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  • Advice from you coaches for this dad

    We're a bit frustrated right now. My wife, my son and I all have the same frustrations/concerns. My son approached me with it - my wife and I don't like talking about these things in front of him.

    I coached my son up until last fall. So I do realize that I have high standards. We went from A ball to AAA ball. My son went to a new team with all strangers, and he's doing well. He's excelling and having fun - for the most part. it's been building for a couple of weeks now or maybe even longer.

    So here's the scenario:

    Team has a core group of players - it's obvious - 4 of the 5 bat in the top 5 of the lineup every game. The other 4 players move around a little bit. My son "lost" the 3B job this spring. He's now playing RF, backup C, and he pitches here and there. That I'm fine with. He's been learning a new skill this year - it's his first at catcher.

    In the fall, he led the team in batting average. This spring he's 3rd. Two kids are batting ,500, mine's at .476 after a slow start. Next up is batting .348 and it goes down from there. The team has 4 triples, all from my son. He's 1 of only 3 kids to hit a home run. He's got 7 extra base hits - next highest is 4.

    He started batting 9th last fall - totally understandable, he was 1 of 2 new kids. (they only have 9 players too). He moved up to 7th over the fall and started this year 7th. He's batted 8th a couple of times, but has been 7th all spring. Last weekend he expressed concern to me over why he wasn't allowed to move up in the lineup. I told him to keep working at it and let his bat do the talking. He has.

    Today - he was moved up to 6th, and I think it excited him a little. In the game he went 2/3 with 2 triples and 3 RBIs. One other kid doubled for the only other extra base hit. The 2 balls he hit were deep over the center fielders' head on a 310' field (we were playing on the wrong fields for 12yo - would have probably been over the fence on our regular fields.

    In the 2nd game of the double header (pool play), the coach made one switch... he switched my son back to 7th back to the regular lineup. The team played pretty well in the first game. They lost 10-8, but put up a great fight. They haven't been winning much, so putting up a great fight was a successful game in my eyes. The kid who got moved up to 6th had 2 walks and a strikeout in game one. He was 0-2 with 2 Ks in game 2. Maybe he wanted someone on base for my son? I still can't see one of the clear top 3 hitters batting that low using any baseball logic.

    What I'm asking is, how do I handle this?

    My son was down after the games and he played great. Most of his frustration was that move back to 7th in the order after his good game. I was clueless on what to tell him. My comments were something like: "Keep on working and showing them, stay positive, life isn't fair.. etc etc" He said he thinks he should be batting 5th - I say well you might be right, but you have two choices: be frustrated and it might affect your play - or stay posiitive, use it as motivation and keep on doing your best.

    What would you do here? I thought about telling the coach about my son's frustration, but I don't want to be "that dad". I'm not here to demand playing time, but at the same time, I just don't know what to tell my son.

    Tomorrow's a new day and we'll probably get over it, but if he bats 7th tomorrow, I'm sure there's going to be some frustration floating around.

    Thanks for your time - it feels better to at least vent, and I'd be curious for all your thoughts.

  • #2
    Well...without knowing the ins and outs of each players skill set all we can do is speculate.

    But....it could be a speed in front of him issue.
    If 5 is slower....putting your son 7th allows him to hit triples instead of doubles.
    Or
    it could have more to do with 8/9...he may not want to put 6 into 7th in order to avoid an easy 1-2-3 inning if the current 6th is struggling and 8&9 arent so hot either.

    You're right though....nothing he can do but keep hitting.

    Good luck

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    • #3
      How old are they?

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      • #4
        What age is this?

        My son has been on both sides. He was part of the core group and an outsider. In 10u, our kids were rolling the other teams. I kept a paper book back then and I really didn't track anything. We were all just having fun in rec ball. About 12 game in to the season, one of the other ACs asked me what Joey's average was because he always seemed to be on base. I started to flip back through all of the games and did some quick math. It seems that the kid we had batting 8th was batting .750!!!

        Then on the other side, my son was the better catcher on a new team but not one of the core group (friends of the HC son). Despite being offered to be the starting catcher to convince us to go with this team, he ended up only catching 2-3 games. In the final game of a GameDay tournament, my son did great. Going 3-4 with several RBIs and a good performance behind the plate, when the game was over and it cam time to pick the MVP, the coach gave it to his son who went 0-4 with an error at first, an error that ultimately cost us the game. See, his son wanted to play in the gameday MVP tournament and his son was the only one of the friends who hadn't won MVP yet. Needlesstosay, we left that team.

        If the team is 13u+, have the kid ask the coach why he hasn't been moved up and what else he needs to do to be moved up. If it is <12u, I don't see a reason why you can't approach the coach and ask as long as you just accept the answer. If you don't like the answer, just move on at the end of the year. There is no reason to rock the boat mid year, just sail along and get off in the next port if needed.

        It is a good lesson for kids to learn. Nothing is ever going to be perfect so you have to weigh out the positives vs the negatives and then figure out what to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by queue View Post
          What age is this?

          My son has been on both sides. He was part of the core group and an outsider. In 10u, our kids were rolling the other teams. I kept a paper book back then and I really didn't track anything. We were all just having fun in rec ball. About 12 game in to the season, one of the other ACs asked me what Joey's average was because he always seemed to be on base. I started to flip back through all of the games and did some quick math. It seems that the kid we had batting 8th was batting .750!!!

          Then on the other side, my son was the better catcher on a new team but not one of the core group (friends of the HC son). Despite being offered to be the starting catcher to convince us to go with this team, he ended up only catching 2-3 games. In the final game of a GameDay tournament, my son did great. Going 3-4 with several RBIs and a good performance behind the plate, when the game was over and it cam time to pick the MVP, the coach gave it to his son who went 0-4 with an error at first, an error that ultimately cost us the game. See, his son wanted to play in the gameday MVP tournament and his son was the only one of the friends who hadn't won MVP yet. Needlesstosay, we left that team.

          If the team is 13u+, have the kid ask the coach why he hasn't been moved up and what else he needs to do to be moved up. If it is <12u, I don't see a reason why you can't approach the coach and ask as long as you just accept the answer. If you don't like the answer, just move on at the end of the year. There is no reason to rock the boat mid year, just sail along and get off in the next port if needed.

          It is a good lesson for kids to learn. Nothing is ever going to be perfect so you have to weigh out the positives vs the negatives and then figure out what to do.

          Its 12u. Fully competitive. All tourneys, no league. First tournament, the coach told the boys hed bat them according to their performance. My son feels cheated.

          My wife is actually the more heated one. Ive told her that its a life lesson/ experience.

          When i coached, i wanted to know if anyone was frustrated and why. I welcomed questions at the right time (not during games/practice). I had reasons for just about everything i did and was willing to share.

          so in my shoes now, i cant figure out if i should mention it or not, because i know some coaches would totally take it the wrong way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Why does it matter? If he is hitting, he should be happy that he is hitting. The rest is ego. He can help his team win from several slots in the batting order. As an FYI, I had a player ask to talk to me about hitting 9th. I told this player that 9th is second lead-off. The player didn't understand. So, I asked who leads the team in runs scored by one run. This player! Who is driving this player in? #1 and #2 in the order. Finally, cream rises to the top. Sometimes it takes some time. If you aren't happy, change teams. Other teams have noticed if you son is one of the top 3 players on this team.
            Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

            I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

            Comment


            • #7
              'It's 12u...'

              Relax... Enjoy it. If you're not having fun, put him on another team...
              I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

              Comment


              • #8
                We enjoy the team mostly. Ive seen and read enough to know there are a lot of worse options out there.

                He does enjoy that hes hitting, but he has always hit. Hes pretty smart and observant as well.

                The issue here is mainly how to respond to him and Whether or not one of us should even mention the frustration to the coach.

                i mean the coach kind of invited this when he told them hed bat them according to how well they did. My son cant figure out what else he can do and it saddens me that i cant really tell him anything.

                and in the end, its soooo hard for me to not coach anymore, but im biting my tongue and think im doing pretty well at it.

                Rather than overreact, i brought myself here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  CB and Bolts nailed it. Support the team and enjoy. You're going to drive yourself nuts with the stat comparisons. And as a coach, I would definitely take it the wrong way, wouldn't you? If I had to placate every parents concern about where and when Li'l Johnny plays and bats, I'm not sure I could field a team. Not everyone can bat 1st and play SS! Now if you're son feels strongly, then he should talk to his coach to see if there's anything he could do to move up in the order. Sometimes, there's so much politics at 12u that the real answer is "It's complicated". If they need to win bad enough, they'll make the switches necessary to do that.

                  FWIW, my son was in a similar situation -batted 7-9th on a team, and was clearly one of the top hitters. The other kids were well aware of it. We never said a word. My advice to him was to make the best of each and every AB you get. I told him opposing teams were not expecting the 8 hitter to hit the ball out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I laugh when parents claim they left rec to get away from the politics. There can be plenty of politics jn travel. It ends after 14u. 14u is when junior realizes he's not going any further and gives up. Until then, if you're not careful your kid ends up playing for Daddy Ball Dad.

                    If your son is having fun he should blow off the rest of the BS. If he's not live with it and change teams next season. If he's one of the best players other coaches notice.
                    Last edited by JettSixty; 05-13-2018, 10:33 AM.

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                    • #11
                      For the first time, my son faced this sort of thing. He asked me why he was batting 6th when he had the 2nd best batting average in the team, etc etc etc. I told him the same stuff you did, turn it into motivation to work harder. The other thing I mentioned was that of he were 4 he'd see more curves, but at 7 he'll see a lot of fb down the middle. If u batted 4, maybe u wouldn't have the 2nd best batting average. Okay I know, maybe not the best thing to say but he seemed a little more okay with it, and he did keep working hard and continues to do so now that off season started.
                      Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dragoncoach View Post


                        Its 12u. Fully competitive. All tourneys, no league. First tournament, the coach told the boys hed bat them according to their performance. My son feels cheated.

                        My wife is actually the more heated one. Ive told her that its a life lesson/ experience.

                        When i coached, i wanted to know if anyone was frustrated and why. I welcomed questions at the right time (not during games/practice). I had reasons for just about everything i did and was willing to share.

                        so in my shoes now, i cant figure out if i should mention it or not, because i know some coaches would totally take it the wrong way.
                        I tend to agree with the others that I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. That said, coaches can quickly cause issues if they do not follow their own guidelines. Telling the players that performance would dictate the batting order, and then not following this, is a mistake on the coaches part. I speak with each of my players often. We discuss batting order, positional play, etc. If any of them have questions or concerns they are welcome to speak with me about it. I had one player last year that was a little upset about batting 9th. She had a decent on-base % with limited power, but had good speed. She didn't approach me about it but I could tell by her body language by the 3rd or 4th game. So I sat down with her explained that I viewed her as a second leadoff hitter. My hope was that her and the 1st batter would both be able to get on base for 2, 3, and 4. She appreciated the explanation and the vote of confidence and flourished in the role.
                        "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One year of 9/10’s i didn't have time to be a head coach. The guy who coached the team said the lineup would be based on highest batting average. Guess whose kid hit first every game.

                          The guy put together a daddy ball travel team starting at 13u. Guess whose kid always had the highest batting average. A dad told me the coach’s kid never reached base on an error. Everything was a hit. The team folded after 14u. By14u the kids figure it out.

                          At high school JV games the mother was always ranting her son should start all the time and bat fourth since he had the highest batting average on the team. When he started he hit 7th. First, the coach didn't start him against the best pitching, Second, guess who volunteered to score the games and keep the stats.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is a good topic because every baseball player and dad will run into this at one point or another. For the most part, I think the general thought is baseball is like life it ain't always fair, and that you will probably do more harm than good taking to the coach. Part of me wants to say, "just vent here" but even that's not really a good thing because it can blind you to what's really going on. Let's take the baseball is real life analogy. I'm sure there are a lot of "work politic, unfair "stories we can tell. And workers that vent, even privately, end up creating blind spots for themselves. I often think the best thing young players can do is to earnestly seek information that will make them better. I had a worker once come to me and say they felt they should be making more money. They didnt last much longer (not because they said that, but because they didn't see themselves as the solution). I've also had workers come to me and say is there any opportunities for me to take on more responsibilities and raise my value and pay. The mindset and subsequent conversations (and results) were much different. So while you should avoid taking to the coach, if its bothering your son, he could go to the coach and ask....hey coach, i want to be a better hitter, what do you think i need to work on? Base running? And after truly listening to the coach and committing to working, the door may open to ask, is there anything I can do to hit higher in the lineup or do you feel I'm better off where I'm at? If to stay where they are at is the response he can ask, why. The key here is, he gotta want to be better, bring more value to the team. If that's the midset, I dont think the coach will mind the questions. If the mindset is to just hit at the top of the order, the conversation might hurt the young man into th eyes of the coach and future coaches. .my 2 cents
                            Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FP26 View Post

                              I tend to agree with the others that I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. That said, coaches can quickly cause issues if they do not follow their own guidelines. Telling the players that performance would dictate the batting order, and then not following this, is a mistake on the coaches part. I speak with each of my players often. We discuss batting order, positional play, etc. If any of them have questions or concerns they are welcome to speak with me about it. I had one player last year that was a little upset about batting 9th. She had a decent on-base % with limited power, but had good speed. She didn't approach me about it but I could tell by her body language by the 3rd or 4th game. So I sat down with her explained that I viewed her as a second leadoff hitter. My hope was that her and the 1st batter would both be able to get on base for 2, 3, and 4. She appreciated the explanation and the vote of confidence and flourished in the role.
                              This.

                              I have read at least 1000 comments on this site basically saying, "if your coach is bad, suck it up." Well we want to hold players to a high standard. How about holding coaches to a high standard? How about holding coaches accountable to doing what they said they would do?

                              For the most part, I've found that the best coaches have a great parent meeting and then do what they claimed they would do during that pre-season meeting. These coaches get few if any parent complaints.

                              The coaches who aren't so great that get lots of parent complains almost always have less well organized parent meetings (if they have one at all) and what little they claim they will do, they don't actually do.

                              Sometimes I get the impression that because most of the posters on this site are coaches, and most of them are GOOD coaches, they lose track of the fact that there are many lousy coaches with great parents who eventually get fed up with the coach not doing what he said he would do.

                              All that being said - if the coach doesn't do what they said they would do, it's hard to hold them accountable in real time. All you can really do during the season is what everyone on this site says - make the best of the situation and keep trying to improve baseball skills. The only way to attempt to hold them accountable is to tell them after the season why it didn't work for you and why you're not coming back. I have seen some coaches improve after end of season feedback.

                              Probably won't make parent behind the OP feel any better - but my 13u son is pitcher first and foremost. Been the top or roughly tied for the top pitcher (statistically) on all but one team he's ever been on. This year - new coach who didn't know any of the players. Hard to figure why, but my son has never started or closed a game, only comes in to take over when 2 or 3 people are on base, and has only pitched more than 20 pitches in 2 games. He is rarely praised by the coach for his pitching in post-game discussion while others who get much worse results get praised. Is it because of his performance? Well, he hasn't given up a run in 9 innings of work, has the lowest WHIP, the highest strikeout rate, etc. Whatever. I've started joking with him that if he wants to get more pitching time, giving up zero runs always isn't good enough. He needs to give up negative runs! I think we'll be joking about this season for years . . .

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