freeze up against live batters.  Around age 11 or 12, they learned about some type of curveball that was supposed to be easy on the arm and would be an effective pitch.  When I heard from coaches/dads who knew the game, they told me that kind of pitch was pretty much a waste of time and they wouldn't use it once they got older. Ultimately, I think it just comes down to winning the genetic lottery and short of that just being smart and cautious.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Bull Dozier said:

Its been a long time since I cought pitchers of that age, so I'm not saying it as a definitive fact.  But, at the 12ish age, I didn't see a lot of kids throw hard enough to actually get much movement on their fastball with just different grips.  I think that is a rare thing, since there are numerous pro pitchers that don't get much movement on their fastballs.  Change-up yes, I would agree with.  Kids at the early ages should be learning control, and changing speeds before they get concerns with curveballs.  But, I don't think curveballs are the axis of evil they have been painted as for a while.

Its a weird thing but speed isn't necessarily required to get movement from different grips.  A lot of times its arm slot and just pressure points of the fingers when they release the ball.  It isn't anything the kid has learned to do and is just their natural motion/release that makes a ball move.  My hardest throwing kid has no movement on his pitches where a different pitcher that throws slower has quite a bit of movement on the two seamer.  As Charlie Steiner mentioned, winning the genetic lottery helps because when it is just the natural throwing motion/release that gets the movement you are ahead of the game. 

Edited by Gally
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