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How do you guys coach the expert walk worker?

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  • How do you guys coach the expert walk worker?

    The kind of kid that swings at nothing unless it's perfect...

    The kind of kid who will have .500 batting avg over the whole season with 5 hits (2 extra bases) and 20 walks and 5 called strike three's....

    He is 8yrs old and was on my son's spring team

    Is this a good thing? Bad thing? I really have mixed feelings.

  • #2
    I'm not a coach, but I think that he is going to have problems once he gets older and the pitchers get better, if he doesn't change his mindset.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

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    • #3
      I wouldn't be too concerned about an 8 year old doing anything other than enjoying the game.

      From a mental standpoint, IME, that 8 yo is just trying to find the best way to always get on base. Eventually, the kid will figure out that it's more fun standing on first after getting a hit than it is getting a walk. Until then, it will just take a lot of time and sharing of knowledge by the dad and coaches. And by "lot of time" I mean several years.

      edit: Forgot to add one thing. At some point the parents may want to make the season a paid one. . . meaning every single he gets is $1, double $2, etc., then a walk he gets nothing, a swinging strike 3 he owes nothing, a walk where he took a very hittable strike he owes back .50 and a called strike 3 he owes back $1. He gets paid at the end of the season. Worked for me with my then 10 yo. Be careful though. It will cost you some good money with a decent hitter!
      Last edited by The Uncoach; 08-04-2012, 07:58 AM. Reason: add'l info

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      • #4
        Originally posted by giantheart View Post
        The kind of kid that swings at nothing unless it's perfect...

        The kind of kid who will have .500 batting avg over the whole season with 5 hits (2 extra bases) and 20 walks and 5 called strike three's....

        He is 8yrs old and was on my son's spring team

        Is this a good thing? Bad thing? I really have mixed feelings.
        This is one of the reasons I'm against 8yo kid pitch. Most kids can't throw enough strikes. If your organization had machine pitch, every pitch would be down the pipe, the kids would be swinging and there would be more action and less boredom.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by giantheart View Post
          The kind of kid that swings at nothing unless it's perfect...

          The kind of kid who will have .500 batting avg over the whole season with 5 hits (2 extra bases) and 20 walks and 5 called strike three's....

          He is 8yrs old and was on my son's spring team

          Is this a good thing? Bad thing? I really have mixed feelings.
          I am of the opinion its not necessarily a bad thing. One of the toughest things to do for kids is to learn the strike zone.
          Not swinging at bad pitches will serve him well as he continues to advance. Most young hitters get themselves out by going after pitches outside of the strike zone. It's only a problem if he is taking a lot of good pitches as well.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tg643 View Post
            This is one of the reasons I'm against 8yo kid pitch. Most kids can't throw enough strikes. If your organization had machine pitch, every pitch would be down the pipe, the kids would be swinging and there would be more action and less boredom.
            If he's playing in a league with some older kids, I think it's okay. Most of the pitchers may be 9 or 10. That's how it was for my son's team this spring. Oddly enough, my most accurate pitcher was 8. On the average, though, you're not going to see a lot of strikes from teams where the oldest players are 8. At the end of the day, though, the kid in question isn't improving if he's standing in the box to draw a walk. It's one thing to let bad pitches go by, but we've all seen the kid who just isn't going to swing whether it's two feet outside or two inches. The question is why isn't he swinging. Is he afraid fo failure? Perhaps there is a lot of pressure on him from a coach or mom or dad. Perhaps he's afraid that someone will be angry or disappointed if he strikes out. Perhaps he's afraid of the ball.

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            • #7
              I forgot to add that the kid has a great swing.... During practice, he was easily one of the top hitters on the team...admittedly better than my son...

              I have no idea if he is scared or afraid of failure.... Really hard to say... We don't keep great records so I don't know what his ba is with men in scoring position...

              Anyway.. His dad and I were talking last night at the concession stand and the subject came up.... Hence the question on this board.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post

                edit: Forgot to add one thing. At some point the parents may want to make the season a paid one. . . meaning every single he gets is $1, double $2, etc., then a walk he gets nothing, a swinging strike 3 he owes nothing, a walk where he took a very hittable strike he owes back .50 and a called strike 3 he owes back $1. He gets paid at the end of the season. Worked for me with my then 10 yo. Be careful though. It will cost you some good money with a decent hitter!
                I would be very careful about adding monetary pressure to youth hitters and the message that approach would send to a child. Let his reward be praise and encouragement for good at-bats and offer advice but never show any frustration on your part if he takes some fat pitches for strikes. Encourage him to hack away at any fastball strike. When I throw bp they get rounds of ten swings..but fb strikes count also...they learn the strike zone and how to be aggressive.

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                • #9
                  I don't think it's a bad thing at all. He's 8. He's too young for you or his dad to worry about stuff like this. Sounds like a pretty smart kid who will figure this out as he gets older.

                  For the long term, in my view the ultimate hitter is patient yet aggressive, not passive. There is a fine line between patient and passive, and at the early age groups it's generally better to be too aggressive. You don't learn how to hit with the bat on your shoulder and hitting is the hardest thing to do in all of sport. That's all I push with kids in the 10's and 11's. I don't want called strike 3. I will never get mad at them for striking out swinging, no matter where the pitch is, but taking strike 3 is a no-no. They need to develop that confident attitude at the plate. Later on, sure, depending on the skill level I absolutely teach getting a good pitch to hit. But early, I want them to swing the bat.

                  Again, though, since he's only 8 don't sweat it. He's learning how to play the game!
                  The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

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                  • #10
                    The kid doesn't make outs. That's important.

                    My son walked 70% of the time in rec league, 30% of the time in travel ball. He won;t swing at pitches out of the strike zone. IMHO, this is one of the skills that will transfer at every level.

                    Given that the run scoring environment of youth baseball is likely higher on average than MLB, a walk is likely as good as a hit.

                    I'm more concerned about the talented kids at this age that [1] swing at everything, and [2] are getting used to getting on base by hitting the ball on the ground.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by raptor View Post
                      I would be very careful about adding monetary pressure to youth hitters and the message that approach would send to a child. Let his reward be praise and encouragement for good at-bats and offer advice but never show any frustration on your part if he takes some fat pitches for strikes. Encourage him to hack away at any fastball strike. When I throw bp they get rounds of ten swings..but fb strikes count also...they learn the strike zone and how to be aggressive.
                      Crikey, fella. The money is a positive incentive to swing the bat. It doesn't add pressure.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                        The kid doesn't make outs. That's important.

                        My son walked 70% of the time in rec league, 30% of the time in travel ball. He won;t swing at pitches out of the strike zone. IMHO, this is one of the skills that will transfer at every level.

                        Given that the run scoring environment of youth baseball is likely higher on average than MLB, a walk is likely as good as a hit.

                        I'm more concerned about the talented kids at this age that [1] swing at everything, and [2] are getting used to getting on base by hitting the ball on the ground.
                        I 100 percent agree with this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
                          Crikey, fella. The money is a positive incentive to swing the bat. It doesn't add pressure.
                          I understand your point..but I wouldn't want the kid to think its more about the money...or tell his teammates he is getting paid..or get frustrated when coach puts a sac on "depriving him of the chance to earn cash"...or try to do too much in situations where he needs to get the ball down on the ground. Or he gets a take sign when leading off an inning...works a walk..now he owes money for a good at-bat.
                          Its obviously worked out for you so that's great...I just wouldn't want it for my kid....just a different viewpoint is all.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by giantheart View Post
                            The kind of kid that swings at nothing unless it's perfect...

                            The kind of kid who will have .500 batting avg over the whole season with 5 hits (2 extra bases) and 20 walks and 5 called strike three's....

                            He is 8yrs old and was on my son's spring team

                            Is this a good thing? Bad thing? I really have mixed feelings.
                            I feel it's a bad thing. Location discipline comes later, right now his coach should be teaching him how to swing.... My advice - If you can get a bat on it - swing.
                            "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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by raptor View Post
                              I understand your point..but I wouldn't want the kid to think its more about the money...or tell his teammates he is getting paid..or get frustrated when coach puts a sac on "depriving him of the chance to earn cash"...or try to do too much in situations where he needs to get the ball down on the ground. Or he gets a take sign when leading off an inning...works a walk..now he owes money for a good at-bat.
                              Its obviously worked out for you so that's great...I just wouldn't want it for my kid....just a different viewpoint is all.
                              You're overthinking this.

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