Daily Archives: July 15, 2010

What happens when old men demonstrate slidebys

Just had to share this photo. One week ago today I was explaining to our 14U Glory team about not sliding or running into a tag, especially at home. Instead, I said, if the ball beats you there use a slideby. Softball sliding strawberry

Knowing, however, that many people learn better by seeing than hearing, I positioned a catcher at home with the ball, strolled up the third base line, and then took a run at the plate. (I was wearing shorts at the time, incidentally.) As I approached the catcher I got out wide, beyond her reach, executed the slideby and touched the plate with one finger. Safe!

When I stood up to review what I’d just done, one of the girls pointed out that I was bleeding. I didn’t think much of it, but we took a break while I cleaned it off.

Turned out to be worse than I thought at first. In fact, the photo you see here is after a week of “healing.” It’s made for a great war story though, and it definitely demonstrated that I won’t ask my players to do anything I wouldn’t do.

Still, you’d think I’d know better. Old men, especially fat ones, and sliding are not a good combination. I have to think that the added weight didn’t do me much good as I tried to “glide” across the infield dirt.

In any case, while it looks bad I am fine. I’ve been wearing two 3″ x 4″ gauze pads over the area for the last week, changing them each morning before I head to work. It’s not as bad as it was, but I have a feeling I’ll be showing this particular scrape in some form for a few more weeks. Oh well, all for a good cause.

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Game to make batting practice more interesting

Batting practice can get boring sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time, especially when you’re working on a specific skill. But the other day I came up with an idea to make it a bit more interesting.

I was working with a hitter on generating a sacrifice fly with a runner on third. The idea was she had to hit an outfield fly ball no matter where the ball was pitched. We did it for a while, then we got serious.

Every time she hit a fly ball as required, she received a plus one. Every time she produced a popup or a weak ground ball, she received a minus one. A line drive or hard grounder was a “push” — neither plus nor minus. I could’ve made them minuses, but since they’d probably accomplish the goal of scoring the runner I decided to make them neutral.

You can set the game to any number you want. I selected five to keep things moving, and so the game was on. The object was to get to plus five before the hitter reached minus five.

Another variation would be to name two teams, such as the hitter’s first name v. her last name. The first name gets the pluses and the last name gets the minuses.

It’s fun, and it definitely puts some pressure on to perform. Next time you’re working on a specific hitting skill, give this game a try.

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