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  • Useless sayings used by coaches

    Watching some LL games this week after practice I was struck by the amount of useless things we yell to players as coaches. Some of note include:
    1. See the ball in!
    2. Hey come on get your hands point A to point B!
    3. Be a hitter!
    4. Why did you swing at that?
    5. Come on Bobby throw strikes!
    6. Throw your hands to the ball!
    7. Keep your head in there!

    I'm certain I missed a bunch... Any others?
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

  • #2
    Just play catch with Billy (the catcher).

    I was watching a LL minors practice yesterday. The coaching was horrible. Aside from a lot of the coaching being incorrect, the coach was talking over the kid's heads. Maybe that was good since he was wrong.

    I can work with rookies and give them a fielding lesson they never forget. Kids don't forget if you can relate to them. All I need is a milk crate, and alligator and a snake. Do you think kids will forget these things?

    Sit low enough to be on the milk crate. Get the alligators jaw on the ground, then swallow the the ball with the other hand. Stick the snake's fangs in the ball before throwing to first.

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    • #3
      Squish the bug, um chop the ball ... I think a few of those you listed jake can be useless but they can help especially at the younger levels like keeping your head in there or see the ball in .... but I absolutely hate throw your hands to the ball.
      “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
      "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skipper5
        "Just throw strikes"
        What the heck do you think the pitcher is trying to do?

        Any saying that begins with "just".

        If the pitcher is throwing high, coaches say "bend".

        Bend what? Why?
        After two high pitchers... "Hey you gotta throw strikes! those two were high!"

        "Ah yeah I know that coach."


        Keep your head in where??? See the ball where? and why?
        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, "Just throw strikes" is really dumb. Along those lines, I've also heard, "Just a base hit, babe!" Like dude was up there TRYING to strike out? And how often do you hear "Shake it off" when a kid gets hurt? Doesn't do much to the pain, does it? How about:

          "Hey batter, batter, SWING!"? Has that ever actually distracted any hitter? That's done by the kids and not the coach, but still....

          "Don't give him anything good to hit." I get the logic. Don't throw a fat pitch, basically. Still, it just sounds goofy to me. This is more likely to make a kid throw a ball than a strike.

          "Make him pitch to you." Nuff said on that one.

          When I was playing Little League, there was one kid on our team, Chris Lung, who was batting and our manager yelled, "Wait for YOUR pitch, Chris!" Needless to say, Chris struck out looking. On his way back to the bench our manager asked him why he was taking good pitches and Chris answered, "None of them were MY pitch." Yes, that really happened. Ever since then, I've thought that, and similar statements, were dumb.
          Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

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          • #6
            Jake one of those is absolutely silly. You want to try to watch the ball in... it's impossible, but you still want to watch as much as possible...

            Try telling Hamilton not to:



            It is impossible to track it and watch it hit the bat... maybe once in a while you may see it. It is still good to watch it in. Jake... your arguing the most important part of hitting imo... if I pull my head out too soon I pull off. For me, I try to watch it all the way and let it get deep. I'm always early, so I try to let it get deep... see the ball.

            Go hit with your eyes closed.... I'll be willing to bet that a tee ball, bat drag, not holding onto the bat properly will have more success then the guy that can't hit the ball. Watch it in means watch it come into the plate... that doesn't mean watch the ball hit the bat... all it means is watch it come towards you. That is a very very good cue.
            Last edited by Go Cardinals; 04-16-2008, 06:54 PM.

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            • #7
              I was just about to start a thread like this. I understand the coach is working hard. But some of the things they say like

              "You gota catch the ball" ( oh ! i didnt know that) You could say== Its alright, You'll get the next one good try .. keep trying hard.

              "You gota stop the ball!" === Try to get your body in front of it. Its not gonna hurt cuz your tough Grrr!

              "shake it off" is ok, but I like, Your good , Your tough, your mean !

              Two strikes.... you shoud say , stay tough your gana hit the next strike.

              Yea I like the word "tough" alot :

              What I realy notice is the weaker kids on the team gets yelled at by the coach and the other kids see it and then they start to put the weaker kids down. The weaker kids already know there not good, but they dont need to be reminded of it.

              Yes, I know the coaches are volunteers and you can only expect so much. ..
              Last edited by LAball; 04-16-2008, 06:57 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                Watching some LL games this week after practice I was struck by the amount of useless things we yell to players as coaches. Some of note include:

                I'm certain I missed a bunch... Any others?
                Just throw strikes = Makes the pitcher think to himself, "What the hell do you think I'm trying to do?"

                Level swing/Swing level.
                Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 04-16-2008, 07:07 PM.
                Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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                • #9
                  Some of those "cute catchy" sayings can actually help some younger kids. Instead of talking about fulcrums and disconnection.
                  See ball, hit ball.

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                  • #10
                    "swing higher! you're swinging under the ball".

                    (keep your eye on the ball but swing somewhere else?)

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                    • #11
                      "Drive the ball!" As opposed to popping out?

                      "Hey let's get this guy!" Oh... OK thanks coach. I was going to get the next guy!

                      "Nothing behind you!" (I actually have a signal for this, but it means something to the fielders. Most coaches just say it.)
                      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Keep your eye on the ball." As opposed to your nose?
                        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                          "Keep your eye on the ball." As opposed to your nose?
                          Jake some of these cues/ phrases can be extremely helpful... it depends on the hitter and how they interpret it.

                          Getting out of slumps, in my experience, is just getting your swing down to a basic phrase... to certain people, certain things may help a certain player at a certain time. It's a coaches job to tell...

                          Listen... the phrase I get in my mind right now when hitting is, "just make contact"

                          I'm might think watch the ball hit the bat, if I am not reading the ball or something. It really depends.


                          Listen jake, you can take most basic phrases and make remarks about each one. Why, because you are lacking context.

                          The most important thing to hitting (better than everything else ever) is to keep it simple... at least in my personal experience. I've thought about my swing like hitting, or I'll make my swing to complicated... the swing should be natural.

                          Really, the best thing that helps a developed swing at a higher level, or a player at a lower level, imo, is simple cues.

                          That's why see the ball hit the ball is good.

                          This guy said it best...


                          "if you teach a player the swing from a biomechanical standpoint, you will fail everytime. Why? Because we don't THINK biomechanically!! I don't have to tell myself that my hand has to move this far at this point and my bat head needs to move that far at that point, and my hips should experience so much torque in such-and-such a time. It doesn't work like that. Our body's swing in a process - A process, ONE - not in steps. "


                          Relate that to cues... the bottom line is... keep it simple, that is the best... that's why these phrases may actually help...

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                          • #14
                            Nice route Magellan!
                            Primum non nocere

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                            • #15
                              I agree with Go Cardinals on alot of what he said. Like he said without context most of them sound silly. However a good handful of the ones in this thread are quite helpful if they are audio cues. Based on people's comments here it would seem that anything other then calling a pitch or setting a play or defense is asanine. They could be picked apart instantly. Many times some of the empty phrases that are said are there to remind them of what was worked on it practice or the like.

                              A few that I noticed:

                              "Keep your head in there" - For a kid who pulls their head out this is a reminder to not do that. Some have the habit so bad they need reminded. Even with my own son I'll say it if he gets out of form.

                              "Squish the bug" - There are many ways to introduce kids to using your hips and this is one they relate to. I use it when they are young then move away from it as they get a bit older and are able to understand what is really going on. I also use "show the pitcher your belly button" to get into their heads what should be going on. Again after t-ball and (depending on the kid) coach pitch we have different conversations depending on their ability to understand.

                              "Drive the ball" - Several kids on the team try to take the ball deep all the time. They know, based on conversations on the tee and the L-screen" what "drive the ball" means for them. It means all the things we worked on to not try and loop the ball deep. Rather then have a cue card full of all that, why not sum it up?

                              "Keep the eyes on the ball" - I'll bet Ted Williams likes this one based on context. I like it as well, based on context. I teach my kids to keep their eye on the ball and try to tell me what part of the ball they hit. Just last night a young girl was not tracking the ball very well at all. I told her that I put a dot on all the softballs and she had to tell me if she hit the dot or not. She didn't instantly become a great hitter but she certainly made more contact, was more focused, and followed the ball to contact the best she could. She told me that "yes" she did hit the dot or "no" she did not. In reality there WAS no dot but that's not the important part. She was trying to track and that's the only way I could think of to get her to do it.
                              Last edited by CoachHenry; 04-17-2008, 03:47 AM.

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