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 11U General Discussion
 Rec mentality or what??? I don't know.
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2012 :  15:33:25  Show Profile
I have heard it at least fifty times this year and on countless occasions from parents and coaches on various teams but not too much from teams with a good solid coaching foundation.

"We beat the heck out of em' on Saturday" or "We kicked their butts in pool play" and followed up by I have no idea what went wrong on Sunday or "they just got lucky today".

I hear this from my own relatives, friends and coaches who are all full tilt baseball familys. If a team is deep enough in pitching and don't have to throw their very best on Saturday or their four, five or six guys and you beat them on Saturday when you're throwing everything you have to include the kitchen sink you may beat them on Saturday only to watch them come back from a lower ranking than you to beat you or win it all on Sunday.

Your better coached and teams that are deeper in good pitching will play to win on Sunday as compared to throwing all they have on Saturday to win in pool play.

The other thing I have noticed is that quite a few of the teams I hear this from open up with a few runs and then live off the adrenaline for the duration of the game whereas on Sunday they've come in with less than their best pitching and the other team jumps out on top and the adrenaline is all but gone from the now losing team.

Is it a rec mentality as one of my friends calls it or what, speaking of the "we beat em' on Saturday guys" approach.

in_the_know

985 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2012 :  17:29:56  Show Profile
It's called not knowing how to coach in tournament ball. It's also not necessarily having a team built for tournament ball.

You see this at every level, including up to the top pro teams. How many pro teams finish the regular season with the best record, only to fall in the playoffs (tournament). Do the Braves of the 90's/00's come to mind?
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ecb11

31 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  06:40:37  Show Profile
It is 11 year old baseball; I don't believe there is nay rhyme or reason. Case in point, last season as 10's 643 was a solid team made up of local boys, they go to Cooperstown and win the entire thing with solid but not over powering pitching. While others had more quality pitching than normal due to roster additions in order to go strong on Sunday. I have seen 643 multiple times this season beginning Sunday with two or three of their best pitchers ready to go only to play one game. Using 643 as an example, I know it is not poor coaching, not a rec ball mindset. Kids are a fickle thing. I also know of some coaches that will throw top quality pitchers on a Friday or Saturday , play them in the field all weekend and yet still bring them back to throw on a Sunday.. This is can be so detrimental to a young athlete's arm however coaches 'just do it' for the win. Some coaches limit innings on arms and consequently this choice affects a team. While understanding it is still 11 year old baseball, some kids simply do not pan out or play to their ability. So does the coach replace the kid on the roster with someone who is excelling on another team? Doe she look outside of the geographic region for a player? Or does he work thru the season with the young athlete that is struggling? Some coaches look at only Sunday trophies as the measuring stick and will do anything to hoist it and beat their chest they are champions.
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  09:32:37  Show Profile
I agree with both itk and ecb11 and 643 is a good example with great kids and great coaching and you're also right that they are 11 and who knows which kids is showing up on that day and what's on their mind other than baseball when they're out there. I'm not referring to winning it all on Sunday. This is every weekend when these parents, coaches on a few teams end up playing one of the same teams in the quarters or semis or even a final that they beat in pool play nearly every single time they play. Two of these teams are talent rich and they always use the other team's "luck" or the "bad umpiring" which in that case it's been equally good / bad for both teams involved. I have never wanted to question their decision making but they throw and field their best while I see other teams making position / player changes and giving everyone a chance to pitch on pool play / when allowable so to speak.
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TeamMiamiDJ

21 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  10:10:18  Show Profile
Great topic. Just this past weekend we played a team that threw their best at us in pool play and got a 4-4 tie as the outcome. We used the game to give some great in game playing/development for our kids to field their 2nd or 3rd positions and let some of our other pitchers deal with pressure situations as well. Come Sunday we faced the same team in the finals and using one of our top 3 pitchers, we won 6-0. I think the mentality is simply VERY different for the coaches, kids, and parents between the Sunday Teams and Saturday Teams as you referred them. The other teams MAIN goal wasn't to win the whole thing, it was to contend with the best team there when they got their first opportunity. Our goal was to develop the kids and be fair to them, while playing to win on Sunday. It's hard to explain in a short paragraph on a site like this, but it's like Miami Heat in a way. Every one wants to beat them even if it's preseason and plays them with their all, while they're just concerned with getting ready for the playoffs... Anyways the other comment that these Sunday teams are just after trophies isn't true for all teams. There are teams that view the results on Sunday as a reward for all the hard work the kids put in during the week. And there are teams that do this without going out and "recruiting" studs. Also, if a player isn't "playing to their ability", and it isn't a slump, may have to do with what the player is or isn't doing consistently in practice? While replacement may be the easier way to improve a team, that solution shows what you're truly after, and is far less gratifying.
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Baseball12x

20 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  11:31:01  Show Profile
IMO, it boils down to how many top level pitchers you have. Majority of teams have 2-3 stud pitchers and can only go so far with that. The upper major level teams have at minimum 5 pitchers that can pitch on Sunday on their roster. That is the difference in the top 5 major teams in GA .vs. the ramaining 20+ major level teams. Given that, then the coaches have to make decisions on how they want to pitch certain kids in the tournament.
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TeamMiamiDJ

21 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  13:37:40  Show Profile
Pitching depth is part of it, but that's only a piece of why a top team may lose on a "saturday" game to a team they would normally beat if they both played as though they NEEDED to win that game. It's not just the pitcher they save, they probably won't start their #1 Catcher to rest his legs for the back to backs coming the next day, and if they have good talent from 1 through 10 (last) then those kids deserve the opportunity to play other positions they work on developing in practice at that time too. When a team "expects" to be there on the 3rd game of a back to back on Sunday, they have to approach the seeding games differently. Aside from the Catcher scenario there's the parental politics too. If you play 3 games and start your best shortstop at shortstop all 3 games and lose no one can fault you. If you make it all the way and start you best shortstop all 6 games, your parents will question why you aren't giving their kids the opportunity to play the other positions they practice in practice, at least during the less meaningful "saturday" games... Lots of between the lines on why in my opinion...
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2012 :  18:37:24  Show Profile
I agree with TM DJ completely on the Saturday teams vs. Sunday teams aspect of this. I understand what all goes into it etc. from all aspects but didn't want to just jump in with both feet and lay it out there. Wanted to ease into the topic the best way possible after hearing the things mentioned in the opening posts and considering family, friends and other coaches as well who are all closely related during the season.

It's always good to get a few other opinions because "and I'm guilty of this", what makes the most sense to me after forty plus years of being around the game I sometimes get it in my head that it's in stone and with no variation. It's hard or used to be harder to get me to see a different angle on something. I know a lot of others are guilty of this as well. The older I've gotten I actually rely on a few close people to steer me the right way at times. If not I'd totally botch it up at times. LOL
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