KC Ambush 08! VIP Series Creature Feature – CHAMPS!

KC Ambush 08, finished the season with a strong weekend outing and on the way to gaining some additional hardware.  I’m REALLY excited about this group as they’re really fundamentally sound offensively and defensively across the board.  They really have fun while making it all look good and seamless.  Of course, what 10 year old team doesn’t have more things they need to work on?  But THIS group right HERE!!!  They’re well on their way to becoming a household name sooner rather than later.

When we began the fall season, we only had one inexperienced pitcher on the roster and we picked up one in hopes of developing her potential to be game ready by next year.  In the mean time, these girls put their heads down and went to work on the practice field.

The first tournament they entered, you could tell they were getting the cobwebs out and it was more of a, “let’s see what we got” mood from coaches on down to players.  This time around we knew what we had and was trying to go to ludicrous speed.

We fell just short of the top bracket (because of a tie) while going undefeated the entire weekend. However, we felt that winning the entire thing was definitely in our realm.

The best compliment we could ever receive… We were in the middle of our semi-final game and afterwards a couple of our fans came over to us and said, “we have to tell you what we just over-heard.  Basically, the coaches (we’d eventually face) were talking while they were looking at our game.  They discussed it’d probably be KC Ambush who we’d play.  They then said, awww man! They don’t make any mistakes and are a good bunting  and aggressive team.”

Talk about motivation! We’re ALWAYS the smallest team on the field EVERY time we play. Their girls were HUGE compared to ours. I pulled the girls over to us close so the other team wouldn’t hear what I was going to say to them before the game.

“Hey girls! Come here!… You see that team over there? They’re HUGE aren’t they?” The girls yelled “YES!”

“Shhhhh! Indoor voices.” So the other team wouldn’t hear.

“That team is scared of you guys, They were overheard saying how good you guys are and that you don’t make any mistakes in the field and how good and aggressive you guys are. Now go SHOW OUT!”

Show out they did indeed. No errors the entire game and a key bunt to pull ahead to a 1-0 lead. Another Double that turned into a home-run when the other team threw the ball around. Eventually, we came away with a 6-0 championship victory.  Excellent weekend the entire weekend with PLENTY to be excited about heading towards next season.

Soon as we ended the championship ceremonies and handed out tournament MVP trophies, the winds and rains pushed us off the field. Perfect timing!

Congratulations girls! You’ve earned everything you’ve gotten.

#KCAmbush #TrustTheProcess #BleedMaroon

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KC Ambush 06 – Mizuno Fall Swing For The Rings (2nd)

KC Ambush 06 took runner-up in their first tournament of the fall season this weekend: Mizuno Fall Swing For The Rings.  We went into the tournament to see where we were as a team in order to see what we need to improve on.  Out the gate, the girls looked flat and nervous.  I had to give them a pre-game speech to remind them to “fake it til we make it” and to not “look” nervous.

That means, no matter what we look like or do, we act like we’re having the best day EVER!!!  I try not to talk too much to the girls unless they REALLY need it. They needed to relax before the first game as it was against an eventual long term “rival”.

I won’t bore you with details so I’ll leave you with my observations:

  • The girls need to get better at communicating.  I’m going to have to do some outside the box thinking on how to accomplish that.
  • They don’t seem to have the problem that ’03 has been known to have from time to time with “turning it on” during pool play instead of waiting for bracket. They seem to take every game serious.
  • We’re really good defensively and will be even better once we get to communicating.
  • We need to work on lead-off timing and aggressive base-running.
  • The girls play for each other.  They’re in that phase where they don’t want to be the one to let their teammates down.  They nervously put their head down and just do their jobs.
  • Some players have REALLY stepped up to the challenge over the weekend. Saw some bars raised this weekend in some individual play and let them know they’re now held to a higher standard.
  • We had the injury bug bite us this weekend.  The injured players wouldn’t accept no & hated sitting the bench. I LOVE IT, but it’s a marathon/ not a sprint kiddo. Get well for the long haul!
  • USSSA umpires are usually right more than wrong on a lot of their “judgement calls”.  There was an abnormal amount of missed calls. Although, I must admit, none of their “missed” calls directly changed the outcome of the games.

All in all, I’m happy the girls actually took 2nd place.  They know they’re good but still need a lot of work and will be more hungry and focused during practice while still believing.  The kicker is, not one kid on this current team has previous A experience.

#KCAmbush #TrustTheProcess

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KC Ambush 07 – OMC Fall Invitational – Runner Up (10uC)

 

KC Ambush 07 entered the Olathe Medical Center Fall Invitational over the weekend.

We went in with the expectation of doing well, but we really just wanted to use this tournament to gauge what we needed to work on in our quest for world softball domination.

I don’t know what it is, but Ambush seems to not play to their full potential during pool play.  We won all pool play games but they weren’t won decisively.  I always wonder if it’s us coaches attitudes/demeanor portraying onto them by not demanding enough of them during pool play.  Or if the girls just don’t feel the sense of urgency because they know the pool play games are virtually meaningless.

Whatever the case, the girls tend to “turn it on” in bracket play.  During bracket play, these girls were highly focused.  More so than I’ve ever seen them in the past.  They played some really stellar defense to the point, other teams parents were coming up and bragging on how good they played in the field.

All in all, we came away holding our heads high with the 2nd place finish as we ran across a pitcher that had NO business playing “C” ball.  Despite that, it was an AWESOME experience for the girls that’ll probably motivate them to work harder as I’ll more than likely tell them they’ll face that type of pitching all the time when we move to B going forward.  However, the truth is, they won’t!  The pitcher we faced was a top of the line A pitcher.  Rumor has it she was brought in from out of town for that C tournament.  I hope it’s just a rumor.

Either way, KC Ambush girls played their hearts out and I’m actually glad we got to face that awesome pitcher.  We now know where we stand and what we need to work on.  Things are trending up for ALL Ambush teams.  I’m loving it!

#KCAmbush #TrustTheProcess

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This is Kaylee Diggs: Be like Kaylee Diggs!!!

One of my favorite KC Ambush 03 players I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching finally got the chance to brag about no-longer having “warning track power”.  During their high school game,  she launched a 2 run opposite field “SHOT!” (from what I hear).

Back story: Kaylee Diggs (P,  CI, OF, 2021) is a consistent power hitter leading our team with 24 extra base hits and is on the fast track to certain stardom.  She has consistently hit the ball close to the fence all year long.  Every time she ends up on 2nd or 3rd, I’d jokingly yell to her, ” you should’ve used a different bat!” or “you only have warning track power!”

8/27/2018 @ 8:51 pm, I received the best text I’ve received in a while…

“I hit a homer! No more warning track power!”

I could sense the excitement in her text as she assured me that’s the very first thing she thought of.  Later in the conversation she admitted she almost caught a “seasonal allergy” at the very moment the ball cleared the fence.

Congratulations Kid! Keep doing YOU! Looking forward to many more (FOR AMBUSH THOUGH)!

Note from dad… “Kaylee is always putting in the extra work with little complaint no matter the day or time.  I don’t know many kids her age with her work ethic.  I’m glad to see it paying off!  YOU earned it kid!”

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The Average Player – Bring them our way

I BY FAR  am NO expert in softball.  However, I’m a realist and realize that being KC Ambush, we’re fighting an uphill battle in getting top talent which usually aim for more larger (name dropping) organizations – definitely no knock on those organizations as their model works exceedingly well for them.

In that process, I’ve learned that I have to develop the talent I currently have, and to stop trying to entertain the rat race of worrying about obtaining stud players.  Instead, we make the average player a stud instead of recruiting top talent.

So our “recruitment process” is simple.  Get families that have long term potential to buy in, develop and retain those families.  Notice I said “families.”  For me personally, it’s no fun if the relationships aren’t there with the families.  Of course the girls are what makes the team go but the families sharing the experience is what makes the ride awesome!  Ambush is fortunate to have that luxury with all teams within the organization.

This off-season (and it never fails), our younger teams have picked up players from teams that have literally killed us when facing each other head to head (one team beat us 15-0).  When probed with, “why come to us when you’ve thrashed us”, the stories are usually the same.

  • I’ve seen what you’ve done with your ’03 team by taking a bunch of rec players and making them a household name at the highest level.
  • Winning isn’t everything and my daughter just wasn’t being developed

The 2nd bullet point is the one that shocks me the most.  These teams hammer us and the player that’s been in the outfield the entire time is wanting to make the change.  Now usually their permanent outfielder is an average to below average player for THEM.

What I’m finding is, those underestimated players are usually total STUDS in the making but the trophy team (that wasn’t winning trophies) didn’t take time to grow the player.  With minimal Ambush development and technique honing they become a force to be reckoned with in a very short time.

I’m literally hurt by the lack of development with the players we get from these “good” teams because of the short term trophy hunting mentality these coaches instill in the minds of these 10 year olds and their families.  The stories are almost always the same as it’s certainly happened with my 03 team.

They kill us at the 10u level. We’re neck and neck with them at the 12u level.  By 14u-18u (when it counts), we’re out of their league and being labeled trophy hunters.

This is possible by 2 things happening.

  • Getting families to buy in long term and to trust the process!
  • Develop these kids as if they’re my own kids increasing techniques and fundamental growth year after year based on maturity level.

I would give advice but who’s to say my way is the gospel?  I’m just upset at the teams that are “killing it” with these STUD players  and how they should really work on developing their “average” player in the outfield as well.  After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest player.

At the end of the day, give me 10 average coachable players that’ll run through a brick wall for us coaches and I’ll give you a championship team in return (When it counts).

#KCAmbush #TrustTheProcess

 

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KC Ambush 06 – “A” New Beginning…

VERY excited and  proud of this group as we’re hitting practices HARD and they’re really responding.  I’m really throwing  A LOT at them in a short amount of time. There’s just so much promise in this group as a whole.

Before tryouts, we were tinkering on if we should be a B or an A team as we didn’t want just an average A team.  I believe the 9 to be announced will certainly allow us to compete as a legit A team.  I could be wrong but one thing I do know is that it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN with this group will be what I envision for them.

Intially, after a really personal and honest talk with the girls about how I see them & their potential, they’re really starting to getting comfortable with each other. The communication is coming out and it’s a joyful thing witness.  Before, I had to stress to them the importance of communication.  NOW I’m hearing TONS of “nice Jobs”, “Awesome dive” and “Nice Try’s”.

Can’t stress enough how excited I am for this group.  However, we’re still looking for that 1 special player to compliment this squad.

Without further ado & sorry for the no team picture (as of yet), please join me in welcoming  the newest members of KC Ambush 06.


  • Jaelynn Tunley (P, MI)
  • Madaline Sharp (P, 1st, OF) *
  • Maddison Moore (2nd, C, OF)
  • Madelyn Reed (Utility)
  • Elizabeth Malicoat (P, 1st, OF) *
  • Amya Graybill (P, Utility) *
  • Kamryn Sariah (2nd, OF) *
  • Alexis (Red) Mitchell (C, utlity) *
  • Addison Gardner (Utility)

    * Denotes new player

#KCAmbush #TrustTheProcess

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PGF Midwest Regional Championship 14uA – Runner Up!

PGF Midwest Regional Championship – Runner up – out of 66 teams. We were one of 2 teams to receive these shirts.  This has turned out to be one of the best weekends I can recall in a VERY long time.  It validates my thoughts completely that we’re becoming a powerhouse team.  The journey has been AWESOME!

I went into the season wanting to play half 16uA & the tougher tournaments at the 14uA level.  Our season ending total in the win loss column amounts to: 54-25-4 (.683 winning percentage).  I wanted to be .750 at the 14uA level and above .500 at the 16uA level. We’ve surpassed both goals.  I can throw out a bunch of “wow” stats but the proof is in the pudding.  This weekend, before we ended up losing the championship game to a very good Nebraska Gold team, we had only given up 3 total runs in our first 6 bracket games.

Words cannot describe how proud I am of these girls. They’ve consistently put it all together from the start this year.  Not only that… the parental support for these girls has been AMAZING. This is, by far, the best season I’ve had as a coach.  We’re getting to the point, where all I have to do now is fine tune things and not feel so overwhelmed about having to do everything.

These girls make it all worth it!  I know it’s cliche but I really couldn’t ask for a better group of girls (unless another one of them pitched).  Win or lose, we’re doing it TOGETHER and they’re so loyal to each other, they wouldn’t have it any other way. Perfect mixture of great families (not just kids).   The entire week, the parents were getting stopped and complimented about how awesome these girls were.

I wish I could give them more as they deserved every compliment the received.

The best part…

The girls are all huddled up with tears down their faces while trying to make the best of losing the championship game.  I’m giving our season ending speech telling the girls they’ve “done a good job”, they “have absolutely nothing to be upset about as they tried their best”  and “I’m absolutely thrilled about where we are at that moment”. I’m running out of things to say and one player interrupts with, “are you proud of us Roger?”  I wanted to group hug at that point as it made my mindset completely shift from consoling to assurance that I couldn’t be more happier for them.

That question shows that in the midst of their disappointing loss, all they’re worried about is if they made me proud.  The true definition of selfless.  I LOVE MY TEAM!

#kcambush

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KC Ambush 2018/19 tryout dates

Pre-register – Click here

All tryouts will be held at Raytown Baptist church unless otherwise noted.

*For individual tryouts please click on “click for more info” for the team below to contact the coach.

Raytown baptist Church – 10500 E State Rte 350, Raytown, MO 64138

KC Ambush 03: Wednesday 7/25, 6-8pm (Pitcher only) – click for more info

KC Ambush 06: Tuesday 7/24, 6-8pm & Wednesday 7/25, 6-8pm – click for more info

KC Ambush 07:   Monday 7/30, 6-8pm – click for more info

KC Ambush 08:  Monday 7/30, 6-8pm & Tuesday 7/31, 6-8pm – click for more info

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KC Ambush 03 – Summer 6 Game SMASH Champions!!!

There you have it… The results of a perfect 8-0 weekend.  These girls played an almost flawless weekend in scoring 53 runs while only giving up 8 in the process.  This is our second complete 14A tournament of the year as we’ve been playing 16A the rest of the time. The other scheduled 14A tournaments have been rained out. The first 14A tournament we played in, we brought home the silver (2nd).

The weekend was a pretty good experience, but what was even more impressive was the fact that the girls stated they never wanted to play 14’s again.  They want to play 16A from here on out because the competition is so much harder & better.

We quickly found out over the weekend that at the 14A level, we look like superstars.  At 16A we’re a smidget above .500 for the season.  Which is about where I expected us to be.

Not only that, but due to our great tournament run for the weekend I was happy to see this beauty on our USSSA team page.

We’re ranked the #1 team in the state at the 14A level and #17 nationally.

It’s a great acknowledgement to own but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a ranking.

We have more 16A things to accomplish before we consider anything a success.  We have a great opportunity to do it in this weekends 16A College Showcase in St. Louis.  That should be a fun/competitive weekend.  Hopefully it won’t be too hot.

For now… Congrats girls!

#kcambush

 

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Taking Our Ambush Talents To Branson

KC Ambush 06 has decided to take their talents to East Las Vegas, A.K.A. Branson, MO.  The girls had a great time during their “play-cation”.

The tournament director gave us a pretty sweet schedule with having our only poll games on Thursday while giving us a Friday off to do whatever we wanted.

The girls came out  the first pool games of the tournament a little skittish.  They eventually lost the game in which they could’ve /should’ve won.  Once that game was out of the way, the girls strung together a couple of brilliant bounce back games with victories consisting of 14-1 & 13-0 scores.  The girls have been on a tear hitting the ball as it’s something we’ve started emphasizing in practice over the last month.

The Friday after the 2-1 pool play games was specifically for Silver Dollar City and taking in some of the Branson sites.

On Saturday we were to play our only bracket game and our bats seemed to have melted as we just couldn’t manage timely hits with runners on base.  We eventually lost that (single elimination) game 5-4.  We feel we had a very good chance of doing well in that tournament.  He have to chalk it up as a learning experience as we have more tournaments to get ready for.

The girls are really starting to become a very good team. Before, they were average with potential. Now, they’re “pretty good” and are starting to realize that they still possess loads of potential. By season’s end, I think they’ll be a VERY good team.  They already have a pretty good overall record and they’ve yet to scratch the surface.

Since we had a team heart to heart talk about a month ago, the girls stepped up their games and are 5-1, 4-1 & 2-2 for a combined 11-4 record. Way to go girls!  They “get it” and are responding.

– Small victories –

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