2014 “Heroes of Everett” Memorial Tourney REVIEW and COMMENTS

May 27, 2014

May 24-25 2014

“Everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it!”


I hope all are back to “normal”, all aches have subsided, and you are back in your school and family routines! The Klouter teams played very well and won two championships(10 and 11). Each of our 4 teams played exciting baseball and stayed to our game plan of “must get ball” defense and solid “small ball” at the plate. I am very proud of our ability to adapt and to FAW! Each and every player contributed to our success! THANKS to all the parents that worked the booth and Klouter Kitchen..both were a huge success!!! Tourney Highlight: The 10U team played and won a game in 58 minutes!! Love those guys!

We use the Memorial Tourney as a practice venue to see what we have for the summer season. Despite the weather and conditions, I learned a lot about all of the players, especially their attitude and ability to adjust to the situation. I am very proud of all the coaches, players, and families as this tourney gave us information that we can use as guidelines for further instruction, camp lesson plans, and individual analysis and work. The losses we incurred were all “winnable” games. At this point it most important to learn what we need to do in order to develop cohesive teams and what skill sets we need to work on as an individual and team.

Baseball is a very interesting game and sport. It is important to remember that baseball is really a mental game that requires physical execution. It is a TEAM game based on individual skill sets that must mesh together as one in order to accomplish a common goal. The goal is NOT to win but to work together and be the best YOU can be at achieving the common goal. The byproduct is winning. A team game requires doing whatever it takes to help the team…in some cases that means sacrificing yourself for the advancement of the team(WNM). It is very difficult for many to look long term and realize that youth development is about failing and not getting your way; baseball is a game of fallibility because you will not always succeed nor will you always play, and if you do, it might not be where you want to play. In the end, it is how you deal with the competition and failure, the dearth of fairness, and then the reality of getting back up and doing your best no matter what!!! FAW!

The most important thing to take away from this tourney is the fact that this is not Little League or youth league baseball. The teams are more skilled and much more competitive. Klouter players must “turn it up” and forget the LL stats and heroics. We play team baseball and it is very important to not just bring you’re “A game” but to remain focused, know the signs and YOUR job. It is WE not ME!! Many players have an issue or problem with the transition and must change to fit the team. The only way we learn to play is as a team and with each player giving up his individuality for the team. Not everyone is going to play equally or play where they want to play..it is the coach’s job to coach and the player’s to play! That being said, it is the player’s responsibility to go through the chain of command if he has questions or issues. Please review the information we discussed at the parent meeting and that is with the PLAYING TIME information handout.

At times I heard grumblings about the weather. MY answer, “It’s wet, so what?” “Too hot, really?” Fact: There is nothing you or we or anyone else can do about it. Adapt and play on!! Everybody talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it! Live with it and use it as an advantage not an excuse. Focus on the job at hand!! Also, players are not to ask the coach when they are going into the game; that is the quickest way to not get in! This weekend our goal was to have as many players get into a game as possible, to include the taxi players. We accomplished that goal to a great degree. Play will not be equal(See Playing Time info sheet) as our goal is to build good, solid teams and for the next four tourneys we will attempt to increase playing time. The best thing to do is to work hard and improve ALL skill sets!!! If a player wants to play, THEY will work and improve..not in games but “on their own”!! Camp is the best way to learn the game and improve individual play(first one is June 23rd).

The 10 and 11U teams won their brackets for a number of reasons but the keys were: Both teams played team ball, they made very few basic errors, the pitchers did not walk but a few batters(only 4 runs scored on walks; zero runs scored vs our 11s)), hitters put the ball in play, and they stayed on task. Both teams play aggressive and competitive ball and will not beat themselves!!! KWTP!! The 10 and 11s have team spirit and help each other out..the 11s have a Shout Out after every game and have fun playing..younger players need to watch tem play.

Five Key Lessons From the Tourney:

1. Focus on a short, quick swing. Too many are using bats that do not fit your ability. Choke up and control the bat. Eliminate or shorten stride. 2. When running the bases..run at FULL speed and do not watch the ball..look at the coach and sprint! Listen to commands. 3. Leads: After the ball is pitched, get a good secondary lead..that means get away from the base in a balanced position with your eyes on the BALL. Listen to the coach. Stay in the lead position until the pitcher has the ball. Be aggressive. 4. Adjust to the pitcher: Move up or back in the batter’s box according to his velocity. 5. Go to the ball on defense at FULL speed…do not wait..MUST GET BALL!!

In our Klouter program we do not keep statistics nor do we name Most Valuable Players. We are one BIG team and need to constantly work on the mechanics of the game and develop team chemistry and success. However, we do acknowledge exceptional play and successes.

Defensive Players of the Tourney: 9U: Tommy B, Evan M, Mathias B, Will Kunz, Tanner B 10U: Sawyer K, Easton T, Aiden A 11U: Cole D, Joe E, Evan G.. W3D!! Plays to Remember and Web Gems: #1 Play of the Tourney: 11U: Nick J’s throw to Dean-O who then flicked it to Evan to get the runner at 3rd!! A real team effort! Gems: Sam Stupey in center on a bullet! Gems: Keenan M and Aiden A. Pitching: 11U: Davis F, Ryan L, Dylan O, and Evan G: 18 innings, ZERO runs allowed, 3 hits, and 2 walks! Really?? (48-0 composite score for 4 games in 18 innings). 10U: Aiden D, Easton T, Sawyer K, Aiden A, Logan P: 2 runs allowed and 31-3 composite). 9U: Taylor F, Grant Oliver, Mathias B, Spencer B, and Evan M. Catcher’s TOS: Joe E(2), Logan P(1)

The 7-4 Club: Noah P(9U)..threw a runner out at 2nd from left field.

Home Runs: 11U: Ryan L(2-one a walk off in semis); Joe E(2) 10U: Aiden D(1-old school). Triples: Easton T(3), Taylor F(2), Grant O. Ryan L and Davis F both missed the “cycle” by one part..Davis needed an HR and Ryan need a single.

Most Improved Player for the Tourney: Quinn I(11U)

Things WE need to work on:

1. Ability to move a runner: Hitters must focus on moving the runner over. This means working on bat control, discipline, and BUNTING. Your job as a hitter is to put the ball in play. Practice bunting, a good short, quick swing, and staying off BAD pitches. A BUNT is a sacrifice…BUNT first and then run..you must bunt the ball in fair territory and then run!! BASES loaded…must make contact!!
2. Always know the situation. Prior to each play, you must think about what you will do when you get the ball hit to you. If you do not get the ball cover a base, if the bases are covered, back up the play somewhere. Too many times various players were watching the game! Remember: B3..ball, base, backup.
3. Adjust to the pitcher and the umpire. We do not wish to see emotion if the umpire makes a bad call. This will hurt our team and also YOUR reputation and playing time. If the umpire is calling the pitches low, then adjust…same with high pitches. Get UP to the plate and you will not have problems seeing the ball.
4. Go to the Ball on EVERY pitch when on defense: As the pitcher is winding up, begin creeping and moving to the ball…do NOT wait for it!!! MUST GET BALL!!!
5. Flyballs to the Outfield: First step is BACK. If it is over your head, turn sprint, and get it; do not drift to it. You should always catch a fly ball with two(2) hands(when possible) and be moving towards home on every catch..run through a fly ball!!
6. STAY OFF HIGH PITCHES: Do not swing at ANY pitches above your hands. If you are going to hitting cages, this will make that worse. Use a tee and hit balls into a net again and again. Place the ball waist high and work on repetitions.
7. Adjust for 2-strike counts: GET UP ON THE PLATE and choke up. You can not take a long swing..it needs to be short and quick, and you must make CONTACT. If it is close, SWING!!! Contact with RISP(Runners in Scoring Position) 11U team left 10 runners on in 6-5 loss!
8. Pitchers: “Pitch to Contact”-Keep the ball low and change speeds, location, and pitches. Let your defense play! 0-2 Count on a batter..they must not get any pitch to hit..”purpose pitch” time!! Do not throw a changeup for a strike..it is used to deceive the batter and ruin his timing!
9. “Win one for the Team”: Always be working to make the team better. Practice on your own and GET GOOD! Throw 3-5 times a week for 10-15 minutes and play long toss when appropriate. We need to focus on fundamentals…that is why our players are better than the others! Get to it!!!

Team Specifics:

9U: We need to know the signs..they are very simple(skin=steal, belt=bunt, and fist=take). Look at the 3rd base coach before entering the batter’s box EVERY at bat. Go to the ball! Men on base requires contact hitting…adjust your swing so it is SHORT and QUICK! Each game we lost was by one run. What could YOU have done differently to make a difference? Catchers MUST block ALL balls!!

10U: Work on two-strike hitting..must shorten swing!! Run through all batted balls…do not run to the ball and stop, but continue through the ball. “Find it, field it, fire it, follow it!!” Slide OUTSIDE the bag. NO Leadoff walks for the other team.

11U: Excellent tourney and TEAM effort. Work on bunting and keeping a positive attitude. Shorten swings against fast ballers and adjust in the box according to the speed of the pitcher. Pitchers continue to “pitch to contact”…vary speeds and location. OUTSTANDING WORK but strive to get better!

Overall, we had a VERY good start, but this is just the beginning. Commit to your game and work hard…see you soon. Work on FOCUS and do not do more than you can do!! Always think, “Hit ME the ball”!!! KNOW the SITUATION before the play begins.

KLOUTER Winning Formula: Attitude+ Hustle=TEAM SUCCESS

Smart Pitching(to contact), hustle defense, “small ball” baseball, contact 2-strike hitting..Klouter traits with a FAW Credo!!!!!!!


Next up!
Camp begins on the 23 of June..ALL 9Us and under should attend as many as they can..first week is crucial, June 23-27. Tell your friends and others..GAGPTH!