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  • Funny Coaching Stories

    I enjoyed a laugh today. I've been practicing with six kids. All of these kids are moving to our Dixie League from our poorly-run Little League. I want to help them prepare for this new league, which is known to have better competition. They may or may not end up playing for me. One kid played on my daughter's coach-pitch team this spring. He is 8 and is really talented. He has an older brother who spends a lot of time practicing with him. Today was this kid's first day practicing with us. I told him that we would be working on pitching. He has a good arm.

    So the kid walks onto the field, walks straight toward me, grabs the ball I had for him and says, "Coach, I throw four pitches: a four-seamer, a cutter, a curve and a knuckleball."

    I didn't laugh because I didn't want him to be embarrassed. But I was dying of laughter on the inside. He threw 5-10 pitches and asked me what I wanted to see. I told him he'd strike out half of the kids he faces if he just fires a plain fastball straight down the center every time. So he did that about 20 times in a row.
    Last edited by HeinekenMan; 07-24-2012, 06:47 PM.

  • #2
    I want that kid on our varsity team. :o
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Hey... ya never know! My kid, going on 9, can throw a screwball, curve, and knuckle. Now the knuckle isn't a 100% real knuckle with no spin, but she can kill all back spin on it. She can place it all day (ok, maybe 70% of the time) and uses it as a change up. I always have her throw it to where it lands low to try and get the kid swinging. The curve and screwball are thanks to Marshall's teachings. Her pronated curve is VERY real and VERY effective. Her screwball isn't as dramatic as the curve, but she uses it to get on the inside of a right handed batter. If she throws it down the middle she usually gets late movement to the inside of the plate by about 6", plus with no backspin it drops harder than a regular fastball. Lately she's lost some of it, just as she's been getting a lot better at her curve.

      I would have had him throw it all for you. See if he's tellin' the truth. I know most kids say they can throw this and that, and it's comical to see them try. The knuckleball is the one every kid thinks they can throw though. Even I'll admit her KB isn't a "real" one, but she might get about 4 rotations on the trip to the plate with a gyro spin on it (just like a bullet) due to her pronation. Once she learns to kill that, LOOK OUT! Feel free to chuckle though. LOL

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      • #4
        My kid was throwing today, and he threw something that started by my left ear and ended by my right knee. Could it have been a two-seamer? It had some wicked movement.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
          My kid was throwing today, and he threw something that started by my left ear and ended by my right knee. Could it have been a two-seamer? It had some wicked movement.
          If it had wicked movement from a kid it wasn't a 2-seamer. To get that spin he would have had to "slice" the ball as it sounds very much like a slider. It obviously wasn't done on purpose, but my main concern was that he supinated this throw to get that. That's how most people do. You should video tape him from over your shoulder and his side to see his mechanics. Lots of kids supinate their throws and it's a really bad thing. He could have thrown it pronated a la Marshall style, but that's something that doesn't come natural, IMO. You've got to be taught that and think about it before it becomes natural.

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          • #6
            It was only one pitch, but I'll keep an eye out to make sure he's not twisting. He might be the stud of his team if he can throw a hard slider, but we'd be on the way to see the doc after a few months.

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            • #7
              It can be done, just gotta use pronation. My kid's screwball and curveball are better on her arm than throwing her fastball. You should record anyways and then edit the video so you can see it in slow motion. Lots of kids supinate their regular throws. There was one boy on my daughter's team that was exactly like this. It was his first year playing ball. He was a natural athlete, big kid and could throw hard. If he keeps with baseball and pitching, he's gonna be hurting in a few years. You often don't notice it because the arm will automatically pronate shortly after the ball is released. Video is one technological advance that can majorly help the novice dad like you and me!

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              • #8
                My kid is turning 9 tomorrow... he can throw quite a few different pitches; we play around with them in the backyard. You can see the different, appropriate spins on them. But -- IMO -- kids at this age simply don't have the ability to really make pitches move. Maybe a fastball thrown 3/4 will have some tail to it. But -- IMO -- the spin kids put on the "breaking" pitches just isn't enough to really affect the flight any. They may still be effective if they are off-speed enough. Maybe I'm just a skeptic. I know I can throw a curveball with a much faster spin rate than my son... but it's still not sharp at all.

                My guy pretty much just throws fastballs in games...

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                • #9
                  So I coached two 7 year old machine pitch teams this year in our local Little League, and I was out in the field helping the boys out with defense. This little butterball on the other team absolutely hammered a ball off a truck in the parking lot. As he SPRINTED around the bases, I noticed he looked absolutely pissed off. It's the only HR I saw hit over the fence all season.

                  The next half of the inning, I was coaching 3rd base, where this kid was playing. I gave him a high-5 and told him I was really impressed with his HR, but why was he so angry running around the bases. He looked up at me and told me, "That catcher called me fat!" I apologized and had my catcher apoligize as well, but I loved telling the other coaches on my team and watching them crack up. Our catcher is a total clown, and a plump kid as well.
                  www.glovedoctor.net

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by clayadams View Post
                    Hey... ya never know! My kid, going on 9, can throw a screwball, curve, and knuckle. Now the knuckle isn't a 100% real knuckle with no spin, but she can kill all back spin on it. She can place it all day (ok, maybe 70% of the time) and uses it as a change up. I always have her throw it to where it lands low to try and get the kid swinging. The curve and screwball are thanks to Marshall's teachings. Her pronated curve is VERY real and VERY effective. Her screwball isn't as dramatic as the curve, but she uses it to get on the inside of a right handed batter. If she throws it down the middle she usually gets late movement to the inside of the plate by about 6", plus with no backspin it drops harder than a regular fastball. Lately she's lost some of it, just as she's been getting a lot better at her curve.
                    Clay, can you paste this passage into the "Is it appropriate for girls to play with boys?" thread and ask TradeAs how many 9 y/o boys have that repertoire?
                    I know most kids say they can throw this and that, and it's comical to see them try. The knuckleball is the one every kid thinks they can throw though. Even I'll admit her KB isn't a "real" one, but she might get about 4 rotations on the trip to the plate with a gyro spin on it (just like a bullet) due to her pronation. Once she learns to kill that, LOOK OUT! Feel free to chuckle though. LOL
                    Word of warning - when you get to HS, any kid who says he uses a knuckleball as a changeup is immediately painted as a wannabe. It's almost always telegraphed and half the players they'll then face are able to hammer them. At age 9, kids can't read arm speed, so simply taking something off the ball to slow it down will give you all you need to create an effective change-up.

                    GloveDoctor said: This little butterball on the other team absolutely hammered a ball off a truck in the parking lot. As he SPRINTED around the bases, I noticed he looked absolutely pissed off. It's the only HR I saw hit over the fence all season. The next half of the inning, I was coaching 3rd base, where this kid was playing. I gave him a high-5 and told him I was really impressed with his HR, but why was he so angry running around the bases. He looked up at me and told me, "That catcher called me fat!"
                    It's funny what can set kids off at that age. When UMinor was 9 he pitched summer ball and one team in our leage was from a Spanish-speaking community where English was at-best a second language. He came off the mound after a 1-2-3 inning against them one day almost in tears, and I asked him why. He replied, "They're shouting insulting things at me!" I asked, "Like what?" He said, "I don't know, because it was all in Spanish, but I could tell it was nasty!"
                    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                    • #11
                      It's funny what can set kids off at that age. When UMinor was 9 he pitched summer ball and one team in our leage was from a Spanish-speaking community where English was at-best a second language. He came off the mound after a 1-2-3 inning against them one day almost in tears, and I asked him why. He replied, "They're shouting insulting things at me!" I asked, "Like what?" He said, "I don't know, because it was all in Spanish, but I could tell it was nasty!"
                      Now THAT'S funny. LOL

                      As far as Trado (Robert) goes, it doesn't matter how impressive the girl is... because she'll automatically be overtaken around 13.

                      I 100% agree with you on the "changeup" in the later years. She uses it as a changeup now, but the intended purpose will be to really throw it in the future. She knows if she's going to make it past middle school it's going to be on her ability as a trick pitcher. I've already told her she won't be overpowering the boys in another 5 years. We haven't been practicing for "kill the spin" lately, but we'll come back to it before too long. She used to sit in her bed at night and just "flick" the ball up to the ceiling learning how to kill the spin.

                      Hey, speaking of funny stories that this discussion just reminded me of... On Sunday we were out at her travel ball team's field practicing. (We get to use it any time we want.) They've got one of those dual wheel jugs pitching machines and she wanted to hit off it to see how far she could hit. (She's used to hitting in the cage but has no idea how far she's hitting it.) Well, it just seems I couldn't get the dang thing to throw proper strikes. It'd throw one, then the next one would be 3 feet away. She was trying to hit but she didn't like it, she said the balls were everywhere. So I got behind the plate and had her pitch me a few. I instantly realized what the problem was... IT WAS THROWING KNUCKLEBALLS!!!! LOL She'd never seen one from that angle. Obviously on a 2-wheel model you're not supposed to set the wheels at the same speed. That made me laugh and was kinda fun once I realized what it was doing.

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                      • #12
                        We were in the BR regionals in Jacksonville, the A/S team (15u) had smoked the comp in districts (We had power and pitching)..well we ran into this squad that was made up of the JV squad from The Bolles School (Produced Chipper and Glenn "The Milkman Davis), well the guy who was HC on our team missed the axium that you don't hold back pitching in a tourney and went with a kid who threw almost all off-speed...well after giving up 6 in the 1st, he brings in my son (In his last outing of the districts he k'd 15 in a 6 inning 10 run drubbing of powerhouse Middleburg)...the game settles to 6-0...and in the 6th in warm-ups, our catcher (A lefty..who got drafted this year in a later round, I'm so proud to say) was completing my sons warm-ups and the ump said "something" to him right as my kid delivers...the kid (I called him Babe Ruth because..well he looked just like him)..looks at the ump..right as an 80+ mph fb slams right smack on his cup (Couldn't have aimed it better with a gun)...exploding said cup..I mean it shattered..................dead silence..except for Babe Ruth...who is laying flat on his back..clucking..thats right..just like a chicken....he is attended to for quite a few minutes...and ultimately..to everyones astonishment..he's gets up and kinda crabwalks (You know how it looks when a real little kid needs to peeh) over and sits in the dugout where I was scoring the game....he sits down, while this went on the HC had gone ahead and relieved my son..who also came into the dugout...well Babe was just sittin there with sweat pouring off of him..with this thousand yard stare on his face and I looked at him and said "what was all that clucking stuff goin on out there"...my son started giggling and I started snickering..and Babe Ruth just started laughing...pulled the shards of his cup out of his drawers and we all just started rolling on the floors..the competition must have thought us insane.

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                        • #13
                          Here's my favorite, which happened when my son was 12...

                          We're playing against our only real rival in a league game. The opposing coach and I don't exactly get along. Mainly because he takes 12U rec ball too seriously - but anyway...

                          My pitcher is a big kid who throws hard. He's been mowing down batters all game until the 4th inning or so. All of a sudden the batters are crowding the plate (toes on the line), and leaning over as far as they can. After a few batters our catcher (my son) can see that this is beginning to rattle our pitcher, as he keeps pitching outside to avoid hitting someone.

                          So my son, who isn't know for subtlety, yells out to the pitcher - "If they keep leaning over the plate just hit them!" The opposing coach went nuts, screaming that my kid is telling the pitcher to hit batters. The plate ump (who frequently worked our games, so he knew the personalities involved), looked over to me with a "please do something here" gesture.

                          Figuring I could appease the ump and the opposing manager in one shot, I just yelled out to my son - "Hey! You can't scream out for your pitcher to hit someone!"

                          He gave me a "I gotcha" gesture, asked for time and went out to the mound. He then proceeded to pantomime to the pitcher a guy leaning over the plate, and then getting hit in the ribs by a pitch.

                          I could have killed him.

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                          • #14
                            Playing in a 14U tournament, and we have our stud pitcher throwing. Going into the last inning we are ahead 4-1. The opposing team is at bat, manage to get the first 2 guys on then we get a couple of outs. Next hitter gets up and hits a big fly over the center field fence game is now 4-4, but wait, the catcher (my son) alerts the umpire to check the kids bat (BBCOR only tourney), ump checks the bat and rules the player out for an illegal bat. You should have heard the parents of the kid who hit the HR (mom and dad) berating my son for having the bat checked. Talked to my son after the game and he told me that he had noticed the bat earlier but did not say anything since there was no reason to at the time. Best part of the story, 3 weeks later at sons practice there is a new kid trying out for the team, yep it was the same kid that hit the HR using the illegal bat. Dad walked up and said Hi to me, he had no idea who I was or who my kid was.

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                            • #15
                              1st day of LL Minors practice this year ....

                              Nicest kid in the world comes up to me and says "Hey Coach, what do gay horses eat?"

                              "Haaaaaaaaaaayyyyy." While snapping his fingers and pushing his hip to the side.

                              That the kid is a 10yo 5'4 125 pound beast, pure beast, just makes it funner. So, as a team, when we would break from our huddle, we'd chant "1-2-3 Dodgers!!! Haaaaaaayyyyyyy". It's literally amazing how much enjoyment 9-10yo kids got out of that.

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