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  • #16
    Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    What's the background/reasoning for the "plays at the plate" like that? Is it part of an out, or a tradition where the fielder and batter race to the plate at the end of inning? Or something else?
    Two main reasons:
    1) The problem is lack of experience at this age and the time coaches have vs time it takes to coach basic fundamentals. In a one hour practice you're teaching how to throw, how to catch, stance, grip...all the basic fundamentals to just be on the field basically. As easy as it seems, just practicing the throw to first can take up your whole hour. Plays at the plate are rarely if never practiced, and is one of those plays that you have to rely on in game instruction.

    2) Confusion. The batters fans are screaming "RUN HOME! RUN HOME!", the fielders fans are screaming "HOME HOME HOME!!", one coach is screaming "TO THE CIRCLE", another is screaming "THROW IT HOME"......so the kid does whatever he thinks is right. In most cases they see a runner going home and turn it into a foot race. I've had kids in the outfield, that prior to the play told them "If you get it, you're throwing to third base". They field the ball right in front of me, and I say throw it to third again. And they start running to third. I say throw it about 10 more times, and by the 11th time they are standing on third.....or make a throw from 3ft from third after 20 yards of running.

    Basically, t-ball is caos. You try to control much of the caos as possible, but things like "Plays at the Plate" are never practiced. After the fact of course, you explain what should have been done.

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    • #17
      My youngest is finishing up his second (and last) t-ball season. (Thank God)

      This type of play highlights one of the basic problems that I see... Coaching to win vs. coaching the way the game is supposed to be played. It's a better play to have the first baseman run home, rather than throw home if the kid at the plate can't actually catch. Of course that doesn't mean that is what you should be teaching players to do. Unless you are really concerned about getting that piece of plastic at the end of the season...

      If the coaches could manage to actually put their ego's aside and not worry about wins and losses, the kids would be much better off. Teach them the right way, ignore the scoreboard, have fun. Why is that so hard?

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      • #18
        I agree completely about the limitations of a one hour t-ball practice. I also agree that even the best planned t-ball practice will have some situations that are not addressed. We run into the same problem with 10U travel ball with limited to 2 practices per week, and having to cover everything from pickoffs, leadoffs, 1st/3rds, bunt defense, and basic stuff like grounders, flies, batting, pitching, etc. Even with the most efficiently run stations there's not enough time 1.5 hours twice a week. I completely understand.

        And kids will react in confusion.

        I coached t-ball for 3 years and will be coaching again now that my 4yo is signed up. I look forward to it. We always focused on "stay in your spot" and "play your position". We weren't wanting the "crashing" or "4 guys trying to field the same ground ball" that seemed to be prevalent throughout the league. When kids did crash someone else on a play that was clearly not "their position" they sat out an inning (after a warning). Not in a mean coach or a military style fashion, but in a "they need to learn this, and might as well learn now" style. By the end, when we were playing "real outs", I was surprised at how many 1-2-3 innings our defense had, without playing what I call 3-on-3 baseball. Our parents loved it.

        I don't know who's who in all of this, and I try not to identify names, so that I can concentrate on what is being said not who is saying it. But, from the video I saw both coaches congratulate the player, one patted him on the back and one gave him an enthusiastic five for making the "Kelly Leak" (Bad News Bears) play right in front of the second baseman that was in perfect position. Furthermore, he seemed to run at the runner at 3rd (unless I am confusing the situation). It's possible that the player was spoken with later on off camera. But, it would seem possible to me that young player is being sent mixed messages.

        I went through all this with my own son, who has been far advanced every year, both out of nature and out of interest. But, the situations we run into are values that I'm trying to teach him such as being humble, being quietly confident, and then everywhere we go people tell him how awesome he is, and when he gets a non-dad coach all he plays is P-SS-1B, when I make all kids rotate 2 innings IF and OF. One year I did not coach and I asked the coach to put him in the OF and he asked me "Why? What did he do wrong?". We send kids completely mixed messages in regards to the value of teammates, individuals, etc ... and then complain about it when they are grown athletes (or even 10yo athletes) and are essentially arrogant and selfish. Now, that's a lot of preachy talk for a situation that might not actually reflect reality.

        Our T-Ball league did not keep score or outs. After learning this following our first game in t-ball (my son was 4), my son was carrying a little flip notebook on our way to the next game. I asked what it was for, and he said "If they're not going to keep score, I will". My wife thought it was cute, and it was. But, I wasn't going to let him keep score on the pad. Regardless, he kept yelling out the score every time someone crossed the plate "Five to Three!" (picture Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes and you get the picture). I had him sit after 2 warnings, and he still told me after the game,, "Dad we won 17-14." T-Ballers are cute. But just like marriage, the "cute stuff" turns into "annoying" very quickly (why didn't anyone warn me?). Always take the opportunity to praise the effort, but provide instruction.

        Granted the kid is just in T-Ball, and I'm certainly not yelling from the bleachers, or getting out my "The End is Near" sign. Just discussing situations that we all encounter with our boys/plaers. Imagine we're all standing around a grill, sipping a beverage, and shooting the breeze. That's the tone of my comments.
        Last edited by CircleChange11; 04-24-2012, 09:23 AM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ralanprod View Post
          It's a better play to have the first baseman run home, rather than throw home if the kid at the plate can't actually catch. Of course that doesn't mean that is what you should be teaching players to do.
          Our t-ball and coach-pitch leagues (5/6 and 7/8) have rules in place to keep the one or two athletic kids from making all the plays. In the video mentioned above, even though the runner was tagged out by the 1B, the runner would have been called safe at home because the players need to "make a baseball play". In this case the 1B should have thrown the ball (a one hopper is okay) to the catcher. There are a few more of these situational rules which I believe have helped most of the players learn how to actually play the game. (If a pitcher fields a groundball from within the circle, he has to make a throw to 1B, he can't tag out the runner). It's not a perfect system, but it generally works well.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
            .....what I call 3-on-3 baseball.
            Nicely put. haha

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            • #21
              Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
              Our T-Ball league did not keep score or outs. After learning this following our first game in t-ball (my son was 4), my son was carrying a little flip notebook on our way to the next game. I asked what it was for, and he said "If they're not going to keep score, I will". My wife thought it was cute, and it was. But, I wasn't going to let him keep score on the pad. Regardless, he kept yelling out the score every time someone crossed the plate "Five to Three!" (picture Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes and you get the picture). I had him sit after 2 warnings, and he still told me after the game,, "Dad we won 17-14." T-Ballers are cute. But just like marriage, the "cute stuff" turns into "annoying" very quickly (why didn't anyone warn me?). Always take the opportunity to praise the effort, but provide instruction.
              I over looked this part of your comment the first time. lol, I can totally see a kid doing this. Thanks for sharing, it had me cracking up at my desk.

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