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#540670 - 08/01/09 02:42 PM Winterball 2009 Team Journal
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Fires, droughts, earthquakes, mudslides...and Winterball!! We in Southern California are blessed with the weather here, which allows us to play softball basically 9 months out of the year.

Our league's Winterball season will run from September through the beginning of November, with drafts tomorrow afternoon. It'll be like Christmas! I'm meeting with my assistant coach tonight to go over the available players and set our draft order and preferred practice days. WOO-HOOOOOO!! It's been six weeks since my All-Star team's season ended and I've been suffering *serious* withdrawals!!

Anybody care to share draft strategies?


Edited by Don -- Softball (08/11/09 01:36 PM)
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#540953 - 08/03/09 01:31 AM Re: Preparing for Winterball Draft [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Well, it's Winterball, so it's more laid back than the Spring season. By the time I draft my daughters' friends and my assistant coach's daughter's friends, I only had a couple of picks left :-)

So I ended up with a young team of really good girls, so we'll see how we do. I did get the best pitcher in the draft, so it can't be too bad, right?

I'm just thankful that a new season is starting! Practice starts tomorrow!
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#541228 - 08/05/09 03:40 AM Re: Preparing for Winterball Draft [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
First practice was last night. Gotta love "Winterball" when the temperature is 102 degrees.

While I look forward to the first day of practice, I'm also glad it is over. First day of practice includes addressing the parents, having the girls fill out their goals for the season, and walking through each station teaching the girls how to do it and what it is for. A lot more talking and a lot less doing than I like during a practice.

I *love* this group, though. Even the two newbie girls are better than you'd expect them to be.
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#541682 - 08/08/09 03:24 AM Re: Preparing for Winterball Draft [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Concluded our first week of practice focusing on weight transfer while batting, our standard fielding fundamental stations, and our first session of base running for the season. My one newbie, Cami, slides like a pro!!

I'm starting to really like this team!
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#542146 - 08/11/09 01:57 PM Re: Preparing for Winterball Draft [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Changed the title of this thread since it's turning into more of a journal on what we're doing.

Over the weekend, I got the word that a girl was being added to my team. She was a late registration and I was the next in line when we concluded the draft. In the past, I've gotten really lucky when a girl has been assigned to our team, so we'll see what happens. She had a doctor's appointment today, so we'll see her at practice on Wednesday.

Winterball is like our Spring Training, in that most of the girls are new, new to a division, or are working on new things. Same goes for my coaching -- now is the time to try new things and if they work, incorporate them into the routine in the Spring (and then hopefully All-Stars).

I'm focusing more on bunting and "little ball" this season. I think the bunt is WAY more important in softball than in baseball, where it's completely out of fashion. I intend to do a statistical analysis on softball and bunting one of these days, but until then I'll just have to figure out what works best for the team.

We worked on regular bunts, drag bunts and running push bunts yesterday. Most of the girls picked it up pretty well. I can't wait to try it in a game situation! Later in the season, we're going to play the Bunting Game, which is my favorite way to scrimmage internally, but the girls need to know how to bunt and how to defend the bunt before we get to that point.
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#542686 - 08/14/09 03:58 AM Re: Preparing for Winterball Draft [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Met the new player, Sam, yesterday and she has a great attitude and can hit *very* well. DEFINITELY much better than one would expect from a late registration who was placed on the team.

Also had a friend of one of the players come practice with us. She is a Junior on the High School team, and wanted to practice with us because she starts Travel Ball practice in a week. I tried to convince her to play with us this season (even though she's two years too old) instead of her travel team, but to no avail ;-)
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#542891 - 08/15/09 01:35 PM Re: Winterball 2009 Team Journal [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Had to cancel practice last night. I'm blessed to have a job where I can work from home and have enormous flexibility in my work hours most of the time. Yesterday, though, I was hosting a conference "down the hill" in San Diego and couldn't get home until too late.

I'm sure my players were just devastated!
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#543269 - 08/18/09 05:59 AM Re: Winterball 2009 Team Journal [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Bad news...one of my girls has something wrong with her foot and will be out at least 6 weeks, if not the whole season. Not only was she my youngest daughter's really good friend, she is also a really good young player (a 10-year old All-Star this summer). Oh well...we'll have to adapt and overcome.

I had planned on videoing each girl's swing so I could analyze their swings and improve their batting even more, but my photographer (read: my absent-minded son) forgot his camera. We'll have to video on Wednesday.

We had a great practice anyway. We had an hour of batting practice (we were the only team practicing today, so I used 3 batting machine stations), and then started to go over bunt defenses. We'll focus on that for the next few practices so we can execute properly when the season starts less than a month.
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#543612 - 08/20/09 03:00 AM Re: Winterball 2009 Team Journal [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
MAN, what a great practice today. For the first time in about a week and a half, I had my entire team there, and on time to boot!! I got everyone's swing videoed, so I'll work on the swing analyzes and hopefully have them ready for Friday's practice.

I worked every girl through every position on the infield, even pitcher and catcher, even for girls who will normally play outfield, and we worked on our bunt defense with nobody on, runner on first, lead runner on second and lead runner on third. Every girl started to get what we were trying to do and what every position does on a bunt.

We finished up practice with the Bunting Game, which I love and the girls love. They looked AWESOME, and some girls even tried drag bunting and push bunting.

The best practice we've had so far, by far!! WOO-HOOOOOOOO!!
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#543853 - 08/21/09 11:18 AM Re: Winterball 2009 Team Journal [Re: Don -- Softball]
Don -- Softball Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Ramona, CA
Finished video analysis of all my girls' swings last night and will hand them out at practice today.

These are the flaws we're going to fix:

1 girl has "bat drag"
5 girls don't transfer their weight right
1 girl needs to shorten her stride
2 girls needs to step out more on their toe than flat-footed
1 girl has both bat drag and weight transfer problems

So now they have something specific to focus on during batting stations, and I'll fold in some new stations that will address bat drag that will be fun and helpful for all the girls whether that have bat drag or not. Ditto, weight transfer (though we've already been working on that).

This is why I prefer to do this the first week of the season, instead of the third.
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