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Baseball Discussion Group / Head Games / Baseball requires a certain makeup

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Posted By Discussion Topic: Baseball requires a certain makeup

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05-05-2004 @ 8:12 AM                          
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Joined: Apr 2003
In another thread "Chemistry vs Talent", Bob Byrd wrote:
> Baseball requires a certain makeup. It is a waste
> of time trying to change the personality of an
> individual.
> Makeup counts for so much in this game. We ignore
> it at our peril.

My kid is 13u, playing at the highest competitve level in Georgia. He's a decent player and his team is very good, with excellent coaching. He has good speed and loves to run the bases, and is a good agressive baserunner. In practice, he has a tendency to "play" and not execute as if it is a game situation during baserunning drills. His coach has previously spoken to him and a few others about getting more serious when they go between the lines.

I agree with the coach, so I gave him a brief lecture (30 seconds) driving home from last night's practice. However, he is one of those kids that is a joy to watch play, because you can see on his face he is having fun out there. We'll play 85 or so games this year, so I don't want to risk sucking the fun out of the game.

Mr. Harbison / Bob / Thop - What advice can you give me for finding the balance between focus and fun, for a kid with this kind of makeup? As Bob mentions above, I don't plan on asking him to change his personality, maybe just channel it a little better. As we move up the chain from LL to HS and possibly college, it obviously gets more serious. As Bob said "baseball requires a certain makeup". Maybe you could expand on that thought in this thread. Thanks.

... Tyrone

05-05-2004 @ 3:52 PM                          
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Joined: Sep 2001
A player’s (good, positive) makeup, the way I see it involves several attributes (qualities I have seen in all the players that have advanced under our tutelage).

A great work ethic at practice and in the off-season.

The ability to grasp the game and the way it works.

The quality of understanding and accepting the inevitable failures of the game.

A desire to learn the nuances and subtleties of baseball.

Good character with no ‘baggage’ in their lives away from baseball.

Has good aptitude for learning.

Is Coachable.

Understanding that ‘fun’ on a baseball field is improving and learning skills.

Has a quiet confidence.

Accepts winning and losing in the same steady manner.

Is never disruptive in a dugout.

Have a desire to help others.

There are others but I don’t have any more time.

Yes, most of these things can be ‘channeled’. And they are learned and absorbed over the years and at different levels.

But first they have to have that desire to excel. Parents as well as coaches play a large role in a player’s future.

Bob Byrd

05-07-2004 @ 11:28 AM                          
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Joined: Sep 2003
I'm surprised there aren't more coaches and dads chiming in here, as I'm sure the tendency for kids to horse around at practice or in the dugout isn't limited to just one or two ballplayers.  At least half of our team falls into this category, and unfortunately my son is sometimes right up there with the best of the clowns.

I've talked to my son about why he horses around in practice, he's told me the biggest reason is because practice is so boring.  I can't argue with him too much about that fact, in the past our practices have not been well thought out - the typical deal with a pitcher, batter, and 10 kids standing around doing nothing.  We're slowly improving on that.

During games we usually have more than our share of horseplay in the dugout.  Again my son usually doesn't instigate anything, but once it gets going he's right in the middle of it.  He hustles his fanny off during the game, but in the dugout it sometimes appears that he couldn't care less about the game.  I have managed to win a small victory in that he'll usually get his catchers gear on after batting without being told.

One game we all came down really hard on all the kids, they sat silently in the dugout for the entire game.  Talk about uninspired play!  We declared that a failed experiment.  It's obvious they play better when they're loose, but as has been mentioned we need to figure out how to channel the fun and games.  So far the best compromise seems to be to leave them alone up to the point that they start spitting Gator-Aid at each other or climbing the dugout fences.  All suggestions will be welcome.

05-08-2004 @ 7:55 AM                          
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Joined: May 2002
"Idle hands are the Devil's workshop."

Keep 'em busy counting pitches, figuring out what pitch the pitcher just threw, keeping the score book, make sure your teaching them, this will help keep them engaged.

One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.
Nolan Ryan

04-12-2006 @ 12:09 PM                          
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Joined: Mar 2006
85 games at 13?

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