I’m Just Sayin’ 4

April 30, 2009 at 11:29 am | Posted in I'm Just Sayin' | 4 Comments
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I coached girls’ little league tee-ball and softball for about 12 years, because I have three daughters. I was not the greatest coach ever, but, I’m just sayin’, in those 12 years, I did gain some experience. I learned a few things.

One of the most important things I learned was that, although softball/baseball has a special jargon, as a coach, you can not assume that young girls understand all, or even any, of it.

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The last year that I coached I did not get to be a head coach. I was an assistant coach. The head coach of our team was a nice guy, but I’m just sayin’, when it came to communicating with the girls on the team, he did not have a clue.

We can argue about whether 9 and 10 year old girls should know what “play deep” or “choke up on it” means, but, whether or not they should know, the fact is, most of them do not know.

Girls that age need to be told where to stand, where to look, where to run, where to throw, and when to get a bat, a helmet, or a glove. They need to be told that they can’t take their Nintendo onto the field. I’m just sayin’.

When the coach will not realize or accept this principle, the results range from frustrating to disastrous.

Coach: (Jumping up and down yelling, as the ball is thrown into the infield, and the base runner is halfway from second base to third) “Get on the bag! Get on the bag!”

He means for the player to hurry up and get her feet on third base. But she does not know that “bag” means base, so she thinks he is saying, “Get on back! Get on back!” She turns and heads back to second base, and is tagged out.

Coach: “Go two! Go two!” The coach’s team is on defense, so he means that when a ground ball is hit to the infield they should throw it to second base for the force-out.

But the girls hear, “Go two!” and think, “What? I just went to the bathroom and did ‘number one’ before the game. I don’t have to ‘go two.'”

Coach: “Full count!” This happens when he is telling the batter there are three balls and two strikes. But the batter is now looking around wildly for a European nobleman who had too much to eat. Maybe he’s skulking around the concession stand with a cape and a rapier. Meanwhile, strike three goes sailing by.

Coach: “Good eye! Good eye!” This is yelled down to the batter after she wisely decided not to swing at a bad pitch. (I played organized baseball from age 4 to age 18, and no one ever yelled “Good eye!” to me.) The batter is now wondering if her mother was right in saying that she’s too young to wear mascara.

The confusion is endless. As a coach it is exhausting having to explain things like, “When that girl who has the bat hits the ball to you, be sure and bend down and pick it up FIRST, and then run – as fast as you can – like when you are chasing your little brother out of your room – and step on this base here – WHILE YOU’RE STILL HOLDING the ball.” Very un-baseball-lingo sounding, I know. But very necessary if you want to get an out, end the inning, and get home in time for homework, bath, and bed. I’m just sayin’.

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  1. […] families. With God’s help, you can make a Bible lesson out of swimming in a lake, hitting a softball, or teaching a teen-aged child how to drive a […]

  2. […] at the fundamentals. This is true of academic, athletic, and practical endeavors. When I coached tee-ball, we didn’t start off by learning how to turn a double play, or hit the cut-off man. We […]

  3. […] of Christianity: how we were saved, why we’re supposed to be baptized, etc. When I coached tee-ball, we started with the fundamentals. It’s sort of cute when a four year old hits the ball and […]

  4. […] her school’s co-ed team. I think they won one game (maybe two). After encouraging her to play tee-ball when she was small, fast-pitch softball as she grew older, and finally four years of high school […]


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