“Good is the greatest obstacle to become GREAT!”
REVIEW and COMMENTS
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 the 11U championship. 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 enthusiasm and demeanor on the field. 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 8U team made it to the championship! They played their hearts out but lost 4-3 in the bottom of the 6th!!! In the rain!!
We use the Memorial Tourney as a “spring training”/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. DO NOT Be concerned with individual stats or failures..WNM!
“Playing Time” raised its ugly head once again, albeit, if only in a very few cases. Please do again read the information sheet we sent out to EVERY Klouter family(attached again) so it is clear in your mind what we are doing. The best way to earn playing time is to work harder and get better. The more I see a player and interact with him/her(camps, work outs, etc) the better I can evaluate their abilities. Summer camps and winter workouts allow us not to just evaluate the players but to establish a more viable system to measure passion, grade skill sets, and base our playing time more on merit than on other factors. Playing time will never be equal and the guiding factor will always be what we feel is BEST for THE TEAM!! It is We Not Me(WNM)..if you are not playing, work harder and prove you should be playing more. Also, asking me when you will get in, will never get you in!
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 THEY 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.
Another important take away from this tourney was, simply, never quit! The 11U team played with just 9 players most of the tourney. They had little room for error or mistakes. That being said they did not grumble, make excuses or quit! Many factors were out of their control: from sore arms to tiredness! However, they did not quit and pulled it off…when the tourney ended they won ALL five games with a masterpiece 1-0 one-hit championship victory! Kudos to the team and the coaches! The second takeaway is that in each game we need to adjust to the game. There are many things we cannot control, BUT we can adjust to what we can control. Adjusting to two strike counts, taking a short quick stroke/swing, keeping the weight back as a hitter, NOT reaching for curve balls, etc….these must occur during the game. Trying to out-swing a fast ball pitcher will not work…risking shoddy base running will not work…failing to bunt for a sacrifice will kill us…and many more. It is time to evaluate your skill sets and work on the mentality of being a baseball player. Work harder and get to camp..this always helps.
Five Key Lessons From the Tourney:
- 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. Make the two-strike adjustment. Get shorter bats will help as will working with wood in practice!
- We win with Defense(W3D): Go To The Ball on every play and remember B-B-B..ball, base, back up!! Use two hands and find the 4-seams before throwing the ball.
- When running the bases do NOT look at the ball…you are to look at the third base coach and run as hard and fast as you can. David Freer was superb with this!
- When sliding: slide away from the tag and not into the bag or tag. Slide OUTSIDE the bag.
- Pitching: It is as simple as throwing only harder!! Pitch to contact…your job is to get the batter to hit the ball. We must eliminate the walks. Work on mirror drills and throw 3-5x per week…and throw long toss..see handout!
In our Klouter program we do not keep statistics nor do we name Most Valuable Players. We are one BIG team(WNM) 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: 8U: Maysen Bury, Colby Innes, Sam Lunden. 9U: Josh Akiyama 10U: Nico Leon, Jacob Freer, Finn Turner 11U: Nick Ennis, Mathias Bolton, Jack Turner W3D!! Plays to Remember and Web Gems: #1 Play of the Tourney: Nico Leon’s catch and pickle play in the same game! Colby Innes’s catch. Nate Z’s play to home. Nick Ennis’s two web gems in the championship game. Will Kunz’ 1U. Augie Schmidt’s web gem catch. Maysen Bury’s two web gems in the same inning. Pitching: 8U: Sam Lunden, Jayden Bury(4-pitch inning), Ben Webster, Beckett Daily. 9U: Josh Akiyama. 10U: STAFF!! 11U: Evan Mothersbaugh, Will Kunz, Cooper Young.
Double Plays: The Walk-off with Wanke and Turner. Nick Ennis to Cooper Young.
Defensive Highlight of the Tourney: Evan Mothersbaugh and Will Kunz six inning 1-0 one-hit championship shut out! A great TEAM effort but the pitching was superb..mixed their pitches and kept the other team off balance ALL game! The entire team should have signed the infield as it was a true artistic masterpiece!
The 9-3 Club etal: First tourney in a number of years where there were no 9-3, 8-4, 7-4 or other OF force outs..be aggressive on defense. W3D!!!
Home Runs: 11U: Evan Mothersbaugh, Cooper Young, Jack Turner Triples: 11U: Will Kunz. 8U: Sam Lunden(2) Key Hitting: 8U: Sam Lunden, Brayden Briggs 10U: FinnTurner, Colby Cooke, Grant Mundel(key bunt) 11U: Will Kunz, Jack Turner
Most Improved Player for the Tourney: Brayden Briggs(8U)
Things WE need to work on:
- 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!!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!
- 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!!
- 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.
- 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)
- 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!
- “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!!!
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!!!!!!!
GAGPTH! KWTP! ZEQ! LTD! FAW! WNM! W3D! HTBHUTM, PUP, and KTS!!!!! Coach Phil
Camp begins on the 27th of June..ALL8-9Us and under should attend as many as they can..first week is crucial(Both camps), June 27-July 1. Tell your friends and others..GAGPTH!