It’s bigger than softball…

2018BudgetTemplate

Long time no hear…  Happy Holidays from KC Ambush to you guys.  Up above is a link to  download a budget spreadsheet I hand out every year to year to anyone that wants to get their personal finances in order for the upcoming calendar year.

Please feel free to use and share at your disposal. To sort the worksheet you’re in, press CNTRL-Q

Basically input your salary into every week for the month, input your expenses and everything is calculated for you real time. The first page is an overview of the entire year.  If you want to enter something that’s not in the drop down, you must change one of the categories in the first page to an expense you want renamed. Otherwise you can use “misc” for an entry.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Roger – kcambush@yahoo.com – 816.914.8280

Share

KC Ambush 06: Berth of 06!

KC Ambush 06 played in their second tournament after a more than forgettable first tournament filled with the expected ups and downs of a new team playing together for the first time.

We went into that 1st tournament with the usual, “let’s see what we have and fix it so we can be better going forward” mindset.  We saw, we fixed, they responded!  From the beginning in our 2nd tournament,  out the gate we played a couple of ’05 teams.  We looked really impressive in both games and quite frankly, we looked like we should’ve been playing in an A tournament instead.  When I say, “they looked good.” THEY LOOKED GOOD!

Saturday’s scheduled game ended up getting rained out as we had only one pool game in the ONE FIELD that was rained out for the complex.  Anyhow, that brings us to bracket play on Sunday.  The girls started so-so while holding the opposing team to 1 run over the first 3 innings.  We finally pulled ahead in the 3rd inning before closing out the game with a victory (I forgot the score).

The next game, we weren’t exactly over-matched, but it was one of those games where we could have won!  It was a learning experience and reminder of what else we need to work on.  Even though we lost, we came home with some hardware from the top bracket of the B tournament.  We’re far from satisfied with the 3rd place finish but we’ll take it.  They believe they can do better and the good part is, we know what we have to do to be better.

For now, we’ll settle for the bronze bragging rights.  We’ll also accept our BERTH to the USSSA 2018 National Championships we just received.  Winning is contagious.  Hopefully we can keep it up as an organization.

#kcambush

Share

KC Ambush 08: Nationally Ranked

Really! Not really…  KC Ambush had their first tournament of the fall 2017 season.  In the midst of fall league ball, I’ve been kind of worried about the product on the field known as KC Ambush 08.

To be honest, after the first game of fall ball the parents felt that the product on the field left a lot to be desired.

 

I had to send an email stating that even though they were worried about the girls performance for the night that they needed to keep their eyes on the prize.

We’re a new team that needs time to gel.  The league is for fine tuning and I really view it as just an elevated practice.  It’s basically used for putting the puzzle pieces together for the tournament season and to know what we need to work on.

That was approximately 2 weeks ago when we really DID look like The Bad News Bears out on the field.

Before league play, I warned the parents that we may win or lose by a lot but to not be alarmed.  Immediately after the first night, I had to email the entire team to  remind them that things will get better very quickly.  I believed it but wasn’t sure if they did or not.

We hit the last couple of weeks  really hard correcting the mistakes of what seemed like a disaster first night of league ball.

FAST FORWARD to this weekend. In my eyes, we’re an average C (rank goes A, B and C with A being the highest) with potential to play B once everyone gets on the same page and improves to where I think they should be able to. That usually takes about a year as we do A LOT of fundamentals a specific certain type of way.  Not to toot my own horn but all Ambush players minutely technically sound in all areas of their game.

Friday night we went 0-2 against some really good teams.  By the techniques they were displaying and athleticism of their girls, there’s no reason they shouldn’t have been playing  strictly B tournaments.  However, we played them both relatively close. It shocked me as I was expecting us to go through our growing pains against more advanced and talented teams.

That brings us to Friday night.  Next week is SO IN THE PAST! Saturday’s pool game the light bulb clicked.  Saturday, we won against a team that should’ve beat us and that put us in a different bracket from the bottom bracket.

Sunday I had to catch a flight so I had no access to the game or its updates.  I was then sent a link to the game updates and saw that we lost.  I figured we’d lost and was done for the day.  I then get a text claiming that Ambush is going to the Championship game.  At first, I thought it was a joke and stated I though we’d lost. They instructed me to check again.

I’ll be damned!  That was the moment I realized the game link was from the night before and we were indeed in the Championship game beating some really good teams on the way.  One actually had plans on playing in a B tournament for the weekend instead.

Now I’m watching our i-score gamecast religiously looking at us as we eventually win the Championship with a 3-1 score.  I heard reports that the girls played like a real team this weekend.

You have no idea how excited I am of this group to go from worst to first in the matter of 2 weeks.  My only thought is that this gives the girls a chance to KNOW how good they can be and will take practice even MORE seriously.  Really excited to see how they respond.

Oh yeah! Got a text today that we’re now ranked # 29 in the country and #3 in the state of Missouri in C ball.  The numbers are impressive but it’s really a numbers game as we’re no where near the #29th team in the country or #3 in the states at the C level.  But it’s more fuel to give these girls to work their tails off.  I’ll take it anyway I can get it as I’m walking around with my chest poked out even though I wasn’t there.

#kcambush #winning

Share

KC Ambush 07: VIP Series Fall Kickoff – Bronze!

 

This is KC Ambush ’07.  A feisty bunch that just took 3rd place (in the top flight) in the VIP Series Fall Kickoff tournament.  I knew they’d be pretty decent sooner or later but this is their 1st tournament of the season.

Soon after tryouts, we assembled the team and hit the techniques and fundamentals hard the Ambush way.  All weekend I was constantly reminded of how they’ve been paying attention to the little things we teach. From throwing motions, catching with 2 hands down to the very basics of our triangles we go over every practice… I was thoroughly impressed.

I really didn’t expect them to be so decent so quick.  I figured, we’d use this tournament as a tournament to see how we are as a team; to see our potential and get exposed so that we’ll know what we need to work on going forward.  That never happened.  I by no, means expected a 3rd place overall finish.  The girls are starting to take to our fundamental teachings and applying them in game situations.

For instance, while we had some down-time between games, we worked on slap footwork and hand positioning.  Low and behold, we came out the gate swinging as the girls were professional slap hitters logging base hits.  Now granted, we didn’t face the best pitching but the techniques they followed is what I’m looking for most in situations like this.

After the dust settled, the girls ended up losing 2-1 in a pitchers duel to Legacy 07 in the semi-final.  Legacy 07 came away victorious with a timely walk-off hit to score the winning runner on 3rd base.

We’re VERY proud of these girls as they really get what we’re trying to accomplish as a team.  They’re really buying in and it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.  Can’t wait to witness what’s in store for these girls in the near future.  It’s all good in Ambush land!

#kcambush #winning

Share

Ambush 1st annual BBQ and cookout

Yes!  All of Ambush had our 1st annual Meet and Greet/Cookout. I had the time of my life with the different activities we all facilitated and participated in.  I wanted something really informal so everyone could just meet and greet everyone at their own pace as well as a chance for the girls (from all teams) to do activities outside of normal softball practice settings.

We also wanted this to kickoff before we start the strenuous upcoming softball  schedule.  I initially started on the grill, before other parents (ready to chime) in kicked me off for me to go parlay in the activities.  Did I mention that Ambush parents are AWESOME?  I wouldn’t write it if I didn’t mean it.  More on that later.

I exited, stage left from the grills and went to join the ongoing football game being played in the outfield by some Ambush 03 while the rest of Ambush 03, 06, 07 & 08 were in the infield playing kickball.  I couldn’t do it as it was like 20 on 20.  So it was Craig (coach of ’03) and 8 girls so I evened the teams out and we played 5v5 (coaches as QB’s and the girls were receivers).  It didn’t hurt that I had an ex football player on my team though as we won by a touchdown or so.  I truly don’t remember the score.

After that, I decided to try and make some sense of the 20 on 20 kickball game that was taking place.  We tried picking teams and organizing it as best as we could before eventually concluding that we were going to hold an adult only game before allowing the little ones to play.  The score wasn’t important as we only played 1 inning as the kids were on the sidelines buzzing to get on the field.  And when the game was over, BUZZED THEY DID!

We had a mixed bag of 30+ kids to choose from as they eagerly lobbied to be chosen from team to team.  In the end, another game we don’t know who won as it was mostly just for fun and competition after about 4-5 innings.  The kids had a blast. The parents had a blast…

Oh yeah… back to the parents.  I know a lot of organizations have good parent/coach relationships and some have bad parent/coach relationships.  Ambush parents/coach relationships literally go beyond good.  Not just to the coaches but to each other from top to bottom, it’s like one big community of everyone is so willing to be helpful, understanding and being on the same page.  It allows the coaching of these girls so much easier.  We truly have an organization of parents who seek out ways to promote and assist instead of wondering what we can give them.

My hat’s off to you guys! THANKS!

#kcambush

Share

Times have changed!

We’re about almost done with the yearly rat-race (tryouts).  KC Ambush 06 had their first practice yesterday and I threw a LOT at them in a short amount of time.

First we had a meet & greet in the outfield and one of the questions I asked them was rate yourself on 1-10…  First person off the bat ranks themselves as a 8.5.  Confidence was BREWING amongst the group.  There were a couple more 8’s while only one girl did a really good self evaluation of herself and rated herself an honest 5.  I hadn’t seen them at all so I was just wondering where they saw themselves.  I told them to remember their self-eval numbers as we’ll eventually revisit their self rating again in the future.

We got to warming up and I didn’t see ANY 8.5’s.  Still it was fun to witness their confidence so I’ll take it any way I can get it.  Whether they’re 8’s or whatever, they’re all on-board to relearn to do things the Ambush way.  Some caught on to drills quicker than others but all in all, they looked really good in a very short amount of time.

There’s a LOT of work on our plate but since this is the first time seeing these girls and how much they soak up technical training, I’m guessing they’ll excel sooner rather than later.

 

KC Ambush 07/08 split is going along quite nicely as well. We’re looking to fill 2 more spots on the 08 roster while the 07 team is completely full. They’ll start practicing the upcoming Monday and we’ll see how many “8+’s” we’ll have in that group as well.  Super excited to see these girls get going.  Should make for fun times ahead.

All in all, we still have a couple of holes to fill; Ambush ’03 open catcher position as well as a couple of 08 spots left to fill.  However, we’re full steam ahead with plans on all fronts as this is to be an exciting challenge.

Like reading about Ambush?

Let me know I’m not the only one reading this blog by subscribing at the top right corner of this site.

Go Ambush! #kcambush

Share

KC Ambush 03 – MO State (14A) 2nd place

Coming off our 3rd place finish in the previous 16A tournament, I gave our girls a 2 week break as we’ve been playing and practicing for 4 weeks in a row.  I figured, they’d come back a little rejuvenated but rusty.

Right out of the gates, they WERE a little rusty.

 

Our pitcher slated for the start got sick in pregrame warm-ups due to the heat (and nothing to eat but a poptart and donuts for the day).

14 year olds! smh!

So our other pitcher got the nod in the first game.

Small things a coach notices – That first game back although we looked rusty, we ended up winning 4-0.  I could tell the girls have been thinking a LOT about softball just in their style of play.  That’s where the rejuvenated part comes in.  I could see tangible differences in their game to where I could tell they’ve been doing a lot of mental reps over the last 2 weeks.

The second game was an all out DOOZY! I feel we got the bad end on a couple of calls butt here we were 1-1 with time expired in what would eventually become a 2.5 hour 12th inning game.  Our pitcher got a bite to eat and was feeling better so she was ready to start that game.  She did a SPLENDID job of holding them to 1 run in 5-6 innings of ball before she humbly informed me that she’s not feeling too well but she’ll give it another go.  I didn’t want to chance it and pulled her and the pitcher from the 1st game came in and pitched the rest of the way.

Mind you, this is in the heat of the day 2:30 and 4pm (12 inning) games.  The second pitcher already pitched the first complete game and came in and pitched another 6 innings in 95 degree/not a cloud in sight weather.  So with 2 outs in the 12th inning Ambush magic happened. I won’t divulge of the details but it was a thing of beauty to watch these girls grit it out to pull ahead 4-1.

As a side note: Millhouse Threats’ pitcher pitched the entire 12 innings until we pulled ahead. She deserves a HUGE kudos for toughing it out in that heat.  That kid did an awesome job of holding us to 1 run til the 12th.

Emotionally beat, at this point I’m very happy we didn’t have to play the next game in the losers bracket. Instead we got to go home. I don’t know if the girls could’ve played another hour.

That brings us to Sunday. The first game, we faced a very well coached Intensity-Craig team who had a great inning of softball against us with timely hits (and errors on our part).

We talked over our issues in our post game and came out the next game ready.  We won that game 5-2 and advanced to the Championship game.

We were to rematch Intensity-Craig and won the 1st game 6-3 and had to face them again in order to win the Championship (double elimination).

They beat us in the last game to win the championship but the way the UIC acted made it a miserable experience for both teams.

Here’s the situation (as accurate as I can tell it): It’s a long story. We’re almost at time expired I’m sitting on a bucket outside of the dugout closer to the catcher because the way Markey Park’s dugouts are situated, my catchers had a hard time seeing my signals (been doing it since the start of the 1st championship game).

Far as I know both teams parents have been mentioning to watch the batters feet. Nothing too hard, just commenting as parents do. This one particular play, my parents ask about a hitters feet. I can’t approach form the dugout so I call blue over to the fence and ask, “if he’s keeping an eye on the batters feet”.  The blue, says “yes. I was watching and proceeds to setup behind our catcher. Everyone is quiet and no one is talking anymore and ready for the next pitch. Out of NOWHERE, what I thought was a fan yells… “THAT’s ENOUGH! FROM BOTH SIDES! ONLY COACHES TALK TO THE UMP!”  My parents start yelling at the guy and he keeps talking.

I motion for my parents to just ignore the guy and let him talk. They stop and he keeps on going and walking over. *I tell him I’m the coach… he DARTS toward me as if he wants to fight. I tell him “Not to walk upon me”. He keeps coming to about 3 feet away and I told him to “GET AWAY FROM ME” as I’m still sitting on the bucket about to call the next pitch of a CHAMPIONSHIP game. He proceeds to tell me he’s the UIC and I make it VERY clear to him. *”I don’t care who you are, get away from me as we’re not even talking to you and this has nothing to do with you.” *He then tries to tell me to get in the dugout since I’m the coach. in so many (non-threatening) words, I tell him to get lost.

2-3 minutes later he returns again and to tell me he’s the UIC and he has the tournament director over there and wants me back in the dugout and to go talk to him. *In all fairness, the TD looked like he was just as shocked as I was when I walked over to him IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME and reluctantly said I should go back to the dugout just to appease head “umpire in CHARGE”.

By now, my mind isn’t even on the game as my players are still playing and I have no idea what’s going on. *Soon as the next inning takes place, the umpire behind the plate feels so bad, he comes over to apologize for the UIC’s behavior. *

The behavior he displayed spooked my players and parents and I’m sure the other team as well.

Totally uncalled for.

Share

First time playing 16A

Even though our season has been up and down throughout the Spring/Summer months, I’ve been warning the parent’s that we’ll be taking our talents to a 16A tournament before the season ended.

It serves a couple of purposes.

For starters, we’ll get to see how we stack against competition playing 2 years ahead of our current age group (considering we’re a 1st year 14s club) and we’ll also get to experience stiffer competition against bigger people (we’re always the smallest team).

Ambush ’03 girls don’t care about size and they didn’t disappoint. We played some pretty good competition and pissed off a couple of teams in the process.  I went in with the hopes of winning one game for the weekend as a confidence builder for our squad.  I didn’t tell the girls that but I had that number stuck in my head all week leading up to the tournament.   No way did I figure we’d be anywhere close to bringing home some hardware.

First game of a 4 game Saturday, these girls hit the ground running and posted a 8-0 shutout. WHOAH! I wasn’t expecting that.  Not getting too ahead of myself so I curbed my enthusiasm.

The next game we were brought back to life and got manhandled 11-0. However, we had a crappy start to that game and that was the only game the other team one all weekend. I’d love my rematch chances.

So now I’m thinking we’re not too good nor not too bad.  Low and behold we jumped out against a pretty good team. They scored a couple of runs as well and we managed to notch a come from behind victory in our 3rd game for the day winning 5-3.

The 4th game the other team notched a come from behind victory and we lost by 1 on a passed ball to end the game.

That takes us into Sunday… We have to play the team we had the come from behind victory on the day before.  We’re a smaller team and I just know they want their revenge.  I hate those types of games.  In a pitchers duel until the last inning we jumped ahead 4-0 and they scored 3 runs to finish the game as we won 4-3.

The next game we played a really good Ambush game and came out on top 4-1.  Our pitcher for that game got the compliment of compliments (We forgot to tell her).  The opposing 3rd base coach told our coach that she’s the best pitcher they’ve faced in at least 3 weeks.  He then couldn’t believe that only one of our players is in HS with the rest, of course, being middle schoolers.

Then we got to Smithville Sting ’01 in the semi-final game. They put it on us really good and beat us 11-1.  I was happy with Saturday but these girls played Ambush ball almost effortlessly and came away with a 3rd place finish with pictures to prove it.

To top off the weekend.  Out of the blue, we received a invite to an invite only tournament which was awesome.

Now we’re prime for some much needed rest and relaxation after 4 straight weeks. The girls deserve the week off to heal.  Hopefully they don’t come back rusty.

#KCAmbush

Share

The State of Ambush

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to update the site with our progress. Overall, both teams (Ambush ’03 & ’07) are doing about how I expected them to.  Really impressed with how both teams are developing.

Ambush ’03 is on the cusp of greatness. We’re currently around the .500 mark and our softball IQ is growing exponentially. We’ve made some phenomenal plays on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. We’re a younger 14A team so I expected us to get our fair share of wins and losses.

We’ve beat some really good teams and have taken some lumps against some really good teams as well.  So far, we’ve only brought home one trophy for the year.  A second place finish in a lower flighted bracket.

Overall, very proud of these girls and expect them to hit their groove in the fall maybe even the spring of next year since we have to now deal with the Missouri High School scheduling conflict. Either way, I expect them to become a household name in the 14A arena very shortly (if they aren’t already).

Ambush 07, is a very solid team that possess consistent flashes of greatness.  If I’m not mistaken, they’ve brought home a trophy in each of the tournaments we’ve played in (all lower flighted brackets).  We give the trophies to the tournament MVP instead of coaches keeping them.

Half the team can still play coach pitch so it’s obvious in certain areas that the physical aptitude just isn’t there yet with some.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re very solid fundamentally 1-11 but you can see how that 1 year age difference really makes a difference with overall coordination and body control.

Because of that, our plan is to break the team up into 2 teams in the fall.  So when Ambush holds tryouts, we’ll be having tryouts for at least 2 teams at the end of the season.  That month from now seems SO far away that we haven’t even thought about tryout dates.

Whatever the outcome, I’m really confident that both teams will be really competitive in their respective age groups. I’m totally looking for Ambush 07 to make the jump to “B” ball possibly starting in the fall.

I must say how proud I am of the teams structure.  Ambush is more like a family instead of just softball players and teammates.   The parents make the season easy as they’re totally dedicated and committed to the program.  The tangible and intangible support from top to bottom is awesome.

That’s about all I got from KC Ambush at the moment.  I’ll try to keep this updated more regularly. That is all.

Share

KC Ambush 03 – Dodgeball Tournament

Ambush 03 decided to give their go at Sky Zone for their monthly open dodge-ball tournament.  The girls had complete BLAST!  They came ready to seek and destroy any moving target they could conquer in the arena.

Fortunately lots of teenage boys and girls decided they wanted no parts of the Ambush rage and decided not to show.

So what do you do when you’re ready to compete and everyone else is a no-show? Your competitive juices are already flowing so you COMPETE within.

The girls decided to break up into teams and hold their own internal dodge-ball tournament. The results were HILARIOUS.  

They divided themselves amongst themselves and the teams looked pretty evenly matched ON PAPER

That was on paper.  In the end, the least favored team came out and took the gold.

Who were they?  It’s not important. What’s important is these girls had an awesome moment TOGETHER.  I tip my hat off to the parent(s) that organized this one as it made me want to get out there and take off some heads  (I couldn’t because I was in my work clothes).

After they finished their pool and bracket play in their internal tournament, they took to the open play arena.  There they’d go against random younger and older kids/teenagers that ranged from decent to really good in skillset.

They DOMINATED as a team winning every time they played against “the locals”.  Eventually, they had to be split up as it was pretty obvious that there was too much of a mismatch between Ambush and “the locals”.

In the end. They all placed 1st, 2 & 3rd in the tournament and won prices such as free time at Sky Zone for future play dates, etc.  

Afterwords they all went to the local teenager hangout spot and re-fueled on IHOP.

I had to bow out of that one as IHOP was NOT on my Friday night to do list. However, the girls did more bonding and that’s all I was concerned with.  Bigger things are on the horizon.  So far, I like what I’m seeing.  A little over a month and time will tell.

Something tells me we’re going to be a force to be dealt with and the girls are excited!

#kcambush #TakeWhatYouWant

Share