NO GLOVE REQUIRED- written by Coach Mark (5:30pm - 7:00pm)
As I mentioned last week, I came to a pretty clear realization that we needed to do some work on our basic catching and ball transfer skills. I have been using the flat gloves with my weekly Field & Hit lesson group for several weeks now and the results have been awesome. They would use them each lesson if I would let them!! When I told the defense girls last night that they would be using the flat gloves they were a bit shocked. A couple even questioned how…...but once Amber showed them the drill it made sense. That got me thinking and this little blog is the result.
Baseball was invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York (The home of the Baseball Hall Of Fame). Although much has changed with the game….and now there is softball too…...the basic rules for the most part have not. It wasn’t until 1870 when a catcher named Doug Allison crafted a padded fingerless glove to protect his injured hand.
That means that for over 20 years baseball teams played without gloves! They still caught the ball, made the plays, and the game went along just fine. In some countries that are far less fortunate than we are the game is played with whatever equipment they can get their hands on…...often without gloves.
My point to all of this is pretty simple-Sometimes gloves (extra equipment) can get in the way. The size of them nowadays has reached proportions that some need their own mailing address. As Coach Trish has said many times when speaking about bats, this holds true with gloves as well…….It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian. In this case, it’s not the glove but the hand in it and the brain driving it all.
- Group 1 Growing, growing, growing!! That’s what it is all about!! We continued working on proper throwing mechanics, ready-ready stance to field the ball, and no glove catching work. Keep digging ladies, good things are coming!!
-Group 2 Thank you to Coach Amber for stopping by to help out!! We implemented the flat gloves last night to work on our eye-hand coordination for catching and they did great. Zig-Zag drill station was focused on taking the proper angle to the ball and brought Zippy The Zebra in to serve as First Baseman……..Good work ladies!
Have a great week, see you all next Wednesday, and remember……..DEFENSE WINS BALL GAMES!!
Stay the course & Fix the Details- written by Coach Amber (7:00pm - 8:45pm)
Last week we highlighted that as we grow in knowledge we often forget the basics or foundational aspects of any given task. We sabotage ourselves and our team when we don't pay attention and nurture the fundamental mechanics of the game. Coaches get frustrated with not seeing the INSTANT skill progression that they expect and begin to complicate drills, add “the next best thing” in equipment, or stray from the problem to focus on STRENGTHENING THEIR STRENGTHS.
Coaches- Stay the course!
Reinforcing proper mechanics and build muscle memory before trying to complicate your skill progression efforts with fancy drills and often unneeded “trendy equipment”. Follow your instincts and trust the journey! The best way to accomplish this is to add small drills to your everyday warm-up.
Create a routine practice plan with Block scheduling. Carefully craft a schedule that meets your team’s skill progressions needs by blocking out time for warm up, skill progression drills, and live action. Don't know how? Just ask- we have plenty or templates to help or let us help you design your own!
Too often I drive by fields where teams are practicing and I see 1 kid working and the rest waiting in line or waiting their turn to perform a drill. OR the dreaded age old 45 minutes dedicated to coach hitting a ball anywhere in the field and then stopping practice to “preach about mistakes”. In that 45 minute time frame, the kids have touched the ball 10 times or less.
If you would have dedicated 10 minutes on the front end of practice for drill stations, partner drills, or “dailies” as we call them; you have primed your team to be more successful by isolating your problem points with fundamental drills. And during that 10 minute “daily” drill, kids have now touched the ball close to 30 times! Exponentially increasing the good muscle memory and DETAIL WORK over 45 minutes of standing around and kicking dirt.
LEADERSHIP LESSON OF THE WEEK - It’s all in the details
If the builder (yourself, your team, your coaching approach) had known the consequences, he would have demanded excellence from himself.
SOFTBALL , CLASSROOMS, FRIENDS, WORKLIFE- is not that different!
We go about our business, working as we see fit. Some with passion, some without caring. Some with excellence, some with low standards. Some with diligence, some without effort. We are all in the process of building our own lives. If you’re not happy with what you see, perhaps it’s a direct consequence of what you’ve been building over the years.