May 06, 2003
Feeling a little down

We had a tough game on Saturday. The game was originally scheduled for 9 AM on May 3. A few weeks ago, the other team's coach emailed me to ask if we could move the game to Friday night, since he had a conflict on Saturday. I agreed and made the arrangements. A little while after that, I was told that the elementary school that many of my kids attend was having a school dance on that Friday, and that half of my team would have to miss the game if it were played then. So I went back to the other coach and said sorry, we need to move the game back to its original time. He agreed. Unfortunately, during the time that the game had been moved, one of my better players made plans for Saturday. Two other kids missed the game as well, one of which I did not know about beforehand. We wound up playing with only eight fielders as a result.

We had a great practice on Thursday, in which everyone got to do a lot of hitting and came away feeling good about it, but it largely didn't carry over to Saturday. We are still improving at the plate, but there's a lot of room yet to go.

We had two runners thrown out on the bases during the game, which is the Little League equivalent of taking a third strike in slow-pitch softball. Good baserunning depends more on experience than on athleticism, so it's an issue on a team like ours that's fairly green. I stressed to the players that they need to do what the base coaches tell them to do. If it turns out to be wrong, it's our fault and not theirs.

Good things do still happen, even in tough games like this one. One of the outfielders made a sliding catch on a fly ball, which resulted in wild applause from the stands, a huge grin on his face, and a game ball for his effort. I overheard him afterwards saying that the outfield is cool. That's one less thing for me to worry about.

I was really feeling down after this game, feeling like I haven't done much to help the kids get better as baseball players. I'm okay now, after getting some reassurance from Tiffany and going to see X2: X-Men United on Saturday night. We play again tonight. I'm ready for it.

UPDATE: This is the attitude that I hope we play with for the rest of the season.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 06, 2003 to Just call me Coach | TrackBack