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  • #16
    LOL. You and your poor rec ball program, PC. I'm happy with our fall ball organization. It beats the old one by miles.

    One of my kids played as a fill-in for the team we're playing in our opener. His dad says we should beat them. That team is 9-20. I'm going to throw my best at them, but I might not start my No. 1 pitcher. I might go with my No. 2. Then I can see how it's going and adjust on the fly. My goal is to win that game. I think the director was being nice by matching us against that team. Of course, our second game is against a 26-7 team ranked No. 1 in the state. That could be a long game.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
      That could be a long game.
      Not if they have a run rule! Ba-dum-bum!

      Seriously, though, they'll probably know you're not an experienced team (sooner or later) and view it as an opportunity to get some of their non-regular pitchers some work. That, plus the fact that it's a pool game, should make for a better experience than if you met them in bracket play.

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      • #18
        What division are you guys playing in? Are we talking A, AA, AAA? It makes a big difference.

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        • #19
          Couple thoughts:

          Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
          So, our first 10U tournament is in two days. I don't understand all of the ranking systems. It appears that three of the top four teams in the state, based on some ranking, will be among the 10 teams competing in this tournament. Our first game is against a B team from an academy run by the tournament organizer. I've never even seen any 10U team play, but word is that we can win that game. I'm not sure we'll win a second.
          Take all the ranking BS with a grain of salt.... They mean little. My opinion is that EVEN IF a state/organization/league/whatever can get the ranking process right - they are still 10U and ANYTHING can happen.

          One parent is an experienced travel ball coach. His son seems to hop from team to team. That gives me pause. He's a non-paying fill-in who will be offered a permanent spot. But my coaching staff thinks he's not likely to shell out any money. This guy has been making remarks to indicate that he thinks we'll get pounded, that we're not ready, that I don't know enough about travel ball rules and strategy, etc.
          How much "experience" can a father of a ten year old really have??? three years? two?? What would give me pause is a team that gaurentees anything, especially with U10's. If I was the head coach and I had a dad who did not pay and felt we would get "pounded" I would ask him to have his son play elsewhere.

          So I figure I'll come here and soak up as much advice as possible. All I can say is that I feel we have a very talented team. Yes, we have a few pitchers who struggle with throwing strikes. But we also have 3-4 who are very accurate. Most of them will get hit hard. Their velocity is not superb. They probably throw in the mid- to high-40s with a few topping 50. Our defense is superb. Catching is a concern. We have four experienced catchers, but I'm unsure how well they'll perform in a game situation with runners leading off, etc. Our hitting is, in my opinion, weak. We spent a great deal of time working on hitting last Sunday, and we made some progress. This certain dad thinks that we should be spending more time on defense. And that's the goal for tonight's practice. He doesn't think we should be concerned about hitting. Hmmm.

          What advice do you have for me? It looks like we play late afternoon/early evening games on Saturday.
          My advise (not meaning this sacastically) is chill... They're 10. Go and have a good time. Make it fun win or lose.
          "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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          • #20
            Besides the open base aspects, another way things can go sideways quickly at this age with inexperienced teams is "throwing the ball around". What I mean is; overthrows at bases, kids panic and keep that going. IMO you can take different approaches to this. 1) Play it safe and always "hold the ball" (not a fan of this), or 2) "Make the play". A good example of this is; guy on 2nd, less than 2 outs, grounder to right side. You get the out at first. Are you throwing it to 3rd? I think you should always try and make the play. The first strategy isn't helping kids as they get older.

            Also, OF can save games. Make sure you have all your cutoffs down as well as backups on steals. Everyone has a job on every play.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by AdamInNY View Post
              Besides the open base aspects, another way things can go sideways quickly at this age with inexperienced teams is "throwing the ball around". What I mean is; overthrows at bases, kids panic and keep that going. IMO you can take different approaches to this. 1) Play it safe and always "hold the ball" (not a fan of this), or 2) "Make the play". A good example of this is; guy on 2nd, less than 2 outs, grounder to right side. You get the out at first. Are you throwing it to 3rd? I think you should always try and make the play. The first strategy isn't helping kids as they get older.
              I agree. At this level, the kids need to make the plays that you might avoid with a less-experienced rec team.

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              • #22
                Well, we just had our last practice before the tournament, and it was a stinker. I discovered that the two kids who own catcher's gear really aren't ready to play the position. I had assumed they had been taught proper blocking and how to throw out runners. You know what they say about assumptions.

                I stopped working on throws to second and third and pulled one catcher aside to do blocking drills. Then I taught him how to step behind the batter to make good throws to third base. We have no chance at throwing out guys at second. So I figure we'll just focus on throwing out runners at third. LOL

                We played some magical defense a few weeks ago, but our kids couldn't make an accurate throw tonight, and guys were dropping perfectly good throws. Fielders were letting the ball go right under their gloves.

                I guess it was a bit of a reminder that kids are kids. One minute, they look like the second coming of Ozzie Smith. The next minute, they look like Pele after a six pack.

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                • #23
                  Like said, who cares about some rankings. Every game is tied at nothing at the beginning. I would go into the fall season knowing that you're behind most of the other teams you'll play. Your plan should be to not worry about wins or losses. You need to develop your baserunning offense and defense. I would focus on that. Don't worry about how your team hits right now or fields or etc. This is a new team. Concentrate on your team chemistry like following the advice some have given about that player that moves around a lot. You still don't know what you have until you start playing games anyway. Moves kids around and see how they do.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by DerekD View Post
                    Like said, who cares about some rankings. Every game is tied at nothing at the beginning. I would go into the fall season knowing that you're behind most of the other teams you'll play. Your plan should be to not worry about wins or losses. You need to develop your baserunning offense and defense. I would focus on that. Don't worry about how your team hits right now or fields or etc. This is a new team. Concentrate on your team chemistry like following the advice some have given about that player that moves around a lot. You still don't know what you have until you start playing games anyway. Moves kids around and see how they do.
                    Good advice again..dont get hung up on who you play..id rather play the best teams in pool.. But the rankings do have some bearing..those teams are not ranked arbitrarily. Based on strength of schedule and won loss record. Look at the utrip 10s Natl ranks from last year. Those teams won and won frequently in nationals tourneys...And would those kids have a better, worse, or even chance of making their HS teams? Id say better. Competiton breeds excellence.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by crazyhawk View Post
                      What division are you guys playing in? Are we talking A, AA, AAA? It makes a big difference.
                      Good point. I would start at one of the lowest classification, for examplae AA in USSSA, and see how well you do. If you do well you will automatically be bumped up to the next classification.

                      Better to do it this way than be run ruled the majority of games.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                        Good point. I would start at one of the lowest classification, for examplae AA in USSSA, and see how well you do. If you do well you will automatically be bumped up to the next classification.

                        Better to do it this way than be run ruled the majority of games.
                        It seems that is a really good argument for playing USSSA. This particular tournament is independent, and all of the 10U teams are grouped together.

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                        • #27
                          IMO way too much emphasis on results/performance in this thread.
                          Coach the process. A good theme for the season would be resilience. Both individual and team.
                          Coaching the process works at all ages. From 7u to MLB.
                          Skip

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                            Good point. I would start at one of the lowest classification, for examplae AA in USSSA, and see how well you do. If you do well you will automatically be bumped up to the next classification.

                            Better to do it this way than be run ruled the majority of games.
                            Location can likewise be important. AA in Colorado does not equal AA in Texas or California. Likewise, in some places, if you qualify yourselves at majors, you may not find any local tournaments to play in. In many areas, even the better teams are all playing AA.

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                            • #29
                              Heineken,

                              I wouldn't worry too much about your team and/or the tournaments you'll be playing in, if you have a half way decent rec. ball team.

                              Seven or eight years ago now, we signed up (yes, that's all you had to do) our 10U rec. ball, "B" All-Star team (PONY baseball sanctioned, so they were already playing "open bases") for the USSSA "AA World Series", that was being held at a Field Of Dreams in our area, just to get some games under our belt, before we started sanction play.

                              I was a bit skeptical like you, about going in and getting our butts handed to us on a platter, but out of the 12 teams there, we ended up placing 3rd, and losing in our last two games.....to the eventual tournament champion (our worse lose at 14-4) and the runner-up (a well established TB team out of Las Vegas, 8-1), basically because we ran out of pitching, due to the tournament format (oh, and I guess our roster ).

                              The kids had a blast at the tournament, running around between games, exchanging pins with kids from all over, playing video games in the air-conditioned restaurant/snack stand that over look all of the fields.....that also sell beer; NOT GOOD!!

                              By our final game on Sunday, some of the dads from our team (who before, seemed like pretty good guys), after drinking all day long.....by the time our final game started at almost 7:00PM (the championship game started after 9:00 in you can believe that :dismay, a couple of these dads became belligerent A-holes.

                              Who, while sitting in the front row just above us on the field, decided it would be good to share with the coaching staff, just what terrible coaches we were and how they thought we should be running the team.....this was from the same couple of guys who had praised us, as if we walked on water a couple hours earlier, for the bringing this "B" all-star team as far as we did, to get them in the semi-final game, after only two weeks of practice, when facing mostly TB teams that had been together for a long, long time (there was another All-Star team that we played).

                              Dang near turned into a fight, as some of our other parents started going back at them for their embarrassing behavior....not a pretty sight. So, one last recommendation, don't EVER play at a field or in a tournament that allows open drinking for the parents. Some are not mature enough to handle it.

                              Don't know how I sorta got off track and hijacked my own post, but unfortunately for myself, that was the real memory I took away from the event....fortunately, the kids were having a great time playing under the lights on a big league park replica field, and didn't know it was even happening. Thankfully......
                              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                                Heineken,

                                I wouldn't worry too much about your team and/or the tournaments you'll be playing in, if you have a half way decent rec. ball team.

                                Seven or eight years ago now, we signed up (yes, that's all you had to do) our 10U rec. ball, "B" All-Star team (PONY baseball sanctioned, so they were already playing "open bases") for the USSSA "AA World Series", that was being held at a Field Of Dreams in our area, just to get some games under our belt, before we started sanction play.

                                I was a bit skeptical like you, about going in and getting our butts handed to us on a platter, but out of the 12 teams there, we ended up placing 3rd, and losing in our last two games.....to the eventual tournament champion (our worse lose at 14-4) and the runner-up (a well established TB team out of Las Vegas, 8-1), basically because we ran out of pitching, due to the tournament format (oh, and I guess our roster ).

                                The kids had a blast at the tournament, running around between games, exchanging pins with kids from all over, playing video games in the air-conditioned restaurant/snack stand that over look all of the fields.....that also sell beer; NOT GOOD!!

                                By our final game on Sunday, some of the dads from our team (who before, seemed like pretty good guys), after drinking all day long.....by the time our final game started at almost 7:00PM (the championship game started after 9:00 in you can believe that :dismay, a couple of these dads became belligerent A-holes.

                                Who, while sitting in the front row just above us on the field, decided it would be good to share with the coaching staff, just what terrible coaches we were and how they thought we should be running the team.....this was from the same couple of guys who had praised us, as if we walked on water a couple hours earlier, for the bringing this "B" all-star team as far as we did, to get them in the semi-final game, after only two weeks of practice, when facing mostly TB teams that had been together for a long, long time (there was another All-Star team that we played).

                                Dang near turned into a fight, as some of our other parents started going back at them for their embarrassing behavior....not a pretty sight. So, one last recommendation, don't EVER play at a field or in a tournament that allows open drinking for the parents. Some are not mature enough to handle it.

                                Don't know how I sorta got off track and hijacked my own post, but unfortunately for myself, that was the real memory I took away from the event....fortunately, the kids were having a great time playing under the lights on a big league park replica field, and didn't know it was even happening. Thankfully......
                                Mud that is unfortunate. We have a big league dreams park in our area also..they do sell beer unfortunately. Not a good recipe. But that level of insanity is mainly confined to new TB parents who get intoxicated by the tourney atmosphere as much as by alcohol. That's why I said to HM to really instill class and decorum on their parents and coaches. Its silly to have to point that out at youth baseball I know but it is a fact of life. I'm guessing your team wasn't that highly thought of after that semifinal game with drunk parents yelling at their own coaches?
                                On another note..big league dreams is a joke...crappy replica stadiums, that air conditioned viewing lounge and cool dugouts is what they have. Exorbitant entrance fees..gate fees for parents...no coolers or kids bringing in their own Gatorade...they are making bucks already..and here is an idea..lets sell beer to make more money. I like tourneys where the teams have a barbecue between games and no one says a word. They drink Cokes.
                                Last edited by raptor; 09-06-2012, 08:40 AM.

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