Mr. Cloudy's Shelter
A Place to Listen and be Heard

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You should have caught that ball!

Okay, a rant against Little League coaches, even the nicest ones I've encountered.

Other teams hits a solid ground ball that goes through a fielders legs because he didn't get his glove all the way down.

A teammate throws a ball in the dirt to the first baseman, who gives in to instinct and turns his head away for protection. Ball skips past him.

And the seemingly universal coaching response: "You should have caught that ball!" I suppose, but what's the point of yelling it?

Emotional venting by the coach. There's no actionable information, just an attempt to shame the player into doing things differently the next time by public humiliation. Does this really work? Not that I can tell. And by the way, if most of your coaching occurs at the time a mistake has already been made, you aren't really coaching.

Most of the little league mistakes I see are made from ignorance or lack of sufficiently developed habits, not from lack of desire to do well, or even lapses in concentration (the latter happen, but they happen just as frequently in coaches who don't tell a player before the play what the key thing to keep in mind is).

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