Who's Up, Who's On Deck?
Deciding Factors in Making a Line-Up
By LINDA DERK
WPSL Head Coach, Tampa Bay Firestix
Part of a coach's responsibilities is to put the most effective line-up on the field. In order to generate a consistent offensive attack, the lineup has to be a threat one through nine. This takes getting to know what each and every one of your players has to offer.
Practices should be set up so each player has the opportunity to show what she can offer to the lineup. Station work is always a great way to have quality repetition, view a player's work ethic, ability to make adjustments quickly/effectively, and self-motivation.
After this, a controlled scrimmage situation is ideal to view the players' abilities during a game situation. Set it up where you can put runners on, bunt situations, hit and run, scoring from various bases and so on. If you can get a couple of real umpires to work the scrimmage, it can make it even more realistic. If you are having difficulty figuring out where to hit someone in the lineup, mix it up a bit and give them the opportunity (at game speed) to work out.
Things to consider when making your lineup:
1) leadoff : person who gets on base the most; not worried about how she gets on she just always seems to get on, has above average speed, disciplined and good game sense
2) best at moving the runner: person who has a good eye(discipline), can hit behind the runner, patient, ideally a lefty (slapper)
3) extra base hitter: someone who is not afraid to swing a bat, consistent high batting average, aggressive and smart
4) power hitter: good contact, power to all fields, not afraid to swing the bat
5) similar to #4: this hitter should complement the number 4 hitter, she needs to be a threat at the plate, to help #4 hitter get better pitches to hit
6) speed and contact: good time for another lefty that knows how to get on base
7) speed and contact: same
8) weakest hitter: find a way to make this hitter still be a productive part of your lineup
9) like a leadoff: similar to #1, a triple threat; good speed, good bat, good sense; she gets on any way she can
With the above mentioned suggestions in mind, it is a good idea to try and put together a consistent lineup through effective practices. Making a change every other game in the order does not help in the confidence level of the hitter. On the other hand, if a player has been given opportunity to perform and is having difficulty getting the job done, a change must be made.
Sometimes finding the winning combination is a challenging task, but once you find it there will be great rewards.