Mission of Baseball Positive
Contribute to the improvement of the learning and playing environment for youth (12U) baseball and softball players by providing quality information to those who directly impact their experience, resulting in the highest possible percentage of kids who want to return and PLAY AGAIN NEXT YEAR:
PARENTS: Help create the best possible experience for your child. Learn simple and fun activities you can do at home to help develop their skills and a love of the game of baseball or softball. Learn what coaches and the leaders of your league are doing to make the game available to your child, and how you can help.
COACHES: Easy to follow plans for structuring practices, running drills, teaching skills and managing your team throughout the season. A step by step progression of teaching from Tee-Ball through age twelve is provided. Gain perspective on effectively teaching youth baseball and youth softball players.
LEAGUE LEADERS: The issues associated with running a youth baseball and softball league are addressed. Find ideas, strategies and solutions to challenges your league faces. Find insight on building an environment the boys and girls in your neighborhood want to be a part of, and return to, year after year.
Contact Baseball Positive - email: email@example.com / Ph/Text: 206 714 5276
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Is It a ‘Cut-Relay’ Play? …or a ‘get the ball back into the infield’ play?
We are coaching our team at the local playfield. There is a runner on second and our team is defending a two run lead. The batter slugs a base hit over the second baseman’s head, the right fielder hustles over to the ball while the second baseman obediently moves into the outfield following the hit.
The base runner coming from second nears third base and is being waved home as the right fielder picks up the ball and makes the 35 foot throw to the second baseman.
The second baseman turns and unleashes a throw toward home as the base runner barrels down the third base line. With the runner close to scoring, the catcher is forced to move from home plate to receive a throw that has covered 100 feet and is now veering off target. [Read More - COACHES]
Cut-Relay Play; Runner Tagging From Third …who is the cut off?
The Little League World Series is in full swing. Some interesting human interest stories are developing and we are seeing some stellar performances on the field. However, we are watching kids and there have been a good number of plays that have not been executed perfectly reminding us that even though these kids have accomplished much to get to Williamsport, they are still just kids.
There is little doubt that all these teams have had their struggles along the road to the Little League World Series and all have likely benefited from mistakes made by their opponents.
I was on hand to see one of those mistakes. In most instances this single play would have occurred with little or no notice. Even given the circumstances I suspect most observers did not recognize that this ‘mistake’ was easily avoidable…and, like many such instances in this world wide tournament, may have changed the lives, memories and potential memories of many kids and parents.
This play took place in the Washington State Championship Game involving Pacific Little League (the Northwest representative in this year’s Little League World Series tournament). [Read More - COACHES]
How Do We Keep Our Kids from Getting Hit By a Bat? …don’t ask Ryan Braun of the Brewers
As a parent, what is your greatest fear for your child when they are playing baseball or softball? Getting hit by a thrown ball? A line drive hitting them while pitching? Taking a ball in the teeth by a bad hop?
Each of these scenarios can potentially result in a serious injury, but are considered to be ‘part of the game’ and are not entirely avoidable. There is another situation that can also result in serious injury that is entirely preventable: getting hit by a bat swung by another player.
Below is a set of rules that Baseball Positive maintains during its camps, batting classes and team workouts and, knock on wood, bat injuries have been avoided. Implement these rules in your league’s activities [Read More - LEAGUE LEADERSHIP]
Batting Practice …a 12 player drill
Batting practice, when structured correctly, is a multiple activity routine in which each player is developing skills during the entire drill. In addition to the player batting live on the field, other players are taking swings off a tee(s), working on base running, fielding, pitching, catching and getting additional live swings at the Skills Station.
The most important aspect of the on-field batting aspect is that the batter is given a high percentage of ‘good pitches to hit’ (by the batting practice pitcher). If we are unable to provide a high percentage of strikes, using a tee for the ‘live’ batter is an acceptable solution. Using a tee is reasonable when we look at the live batter in the context of being just 1 of 12 players in the ‘Drill’. Also recognize that the defensive players and base runners count on the batter getting strikes and putting the ball in play in order for them to get their work in. [Read More - Batting Practice]
Advanced Training for Your Child? …what you need to know
From time to time I hear parents state, “I am looking for an advanced level of training for my child”. I tell them there really isn’t much ‘advanced’ stuff for 12U kids to learn. The physical movements of the game are the same for a kid as they are for a Major League Player. What this means is MLB players aren’t doing much that would be classified as ‘advanced’. Those players are simply bigger, stronger, faster and more practiced in their movements, but those movements are nothing more complex than what they did when they were kids themselves.
This fact was reiterated to me by my ‘little’ brother Todd, a former Major League player (and current batting instructor in the Giants organization). He said, “let the coaches and parents know that the game I played when I was 12 is the same as the game I play now”.
I will add one thing to that comment, there is a difference in the game at the MLB (and teenage) level; that is the base runners lead off. However, that aspect of the game does not require additional training for 12U kids who do not play the lead-off game (I understand that some 11-12 year olds play lead off baseball, but the value in most of them doing so is for another discussion). The ‘advanced’ aspects of the lead-off game are more related to Team play, not so much individual skills or skills used by players ages 5-12.
The true ‘advanced’ aspect of the game comes into play for players when [Read More - PARENTS]
'Playing Catch Practice' …the most important part of the day
“Hey kids, grab this bucket of balls and go loosen up your arms. We start practice in 10 minutes.”
When we say this to our team we are effectively saying, “Hey kids, go spend some time on the most important skill in the game, unsupervised, with no structure and then we’ll practice. And when we practice, you guys will screw up throwing and catching, the drills will be a mess, I will get frustrated and yell at you and our practice will fall apart.”
‘Playing catch’, ‘getting loose’, ‘warm up’, that time honored ritual at the start of any day at the ballpark is the downfall of youth baseball and softball. Because it is not valued at the level that it should be and teams miss this daily opportunity to improve their ability to play the game well.
Playing Catch is the essence of the game, it is the foundation of everything we do on defense, but do we put a proper value on that time? Do we work at it? Do we establish and maintain discipline in the activity? Do we have a plan for what we want our kids to accomplish? [Read More - COACHES]