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  • never say "He can't do that"

    Something kind of cool happened today…. They say revenge is best served on a cold dish (or something like that).

    As some of you may or may not remember my boy tried out for a travel ball team last year and they rejected him. The coach said he was rusty or something like that….I said duh…the kid hadn’t picked up a ball or glove for three months when they had tryouts.

    Anyway, today my boys current coach (on his travel team) told me he saw this other coach the other day and that coach asked about my boy. Our current coach told him that my boy was doing very well and hit a homerun over the fence that helped us win a tournament. He also told him that my boy had a ground rule double in the same game (the ball bounced over the fence).

    Well, the coach said that he was lying that there was no way my boy hit a homerun over the fence. The coach answered with a smile and said yes it was true. Our assistant coach was with them when this conversation took place and our coach said if you don’t believe me just ask *****(I wont give the name here). Again the coach that rejected my boy for the travel team said they was pulling his leg because my boy was too small and there was no way he could hit a homerun especially in a tournament against a good pitcher. Our assistant coach went to his car and got the logbook which showed my boy hit the homerun.

    How in the world did he do it? He asked.

    Our coach answered….have you seen his bat speed? The boy has one of the quickest bats I’ve seen in a long time.

    I thought that was cool.. My boy may never hit another homerun but by Golly it sure is fun when your kid has proved to someone that he can be a good player when that person wasn’t sure he was good enough for his team.

    Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of tryouts. I know it’s the nature of baseball but if a kid has a bad day he is pretty much out of options.

    In the end it all worked out for the best. We love the team we are on and my boy has made new friends so life has a funny way of making things work out for the best.

    Sparks,

    Comment


    • Old saying I like to use... "You can only supress talent for so long."
      "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


      • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
        Something kind of cool happened today…. They say revenge is best served on a cold dish (or something like that).

        .........

        I thought that was cool.. My boy may never hit another homerun but by Golly it sure is fun when your kid has proved to someone that he can be a good player when that person wasn’t sure he was good enough for his team.

        Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of tryouts. I know it’s the nature of baseball but if a kid has a bad day he is pretty much out of options.

        Sparks,
        It's a long journey. You shouldn't care what someone in the rear view mirror thinks. Coaches make mistakes. Players improve. Maybe the coach's impression at the time of the tryout was correct. If it isn't, so what! It doesn't matter now. The game requires too much positive energy to waste any on negative energy.

        Comment


        • TG,

          I must disagree at least to a point anyway. It's not about looking in the mirror or a coach making a mistake. Believe me, my boy has not looked in the mirror on this nor have I.

          I do believe that motivation is an important part of life, especially for children. All of us are motiviated by different things, the key is to get a kid motivated at all. I do not have a problem at all motivating my boy... he wants to be the best so he works hard. Example; he is out of school this week for AEA, we have gone to the field every single day and he has worked on grounders and hitting (no pitching). That is important because the the he loves to do most is pitch. I kid you not when I tell you I haven't been able to hit him enough grounders. I'll say...let's take a break he yell NO! hit me ten more...then ten more then ten more. Right now his motivation is to get an infield position on the team. The coach has him playing center and he hates it. So he is working his tail off to improve on his fielding. He has a great arm but he has this habbit of turning his head on a grounder and when he does that it causes the glove to stay off the ground. The result is he misses a few grounders. This is the weekest part of his game and he knows it. He's improved a lot on his grounders but he has a way's to go.

          Anyway, here I go getting long winded again. I think it is important in life to find motivation. If proving that someone was wrong about you then I think that is great motivation. Suppose in life someone tells him he can't get an A or he can't get a good job? My boy will remember the coach that said he wasn't good enough for his team and he will remember how he over came it.

          It's not about looking back...it's about finding a way to be the best you can be.

          Sparks

          Comment


          • update:

            Update:

            There isn't a lot to update right now. School is nearing and end and baseball is about to kick into high gear.

            But here are a few things that have happened... since I posted last we have played in three tournaments. Other than this past weekend the two tournaments we played in we did....well.... there is no nice way to say it, we stunk. We got beat up by teams that never should have beaten us. Now let me explain before anyone gets the wrong idea. Our team is in the 11 year old and under AAA league, we were playing in open tournaments and AA teams were killing us. If we played a "AAA" team, forget it.

            There are too many reasons why our team did so poorly but basically it all boiled down to catching. Our catchers simply could not catch the ball and it was freaking killing us. Not to mention all of the sudden every kid on our team hit a batting slump. Our kids are used to hitting against pitchers throwing in the mid to upper 50's. Well we got into the tournaments and I swear many of the kids never hit 44mph and our kids couldn't hit these pitchers for all the tea in china. It was awful.

            I never said anything to the coach about giving my boy a look at catching. What I did was this, every practice and every game my boy took is catching gear and just set it in the dugout. I believe as a parent I should let the coach run his team. I figure when he is ready to look at my boy then he will tell him.

            Finally he told my boy that he was going to give him a look at the catching position in this last tournament.

            Before the tournament began I told my boy that I want him to hustle and I said this to him.... when this tournament is over I want to coach to say these words... I'VE FOUND ME A CATCHER!.

            We did real well in this last tournament and came in second place. When the tournament was over the coach pulled my boy to the side and told him that he was the reason we did so well in this tournament. I think my boy probably had 3 passed balls all weekend and he threw out one batter. In the other tournaments (the one's my boy wasn't catching in) we were having (and I kid you not) probably 5 passed balls an inning, sometimes more.

            Now this is what I am most proud of. You may have to know me (and my boys situation) to understand what I'm about to say but hopefully I can explain to you what happened. The day before the championship game the coach asked my boy if he was ok to catch the next day (because he had caught every inning he was concerned about my boy over doing it). My boy said yes he would be happy to catch in the championship game.

            As we were walking out the gate I asked my boy if he understood what the coach was telling him. I explained to him that if he caught in the championship the there was a very slim chance of him getting to pitch. My boy looked at me and said this....I don't care, my team needs me to catch and I want to win.

            If any of you have read my post on this board the past year or so then you know how much those words meant to me. My boy has learned to put the team ahead of himself...I simply can't tell you how that makes me feel.

            Comment


            • Sparks, thanks for the report. As a former pitcher turned catcher turned non-combatant, I resent any implication that foregoing pitching for catching is anything other than a promotion! :nosleep: When I had to face the same choice, there was no question in my mind that the tall lanky kids were, for the moment, going to be the pitchers of choice, but being anointed a catcher and being in the middle of every play in every game was like finding a key to the candy store the night the storekeeper goes on vacation. He'll have his opportunities.

              But, I digress greatly from the much more important point that I know you're making. I guess it's a sad commentary on kids that there should be any question as to where their priorities lie. And a good coach should be able to flatter a kid and convince him that behind the plate is a much better place to be and that "you're the only one I can trust back there, Kid."

              But I certainly am not surprised that the young fella would make that call. Everything you've described about him and about your interaction with him makes it clear you're imparting old fashioned baseball values he's absorbed them. Well done to both of you.
              sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                Update:



                But here are a few things that have happened... since I posted last we have played in three tournaments. Other than this past weekend the two tournaments we played in we did....well.... there is no nice way to say it, we stunk. We got beat up by teams that never should have beaten us. Now let me explain before anyone gets the wrong idea. Our team is in the 11 year old and under AAA league, we were playing in open tournaments and AA teams were killing us. If we played a "AAA" team, forget it.
                In our area the tournament teams are far superior to the league teams. I completely understand a AAA league team losing to a AA tournament team. Don't assume designations are correct in the overall scheme of things. After AAA teams get pounded in a few tournaments they often realize they're not really AAA teams. Whether you win or lose isn't as important as finding the right level competition to be challenged rather than pounded.

                Comment


                • Sparks,
                  Agree with Ursa, catching is a promotion and should be handled as such. Too many coaches in LL and other youth baseball leagues look at the position as a way to hide someone. If your boy wants to become a good catcher I would recommend CatchingCoach's material. Well worth the money.
                  "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


                  • Oh I fully agree that catching is one of the most important positions on the team. Believe me, this is something my boy has wanted very very bad. HE has been playing centerfield (and playing very well in center I might add). But he hates the outfield. He said he doesn't feel like part of the team when he is playing the outfield. In all honesty he just gets bored out there, he wants to be where the action is.

                    My boy knew that they were having serious problems in the catching position. He kept telling me to talk to the coach. TALK TO THE COACH he would say and tell him to let me catch. I told him no, I said that it was up to him to earn the position. I think my boy is finally starting to learn that lesson. He is learning that it is better to earn something than to just go to the coach and talk to him.

                    Most of the kids on this travel team have been on this team all of their lives. My boy is one of the "new kids". The coach has been to battle with all of his players down through the years so I can see how he is reluctant to put the "new kid" in such an important position. Besides, I believe the coach is concerned about my boy's size. I don't think he thought my boy could handle such a demanding position because of his size. Once again it was up to my boy to prove him wrong and he did.

                    Right now our team has problems in the pitching. The coach has only pitched my boy 3 innings in all of the four tournaments we've played in. He has given up 2 runs in those three innings. Personally, I think my boy is one of the better pitchers on the team but the coach will not give him a chance. That's ok though, when the time comes and the coach calls my boy's name then it will be up to him earn respect from not only his coach but from his teamates.

                    TG: as far as our team being over ranked. I'm starting to believe that. I don't think we have the pitching to be in the AAA bracket. I don't know how things work, but I thought they would have demoted us to AA by now (because several AA teams beat up on us the past few weeks). We are still AAA and this past weekend we played like a AAA team.

                    Anyway, my boy is finally learning the things I wanted him to learn (things that I either couldn't teach him or he just would not listen to me). He is learning how to play baseball the right way, to play as a member of the team. He finally realizes that IT ISN'T ALL ABOUT HIM. It's about him doing his part and the other eight players doing their part to achieve the goal of having a good game. Believe me, when I coached him this was impossible.

                    Finally, it's taken my boy about three or four tournaments to realize something. He realizes that not only is he good enough to play with these travel ball kids but he can actually do well against them. His confidence is high and he is working very hard to be the best. All of these kids in travel ball are as good as him and maybe he was a little surprised by the level of talent. Now he is comfortable and I think he is going to start getting much much better.

                    Sparks

                    Comment


                    • Sparksdale said: He kept telling me to talk to the coach. TALK TO THE COACH he would say and tell him to let me catch. I told him no, I said that it was up to him to earn the position. I think my boy is finally starting to learn that lesson. He is learning that it is better to earn something than to just go to the coach and talk to him.
                      Sparks, you've got two issues there that shouldn't be mixed up. First, should YOU go to the coach? No. If he wants it, it should come from him, not the Dad. I never interceded for my son until I became a coach, at which time it was my obligation to pass along to the manager a request from any kid.

                      But, I see nothing wrong with the kid going to the coach and asking for the opportunity to show that he can do something. Otherwise, how can he "earn" it? Particularly for catchers -- who need to show leadership and maturity as a first prerequisite anyway -- I think the way to go is to offer to warm up pitchers in practices and just before they pitch in games. And then offer to catch batting practice. And maybe do some drills -- even if just with friends after practice ends but before the coach gets in his minivan -- showing that he can reach second base with a strong (non-'rainbow') throw. And do each drill/opportunity like it's a game situation, even if it's just batting practice. Catch every pitch, hustle after bunts and short choppers, make good throws back to the pitcher, show awareness of what's happening around you (i.e., don't hit the pitcher in the back of the head with a return pitch while he's getting a ball in from another infielder), and give some energy to the pitcher and infielders.

                      IMHO, the best way to seek an opportunity to play a 'new' position is to go to the manager at an appropriate time and say, "I think I can be a big contributor for you at [catcher/pitcher/batboy]; what do I need to do to show you that I can handle it?" Any coach worth his salt will give that kid a window of opportunity, or at least explain why it won't happen this year (e.g., because he's got superstars at the top two slots on the depth chart).

                      And, for catchers, I like to see toughness, because they're going to get beat up back there. Two years ago, when Ursa Minor was an undersized 11-year old, he asked the manager if he could catch batting practice. You could almost see the guy think, "Hey, why not put a kid whose loss wouldn't hurt the team back there rather than one of my studs?" So, UM went back there and got hit by foul tips and balls in the dirt and, when he finished his stint, I figured he'd hand back the gear and vow never to do it again. Instead, he came off with a huge smile, and I knew he had some of adrenalin-driven toughness that catcher's need.
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                      Comment


                      • Ursa,

                        Thanks for the advice and I fully agree.

                        The key to my post was this, I no longer coach my boy and he is having to learn this. He has to learn that if he wants to play a position on the team or bat 3rd in the lineup, I AM NOT GOING TO GO TO THE COACH AND TRY TO GET THAT FOR HIM. He is having to learn that he MUST earn everything.

                        I think (I hope) many of you can see how the spirit of my post have changed in the past few months. I'm not just trying to teach my boy baseball. I firmly believe that he can learn many lessons in life FROM BASEBALL.

                        Last year, when he played for me, I would have never been able to make him play outfield or earn a pitching position. Hey, he was my best player so I needed him in the key positions. Now he is on a team where he isn't the best player. He is having to learn how to play like a member of the team and NOT THE STAR.

                        I'm very proud of the way he has adjusted to the drastic changes he has been forced to endure. I was never a star player and I can't imagine going from being the star to just another player on the team. My boy has handled it beyond my expectations. I must stress here that I believe it has made him 10 times the player he was last year. He is so much better than when I coached him that it isn't funny.

                        In four playing weeks my boy has gone from being in the outfield to being the starting catcher. He is also batting in the leadoff position (he doesn't like it by the way). He wants to bad third. All three coaches have told me that my boy has the best swing they have ever seen. There is no fastball (thrown by a kid his age) that can be thrown by him.

                        My boy's goal now is to be one of the top pitchers. Personally, I think all he needs is a chance to prove it...he will get it. It's a long season so his time will come. I just hope he has a good day when his number comes up.

                        He pitched in one game this year and gave up one run in the first two innings. He walked a batter and the batter stole second then third and scored on a passed ball. The third inning my boy walked the bases loaded and the coach took him out in the third inning (I must add here that I think the coach did the right thing). I had no problem with the coach taking my boy out in the third, he simply couldn't find the strikezone.

                        Finally, I signed my boy up for travel ball for two reasons.
                        Number one: I wanted him to have better coaching which would improve his game.

                        Number two: (and this is most important) I wanted my boy to learn how to play the game right with a good attitude. I can't believe the change in my boy already. Last year, if he had struck out he would throw his helmet and get mad at the umpire and pitch a fit. Now he takes it like a man. It's amazing as a parent that you can watch your kid strike out and be proud of him but some of my most proud moments are when he strikes out and walks to the dugout with the look on his face that he'll get them next time.
                        One game he was called out at first base on a very bad call, he was safe by a good three steps. My boy did not get mad or anything, he just shook his head and walked back to the dugout. I think you have to really understand how far my boy has come for that to be a proud moment for me. I swear I think I was as proud of him at that moment as I was when he hit his first homer over the fence.

                        Hits and homeruns will come and go. Attitude is what seperates the good players. My boy is finally getting a good attitude and I owe it all to baseball. If you want to teach your child lessons about life then sign them up for sports and watch them grow before your very eyes.

                        Sparks,

                        Comment


                        • As always .... love the update
                          "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


                          • Update:

                            Not a lot to talk about this week but here are a few thoughts.

                            We had another tournament this past weekend. We finished in fourth place. Our team played very good in two games horrible in one game and just flat out got beat by a better team in the last game.

                            My boy probably had the best tournament of his life but it was overshadowed by the team not doing so well. For some reason our kids are making a lot of errors and it's killing us. Simple pop fly's are being dropped and slow grounders are going between our infielders legs. I have to say, and the coach told me this personally, the bright spot was my boy catching behind the plate. We play in the AAA division (I think we should be in the AA division but that is neither here nor there) and the coach told me my boy is a major league catcher. In the four games he caught this weekend he had one passed ball and only three wild pitches got by him. He also threw one runner out trying to steal and should have gotten another runner out but the second baseman dropped the ball.

                            NOW THIS IS THE BIG THING THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEKEND. I first have to set this up. The field we had to play on had a fence 255 ft, as you know an 11 year old tournament is supposed to have a 205 ft fence. My boy hit a deep ball to left field like he has never hit in his life. The third base coach was signaling homerun, the ball hit about 10 feet from the fence in the air and rolled slowly to the fence. Yep, my boy hit it in the air a minimum of 235 feet and probably about 240 feet. It was a freaking monster hit. I just can't believe a boy 4'10" and 88 pounds could hit a ball that far. Not bad for the smallest player on the team.

                            In the end he batted over 700 for the tourney with a natural triple and two doubles and several singles. Even the coach said he thought the natural triple was a in side the park homerun but with no outs he couldn't take the chance of letting my boy risk going home. It was the right call.

                            My boy pitched one inning and gave up three runs. He walked the first two batters he faced and then his team made 4 errors behind him that allowed the runs to score. He also struck out two batters in that inning. In all honesty he didn't pitch real well. He couldn't find the strike zone and he was aiming the ball and of course because of that he took several mph off his fastball.

                            Right now I'm not going to worry about my boy pitching so much. The coach has told me that he MUST have my boy catching because he is just such a darn good catcher that he has to have him behind the plate. In the end the coach is right. My boy has the rest of his life to pitch.

                            When this season started I worried if my boy was good enough to play against the talented travel ball players. We've played 4 or 5 tournaments now and my boy is starting to show that not only can he play WITH these kids he is becoming one of the better players on his team now.

                            Most important, and I can't stress this enough, you would not believe the change in my boys attitude. This is what I am most proud of. In the last game we played we got whipped by a better team 15 to 0 and the game was called in the second inning because of the 15 run rule. Even though we were down so much my boy was giving everything he had behind the plate and hustled like it was the world series. The other kids on his team had their heads hung low and they were beat mentally before the end of the first inning. Not my boy, he was giving everything he had.

                            Your kid doesn't have to hit a homerun for you to be proud of him. Nor does he have to throw a runner out or pitch a no hitter. I'm most proud that my boy is learning to play the game right with a good attitude. Most of all I love the way he hustles and busts his butt on every play and every pitch. It's easy to give up when your down 10+ runs. What separates players is the ones who have it inside themselves to dig deep and give all they have when the game is out of hand.



                            Sparks,

                            Comment


                            • Sparks,
                              Great update, it seems that things are moving ahead in a very positive direction. If it looks like he's going to be a catcher PM with your address I will send him Catchingcoach's DVD (my gift) It will help him a great deal.
                              "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


                              • Jake,

                                In all honesty I think my boy is going to be too small to be a catcher. It's ok in the 11 year old league but when he gets older I doubt he will be near big enough to take the grind of catching against bigger players.

                                I don't know where the game of baseball will lead my boy. My hope, my dream, is that it teaches him how to build character in life. Just a year ago my boy couldn't strike out without pitching a fit. Now he takes it like a man. Boy you just don't know how those little things make me feel.

                                In the end I know my boy isn't the next Chipper Jones or Greg Maddux. I just want to do the best I can for him and get the most out of what ever talent he has. I was throwing with him in the backyard the other day and he said something to me that most anyone else would think is silly. He simply said these four words....BASEBALL IS MY LIFE. He has learned to LOVE the game. I personally think you have to LOVE baseball to get better. You have to want it more than other kids. You have to want to be the best. Maybe my boy can't be the best but it doesn't mean he can't WANT to be the best. For me, that sums it all up. He WANTS to be the best and I simply cannot ask for more from him. I'm so proud of him I could spit.

                                I'll PM you Jake, I hate for you to go to any trouble though.

                                Sparks,

                                Comment

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