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Tips From The Coach

Hello All,

I hope everyone is doing well. I also hope that everyone is getting ready to dust off their Gloves and Bats. It’s almost time to start thinking about Fall Ball.
Anyhow, I believe Coach Ray has posted some “Tips From The Coach” in the past and with the exception of endorsing his products (I have not tried them) this “Tip” in particular, in my opinion, couldn’t ring truer:

TIPS FROM THE COACH

“ If a kid isn’t playing ‘select’ ‘travel” and just plays ‘rec’. ‘league’ ball when he is 8-12 years old he will never catch up and make the High School team.” As proof, then comes the statement, “every single player to make the High School team the last 3 years has played ‘travel’ ball since he was 8.”

First, this is a totally incorrect statement. The part about all the players that made the High School team having played “travel” ball may be true but that only proves that the parents of every quality athlete that attended that High School drank the Koolaid and followed the masses in an attempt to ‘keep up with the Jones’.

What a ballplayer does prior to puberty is no indicator of his future potential as a ballplayer. Whether he plays 30 or 100 games a year has no bearing upon how much he knows about how to play the game. Hiring the priciest Private Instructor at age 10 will have no bearing upon how he performs at 14.

There is a mass hysteria that is driven by people that wish to make a buck that prey upon parent’s desires to help their kids succeed. Ten year olds swinging $300 plus bats because they might be able to hit a HR. $75 an hr PIs because if a 9 yr old doesn’t learn proper rotation hitting mechanics he won’t make the elite ‘travel’ team and be shunted to the lower echelons of LL from which he will never emerge. Imagine the pressure placed on a kid to succeed by the amount of money and expectations that are being placed on a kid when his parents spend thousands of dollars on lessons and equipment to facilitate a future and he doesn’t get selected to that elite team.

Baseball prepuberty is about having fun, playing ball with your buddies, learning a love for the game, and lessons in life. Nothing a player does will give him a future in baseball. Nothing he does will doom him to not have a future in baseball. This youth baseball experience is a short and precious period that you as parents get to share. If the kid is an athlete, and plays ball for 6 or 8 years prior to High School, he knows how the game is played. If he wants to succeed as a ballplayer and make the HS team, in a couple of years of diligent work he can surpass the less athletic kids that played absurd amounts of games and studied at the hands of the ‘Masters”. There are valid reasons to play “travel” baseball but don’t be sucked in that it is the only path to future glory.

With the TIPS FROM THE COACH.COM website, I have tried to select training aids, videos, and sporting goods that are effective and give good value so that you don’t have to spend absurd amounts trying to keep up with the Jones.

I produced the BASEBALL SKILLS AND DRILLS video series and the TIPS FROM THE COACH video series to provide tools whereby anyone could have the knowledge necessary to help a kid have the most amount of success/fun playing baseball. With the videos YOU, MOM or DAD, have the ability to work with and share this marvelous baseball experience with your young ballplayer. All the drills are applicable to a home training program. No need for expensive PIs. No pressure.

I wonder how my sons managed to make the HS team, play college and pro ball without playing absurd amounts of games prepuberty? Neither played more than 50 games a year prepuberty. Neither played more than a couple of tournaments beyond their youth league and All Star teams. Both loved the game and worked very diligently to be the best that they could be without PIs and spending every weekend of the year galavanting around the country playing in one tournament after another.

Forget delusions of a “baseball future”. Embrace the opportunity to get to play today and be the best that he can be today.

RESPECT THE GAME, WORK HARD, HAVE FUN

Yours In Baseball

Bruce Lambin

THE COACH

www.tipsfromthecoach.com

Coach Randy Murrietta

The Over the Wall Gang

I’ve have recently realized one of my own mistakes with my 4 year old, Chase’s hitting approach.  While trying to encourage him after hitting a couple of his first home runs, I realized soon that I had made too big  of a deal of the result (the home run) and paid too little attention to recognizing and rewarding a good swing.  Now all he talks about is home runs and has been developing a upper cut that I am trying to cut off before it becomes a habit.  I thought this article was helpful on the subject.  It is a little more geared toward an older player, but it is never too early to begin good habits.

THE OVER THE WALL GANG
By: Bruce Lambin
World Champion Baseball Coach and producer of the Baseball Training Series
www.TipsFromTheCoach.com

Visiting Youth league websites, I amazed at the number that glorify those that hit Home Runs with prominent listing on the Home Page of the website with catchy headings such as the HOME RUN CLUB or the JACK PACK .  There listed are the names of every kid from 8-15 that has hit one out of the park. What I don’t see are listings of standings and won/lost records. Of course, the object isn’t winning. The object of Youth Baseball today is HOME RUN DERBY!
What message are these sites sending to their young players? Swing for the fences. Singles don’t get you recognized. Winning doesn’t get you recognized. Playing the game the right way doesn’t get you recognized. Swinging from the heels with a $300 featherweight bat gets the glory.
There are posts in youth league chat rooms from concerned parents begging for info about how they can increase batspeed and power in their 8 yr old! This is absurd. Neither of my sons hit one out of the park until they were in High School swinging –3. Of course by then, they were big and strong and had earned batspeed by hard work. When they were in youth league they batted .600. They learned to go with the pitch. They learned to move the runner up and get him in. They learned to bunt and work the count. They learned to play the game correctly.
What are the consequences of this fixation with HRs? Poor swing mechanics. Watch these little Babe Ruths, They are dropping their backsides trying to get loft, pulling their front shoulder out, while straightening out their lead arm and sweeping the bat. If someone happens to pipe one inside belt high they may on rare occasion launch a deep fly. Even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally. But anything on the outer half of the plate, he is helpless on, either missing or rolling over a weak grounder to SS. It never occurs to them that with no outs and a runner on 2b that their job is to hit the ball to the right side and advance the runner or knock him in. They are thinking 2 run bomb!
They are going to be out of the game earlier than their talents offer because they are fixated on bombs. HITTERS DON’T HIT HOME RUNS, PITCHERS THROW THEM. If a pitcher can paint down and away at the knees, rarely will anyone hit one out and if he does it was luck. He wasn’t trying to hit it out. It is only when the pitcher makes a mistake and leaves it up does the ball leave the yard and even then the hitter didn’t try. He just wanted to make good contact and hit it hard and got lucky.
————–

So, what can you as a parent do to discourage swinging for the fences?

1. Put emphasis on hitting to the opposite field. Todd Helton’s Dad discouraged him from hitting anything except oppo all through HS.  As they get older and do hit a big fly, give them a High 5 but don’t make a big deal about it. Make a big deal of the oppo gapper.

2. Teach a short and consistent stride on the ball of his foot.  I like to say “stride to hit, don’t stride and hit”.  Don’t blend the stride and hit into one motion.  Some players actually are better off with no stride at all.  The bottom line is to stay on balance.

3. Teach proper hand positioning at contact.  Knocking knuckles lined up (with younger players it helps to draw a line on the batting gloves).  Teach them to stay inside the ball, let the ball get deep into the plate.  Help them not to yank the ball when it is way out in front of the plate, but instead wait longer and drive it up the middle.  Working off the tee will help with this because you can position the ball further back in the stance and hit to the opposite field.

Remember, to take some time to enjoy some quality time in the backyard with your kid this week.  These years will be gone before you know it.  Enjoy the game together!

Coach Ray

Summer News for 5U and 7U Mudcats

7U Mudcats

The 7u Mudcats had a blast at the Mid-Summer Classic last weekend.  Congratulations to the boys on winning two games on the weekend.  I know being on the right end of a 19-0 shutout was fun and even in the two losses we competed well against some of the better teams in our division.  I am proud to see the progress all of the boys are making.  Special thanks to coach Randy and all of those who made the weekend a fun one!

5U Mudcats

The 5U Mudcats will be playing in the CFSA Summer League as the Rays (all teams are MLB teams in the summer).  All games are weeknights at either 6:30 or 8:00 to avoid the heat and summer schedules.   Our schedule is now online at the CFSA website and on the calendar here on our website.  We will get together for a couple of practices as well.  Our first practice is tentatively set for next Monday at 7:30 at CF#1.

A couple of notes for the Summer:

– During the summer a few of the Mudcat coaches and I will be using the website to post tips for parents to help their young ballplayers improve their game in the backyard.  Improving skills really happens more at home than it does by playing games.  The more you are able to play catch and hit wiffle balls  in the yard the better.

– Our long term goal is to build a Christian-based Baseball Academy in the Bridgeland area.  I’ve been working recently with Larry Deirker and some other key baseball folks to develop this dream and there are some exciting things in the works for the next year.  Stay tuned!

– In the immediate future, we will be fielding a team for the fall season in at least two age divisions, 6U and 8U.  Cypress Champs (our non-profit organization) would love to add more teams in other divisions as well, so if you know others who are interested in a good, positive, Christian-based baseball environment to learn the game and grow as young men, we’d love to talk with them.

If you are not a currently a part of one of our teams and would like more information please leave us a comment below.

Mid Summer Classic 7u Sunday Schedule

Hello Mudcats,

Sunday Schedule for the 7u tournament has just been updated and we play at 9:30 am on Queenston 1 vs. Cypress Outlaws. We have a really good chance to make it to the Finals if we can start off with a good game. See everyone at the ballpark at 8:45am

Coach Randy

Mid-Summer Classic Tournament

Hello All,

As Coach Ray posted earlier, the 7u Mudcats will be playing in the Mid Summer Classic this weekend.  We will playing Team Mizuno Houston at 8am Saturday on Queenston 1 and the Cypress Outlaws at 11am on Queenston 1.   We are looking forward to having a good tournament and ending the Spring  Season with a Bang.  Wish us luck.

For the 7u parents of players participating in the Tournament, we will be having practice at the field in Bridgeland at 6:30pm on Thursday June 10th.

Coach Randy

Click Here for the Schedule of the Weekend

Tournament, Summer and Live Game Stats!

The 7U Mudcats will be competing this weekend in the Mid-Summer Classic.  Coach Randy will be posting more information for the weekend shortly.

Summer League for the 5u Mudcats should be released soon.  Here is some information on Summer League: 

  • Games begin June 28
  • Games will be played Monday-Thursday evenings. (Friday’s will be used sparingly if necessary)
  • Rain-outs could be made up on Saturdays
  • Season will be complete the first or second week of August (depending on weather)
  • All divisions will play 10 regular season games followed by a single elimination play-off
  • Through the new GameChanger iPhone app, our scorekeepers for both teams will now be able to track live stats during games!  This will allow you to keep up with live action in real time or check the box scores, stats and more from any computer after the games.  Click below to become a fan…

    Become a fan of the Cypress Mudcats 7U
    Become a fan of the Cypress Mudcats 5U

    Year End Pictures

    There are some new pictures from the 5u team posted.  If you have photos from the year please email them my way.  It has been a fun year and I am thankful to all of you for your participation!

    -Coach Ray