Is anyone's league trying to make changes to be more competitive in All Stars? Are yours making teams to play during the yr with rec leagues? What comittment is needed to improve pitchers/hitting? Do you bring in outside help-with coaching-to improve players? What are the most successful leagues doing that most are not?
Use a rating system each year for retiurning players. Put the names of the top players in a hat and pick them randomly. Then in the next round, the next tier rated players are picked all the way down to the lowest rated players.
If your league allows a head coach and an asst coach take their kids, then the combined rating of those kids are factored in. Since most teams have dads that coach their kids, you add up the rating score of the head coach and the assistants kids. If they're two high rated players, they draft down in the order and if their kids are lower rated with their combined score, then they pick earlier in the draft.
This way, you balance out the talent as much as possible and you could have a competitive league. There should be no such thing as property players in a rec league season. Come all-stars, then you pick the top players.
You need to work with the players before 6/15 on mechanics. We ran a Sunday doubleheader USSSA team concurrently with the LL season. It gave the top fifteen all-star candidates all-star quality competition every week all season. We had the knowledge base (for college and pro players) in the league to work on mechanics.
Also the travel competition exposed a couple of potential all-stars who had big stats in the LL regular season (accummulated against the weaker pitchers) as not being all-star talent.
Some programs encourage or require their potential all-stars to play fall ball and/or attend winter indoor workouts.
I know of a team that made the LLWS who didn't allow their players to play other sports leading into the tweleve year old season. They had year round baseball, physical and mental training. Several of the parents were a wreck by regions with all that was financially and emotionally invested. What if they didn't make it?
How to be more competitive:
1. Year round play - if they show any interest in any other sport or activity - SQUASH IT!
2. Same with school... heck... drag them out of class for more practice.
3. STEROIDS! Get em started early and often! Pump em up!
4. Hire a few Dominican's that are 20 and pass them off as 12.
(Just so no one gets upset... note the clown face at the top.)
"Do you bring in outside help-with coaching-to improve players?"
The best thing you can do is bring me in to conduct one of my "Coach's Clinics". Your league is no better than the coaches. For details go to my website and click on "coach's clinics". Then forget the concept of "development" which mean egaliterian baseball and have them play to WIN.
"Your league is no better than the coaches."
I forget which past post... but we named them "Johnny Stud" and "Jimmy Stink"... or something like that.
Definitely good coaching helps... but there needs to be more Johnny's, not Jimmy's!
Good baseball players would prefer to play with their schoolmates in the local rec league rather than traveling all over the place playing with strangers.
"Then forget the concept of "development" which mean egaliterian baseball and have them play to WIN."
But local leagues have taken away their PT, made the coaches move everyone around so that everyone gets to play SS and P in the name of "development". TEAM and WINNING be damned.
If you want your league to flourish, do it the American way. Make kids earn the right to enjoy success/fun. Play to WIN. You will crush all the socialist, egaliterian leagues, if of course, you let me train your coaches.
"A good coach can develop players and play to win simultaneously. I don't believe it's an either/or proposition. "
Development of skills is what practice is for. Games are for THE TEAM to compete to win. The stud who may leave to play travel ball has no problem with working in the outfield to develop skills in practice but if he is put there in the game when he knows the team is stronger when he is at SS and that the coach doesn't care if they win. He just wants to make the parents of lil Timmy Dork happy. Well LiL Timmy Dork doesn't necessarily have fun play SS just because he is there. He has a miserable time because he can't make the plays.
If you asked the kids to make out the lineup, they would place the players in the positions which would make the team strongest. They know full well the relative skills of their teammates.
Each kid is an individual and has to be treated as such. The Johnny Stud is taught skills on a higher level. Timmy is taught basics like hopefully to catch a flyball but to keep it from going to the fence and hit the cutoff. He should be praised just as vociferously for keeping the ball from going to the fence and hitting the cutoff as Johnny for making a "Jeter Jump" at SS.
" lil Timmy Dork "
LOL! I forgot the name.
Remembering back in rec league when I coached, I tried "developing" players to a point where they were comfortable playing an IF position and an OF position. Not everyone played SS, nor did everyone catch. I did try to give everyone a chance at pitching (if they wanted to). If they did well... they got to pitch again. If not, they didn't. Basically if they could throw the ball over the plate - I wasn't looking for K's or junk. Just get it over the plate!
One thing about coaching to the players ability - very hard to do in a practice when time is limited and skill sets vary (alot). I would try to split the Timmy's and Johnny's and have one group of coaches work with one set on basics and another work with the other set on more advanced skills.
Travel makes it easier since the entire group is at the same level.