Tryouts are here, listen up boys

Well, we’re approaching the time for tryouts. I want to talk alittle about being coachable. I can’t stress how important it is to be a coachable kid. If your looking to make a JV or Varisty team, your going to need to listen. And listen well. If the coach tells you something during trouts listen to him! If another kid tells you something, listen to him! Make eye contant if the coach is helping you out. If he tells you something nod your head and listen. Show him that you are working on what he’s telling you to do. Even if you disagre with him. Pitching especially is a very complex topic and there is a lot of controversy. But I’d rather go against my beliefs, at least for tryouts, than not play baseball at all, I don’t know about you guys?

Almost every team has one of these kids. If your team has one of them take advantage of him. You know the kid who’s most likely a senior or experienced player. He’s good, maby very good. He knows his stuff and he’s a leader. He helps anyone out that he can. Trust me my friends, use this kid to your full advantage. If any player, especially the good ones that you know will make the team, tell you to do something listen to them. First off they will make you better. Second, if your coach sees one of these guys complimenting you for doing what he says and this is a trusted kid by the coach, that makes you look good. Use that to your full advantage.

If you guys don’t think this is important your foolish. Let me give you an example. Last year we had quite a few 8th graders trying out for the team. But first you have to pass a fitness test. But we had a few too many and the Athletic Director wanted our coach to choose his best 5 or so. Well now my coach is in a prediciment. He has these kids that he knows little about and has to weed out the bad ones. I was standing next to the coach and he’s complaining about having to cut kids before tryouts by seeing them throw in a gym. He sees this one kid and says to me, “wow that kids got a prety good arm, he throws sidearm though. You played in the summer with him what do you think?” I responded, well your right he has an arm but honeslty he’s not coachable. I tried to correct his weird sidearm throw and give him tips for pitching. He didn’t budge. Them my coach said, “Yeah well I was talking to him about the way he throws and he wasn’t listening to me or trying to change.”

The kid never got a chance to do the fitness test and tryout for the team. Just like that, my coach didn’t want any part of a kid that’s not going to be coachable. If your young especially make sure you show the coach that he can sculpt you into what he wants. No coach wants a youngin’ that isn’t going to listen or get any better.

Make sure you think this over during tryouts. Good luck to all.

Bower

Keep this in mind… Coaches want kids that produce results.

there are five things that are usually evaluated during a mass tryout. general body physique; running speed, arm strength, hitting and glove. usually in that order (unless you are a catcher or a pitcher.

the easiest way to make the team is a strong arm and you can develop it (it’s a little late for tryout in 2 weeks). if you can throw, you stand out. you can play many positions and possibly pitch.

next is the bat. if you can hit, they will find a place for you to play. hitting inside in a cage is tough to evaluate and even outside it’s hard to tell in one outing. take your hardest swings during tryouts. the old don’t try to kill it is not real good advice during this time unless you are swinging and missing. good coaches are looking for bat speed and how the ball comes off the bat. the harder you swing the better it comes off the bat.

running speed is the hardest to develop if you don’t have it. if you have it you will get noticed. if you can’t run you are limited to 1b, catch or dh, and these are where the bast hitters in baseball live so you better hit a ton or pitch.

glove can get you on the team but there are lots of guys playing that have weak gloves that are athletes. some will argue this but take it for what it is worth.

your body can get you on the team. if you are athletic they will take you first unless someone has skills that can’t be overlooked. there is something to be said for spending time in the weight room.

take it for what it’s worth. my opinion

"…“wow that kids got a prety good arm, he throws sidearm though. You played in the summer with him what do you think?” I responded, well your right he has an arm but honeslty he’s not coachable. I tried to correct his weird sidearm throw and give him tips for pitching. He didn’t budge. Them my coach said, “Yeah well I was talking to him about the way he throws and he wasn’t listening to me or trying to change.”

--------------I’m sure you mean well, Coach, but what lesson are you trying to suggest with your example: That you would not have picked Walter Johnson, Carl Hubbell, Dennis Eckersley, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, or any other of the hundreds of good sidearmers to pitch for your team? Or, that you would only pick them if they were coachable enough to change their mechanics to conform to your whim? Doesn’t sound like a real good program to me.

I’ve heard the “weird sidearm” tag applied to position players, too. Turns out, if you look for stills taken of MLB infielders at their release point (try GettyImages) it will be pretty hard to find one that doesn’t throw side-armed.

[quote=“laflippin”]"…“wow that kids got a prety good arm, he throws sidearm though. You played in the summer with him what do you think?” I responded, well your right he has an arm but honeslty he’s not coachable. I tried to correct his weird sidearm throw and give him tips for pitching. He didn’t budge. Them my coach said, “Yeah well I was talking to him about the way he throws and he wasn’t listening to me or trying to change.”

--------------I’m sure you mean well, Coach, but what lesson are you trying to suggest with your example: That you would not have picked Walter Johnson, Carl Hubbell, Dennis Eckersley, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, or any other of the hundreds of good sidearmers to pitch for your team? Or, that you would only pick them if they were coachable enough to change their mechanics to conform to your whim? Doesn’t sound like a real good program to me.

I’ve heard the “weird sidearm” tag applied to position players, too. Turns out, if you look for stills taken of MLB infielders at their release point (try GettyImages) it will be pretty hard to find one that doesn’t throw side-armed.[/quote]

True, but your talking about professionals. The kid has no control. I see that a lot of kids at the highschool level that throw sidearm, have very little control. It’s usually a result of trying to be like a pro, when your not. The kid has great power, little control and threw sidearm. I’m willing to bet if he broght his armslot up and worked on good mechanics, he would have been able to throw with good accuracy. Though this doesn’t apply to everyone, everyone has a differnet armslot, I understand that. But a lot of youngsters see pro’s throwing sidearm, try to mimic that but have no control. I totally understand what your saying though.

The point was, the kid was getting good power, but not the correct results, consiering the control problem. The kid would have had a chance if he was willing to correct his mechanical problem, that was obviously not producing results for him, and making the team.

[quote=“dusty delso”]there are five things that are usually evaluated during a mass tryout. general body physique; running speed, arm strength, hitting and glove. usually in that order (unless you are a catcher or a pitcher.

the easiest way to make the team is a strong arm and you can develop it . if you can throw, you stand out. you can play many positions and possibly pitch.
[/quote]

Great post, that is very true. It’s a little late to do some of those things, like you said, but I wanted to try and mention the little things that you can apply now to help your chances of making the team.

Great post though.

alot of kids, mostly little leaguers see sidearm pitchers in the mlb and think it looks really cool so they try it and dont realize they can seriously hurt themselves

what is so dangerous about throwing from the side or down under? i don’t think throwing from the side is any more dangerous than throwing above the shoulder if the ball is rolling primarily off the end of the fingers

Well it’s not any more dangerous if that’s your natural armslot. Problem is a lot of kids force the sidearm, because of the “cool” factor. Leading to problems. Especially control.

Thanks for questioning that assumption, Dusty.

There is nothing at all inherently dangerous about throwing from any of the normally accessible arm-slots. In fact, they are all represented among elite pitchers–from Chad Bradford to Mike Myers to Randy Johnson to Roger Clemens to Trevor Hoffman. The various arm-slots are not represented equally though–relatively few pitchers go “over the top” or from “down under”. Most are in that range from sidearm to 3/4. Sidearmers include some of the pitchers with the longest effective careers including the two Johnsons, Walter and Randy.

IMO, the biggest problem with trying to change a kid’s armslot is that most coaches literally haven’t taken the time to understand how pitchers actually achieve a high one (of course, a high armslot is always the goal of the coaches who want kids to change). To their credit Paul Nyman, Mike Marshall, and Tom House all recognize and agree on one basic issue—pitchers do not achieve a high armslot by simply raising their elbow above their acromial line. Anyone can do that while standing still–but it’s essentially physically impossible to get the elbow more than a few degrees above the acromial line (or, plane of the shoulders) during the stress of a high speed pitch.

So, how do Trevor, Sandy and Hideo get that super-high armslot? They drastically lean their torso away from the throwing side, of course, but how many coaches actually teach that? I’ve never heard a youth coach teach kids to lean their torso over into release of the ball–it’s always, “Get your elbow up”…as if kids are supposed to understand something that their adult coaches don’t know themselves.

If you look carefully at frontal view photos, taken at the release point, basically every pitcher is a “sidearm” pitcher–some just lean their torsos away from the throwing side (to get high) and a few lean toward the throwing side (to get low).

I really disagree with the notion that there are a bunch of Little Leaguers out there imitating somebody’s MLB sidearm delivery on purpose–first, very few people are really aware that some of best MLB pitchers are/were sidearmers. Second, LL coaches always want them to imitate Sandy Koufax.

You make a great point. I know a couple kids who have good sidearm throws, but sometimes when you see a kid throwing sidearm with bad “sidearm” mechanics, it’s esaier to change them to overthe top and teach them the correct mechancis. Though I disagree with that. This whole thing isn’t pitching related though. If you want to take it to a ptiching perspective it should be whatever the kid is comfortable with. But if you can’t hit a target in practice throwing sidearm, it’s easy for the coach to teach the easier over the top, or 3/4 isntead of throwing downunder. And if your in the middleschool agegroup, and your throwing sidearm, with virtaully no control I’d say your not using your natural armslot. If you were then you should have some control.

Thanks, Bower, by the way…there’s another point that shouldn’t be lost among all the chatter about armslots: The spirit of your general advice about tryouts, and Dusty’s excellent follow-up remarks, have a lot of value.

“Coachable” may look slightly different to different people but it always includes: Eye contact, responsiveness, hustle, eager to learn, and a few other such qualities.

“Uncoachable” probably also comes in many flavors, but my list would include: Evasive, sullen, argumentative, whiny, sluggish.

I agree with Bower too… There is a kid who is trying out and some of the more experienced guys trying to help him out with his base running and all he had to say is “SHUT UP!!!”

I helped him today when we doing outfield fielding and he listened to me and said alright…

but ya… I had to listen to coach a couple times today… lol
He nearly got all up in my face…

Greg