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  • Choosing a "Lessons" Coach

    My sons will get thier lessons from me!

    Got to tell people about this and get their reaction:

    I took my son to the local cage today to do some work, some ground balls, (my throwing them, he's 8 y/o), throwing in general, and some tee and soft toss (straight on, from behind the screen, about 20 feet away). As we are finishing up the owner of the place, a "real baseball guy", (gotta say this much, the guy is INTO baseball, coaches an international national team of some new englanders and argentinain kids, coaches also at the middle school level, and when I coached against his team last year they impressed me with the way in which they handled themselves. This is a guy with a genuine respect for the game, from what I can tell.) well he had a kid who was new to taking lessons, probably nine years old. I had wondered just how much research this guy did. I had considered paying him for lessons for my son (although I would only concede that I would be doing ony so my son could get A DIFFERENT teacher, not becasue I couldn't do it) until today. I was curious as to how he would teach, so I listened. He made the chopping wood analogy and proceeded to tell the kid (and his dad who was standing close by) that one hits in the same manner as one chops wood....down! HE made it very, very clear. I chuckeled inside as I heard it, because it is the prevailing wisdom among those out there, but I have learned that it is a facily.

    Therefore, my question is this....how does one interview a coach, how does one confront a coach who can honestly claim to have taught first, second or third round draft choices how to hit, and tell them that their teachings are flawed?

    It seems that among those in the practice of giving lessons (at least in south central connectcut, that hotbed of baseball talent, ) take the linear approach. I guess I keep teaching my son myself...

    Thoughts?

    Tom

  • #2
    I think you already answered your question correctly. Supplement that with some time with Steve if you get the chance.

    Comment


    • #3
      You are the Best Coach ...

      I hate to do it, but I agree with Mark. I am my own sons' swing coach and they are both making good progress, but I wouldn't have stood a chance of getting a bunch of things right if I hadn't had Englishbey on site to demonstrate and explain those things. If you can't make that happen, then I suggest you get his DVD and study it carefully. Experiment with your own swing and watch other video of high-level swings. When you start working with your own young hitters, post video of their progress on a forum (such as this one) that allows it. Either Steve or others who have already made the journey will probably be willing to give feedback.

      Comment


      • #4
        The flip side...

        I am working with a kid (16) that has no shift and prematurely hinges his back knee and extends his front leg. His neg tilt occurs too early and he attempts to put the same swing on all balls as he gets trapped on his back side too early.

        The result...bottom hand cannot lead and rear elbow leaves the slot and top hand rolls over.

        He cannot hit a line drive in pull gap off a tee with a bucket of balls. 60% over the top foul. 30% flare weak oppo gap. Tight muscles, too wide locked up.

        THe Dad comes up to me after practice and has this heated debate after I saty late trying to to help him see it. I have taken him home to see clips the night before and he gets what he needs to do but it will take some time right?.

        The Dad has no clue what we want or what it should look like or how to get there or how much time it might take. All we want is some weight transfer to get a more vertical axis before he hinges the rear kneee to get some lead arm leverage.

        Dad is uncommunicable and I tip my cap and say "help yourself". The Dad comes out next day and goes to cage for one hour and I see the kid making the same reverse pivot/ spin move.

        The next day he goes to BP. I leave the cage area knowing his Dad is probably somewhere on the complex and go to 2 B and watch. I chart his swings. He hits 15 balls. 8 are rolled over foul and 2 are flared foul oppo. Two pull gap decent and three pulled on ground pull side.

        Comment


        • #5
          Shame on Dad.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by swingbuster
            The Dad has no clue what we want or what it should look like or how to get there or how much time it might take. All we want is some weight transfer to get a more vertical axis before he hinges the rear kneee to get some lead arm leverage.
            Ok, my son is 8, rather physically weak for that age, even if that does sound silly...aren't they all?. he has a hard time generating any power thus far. His feet are ok, and his balance is fairly good, but I have to ask....in layman's terms here....what do you mean by "get a more vertical axis (I know what 'vertical' means and what 'axis' means, but not so much how they apply here exactly) before he hinges the rear knee to get some lead arm leverage."

            I'm not sure I can identify and correct something if I don't know what it is.

            Call me stupid, I guess, I'm a history teacher, not an english teacher....any more.

            I have spoken to Steve on the phone and we are trying to hook up for a lengthy conversation, but we haven't found good time. It'll come I suppose.

            Tom

            Comment


            • #7
              Tom,

              While it is not considered a good swing , the loopy pitches to 8yo batters allow them to stay on the back side and tilt early to get on plane and do pretty well at that level. So , it must be something that you are aware of that will ingrain and hurt you later

              If they hit it "over the dirt" in LL then they will likely have a hit due to inefficient OF.

              As you well know the flatter 70-81 HS pitch that is kept down is difficult to hit on that LL plane . If you tilt early you swing will be too steep and upper cut and you will swing through the pitch zone close to on time but rarely make contact

              Before you pull the trigger the axis of the body realtive to the ground at foot plant comparatively must be more to 90% for the purpose of answering your question.

              PLayers that pick the lead foot up and replace it tend to not shift and they tilt early and the bat inertia and "box" heavier to the back side pulls them off balance. Functionally you get a "dropping rear shoulder" look and a swing that starts on the back and finishes on the back but never leaves the back

              If Steve can teach you to carry the middle out or whatever he does to move the batter in the right way then it would be of great benefit to know as you develop your son

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tominct
                Therefore, my question is this....how does one interview a coach, how does one confront a coach who can honestly claim to have taught first, second or third round draft choices how to hit, and tell them that their teachings are flawed?
                Thoughts?
                Tom
                I can honestly say that I have taught hitting to players now playing in the pros and college. It doesn't mean anything as I had these kids in Little League. The affect I had on their swings is limited when compared against ligitimate hitting instructors that taught/teach them in college.

                To Avoid the above I have several points:
                1. A good hitting instructor can be interveiwed and checked the same way you would hire an employee.
                a. Ask for a resume. A ligitamate qualified instructor will not mind giving you one. Those that do mind may not have the credentials. Stay away from the boastful generalities and ask for facts.
                b. Check their affiliations. Do they currently coach or have previously coached at the high school or higher level. I would stay away from MS level and less unless they have extensive experience or had coached at a high level at one time.
                c. Ask for film of previous students. Every guy I know has film available.
                d. Ask for references from the parents (seeing they're paying the bill).
                e. Check their success rate. Who have they taught that is now successful?
                f. MOST IMPORTANT go and watch them teach. Make sure you agree with their methods and teaching philosophies. If you don't - don't waste your money. If you do - let the guy do his job.

                Having trained both my boys, I found they learned best when I found a reasonable mix of qualified instructors helping them and me reinforcing what they learned.
                Last edited by Jake Patterson; 02-19-2006, 08:32 AM.
                "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tominct
                  How does one confront a coach who can honestly claim to have taught first, second or third round draft choices how to hit, and tell them that their teachings are flawed?Tom
                  Another thought.
                  If you find yourself in a confrontation with an instrustor. Don't use him

                  If you find yourself in a discussion. Make sure you understand the complete discussion. The best I've used (Both former pro coaches) use the term "down," but only as a discriptor of a very small part of the overall swing.
                  "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                  - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                  Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by swingbuster
                    Dad is uncommunicable and I tip my cap and say "help yourself". The Dad comes out next day and goes to cage for one hour and I see the kid making the same reverse pivot/ spin move.
                    At the end of the day it's the guy that has the credentials and successes that usually win these arguements. We have all experienced the dad that knew more, In some cases they do, in many cases they don't. I'm faced with one now. I politely told the dad "Look I am not going to fight with you all season. We can discuss privately your concerns, but at the end of the day I am the coach. If you strongly disagree with what I'm teaching your son, then I suggest you look for another team for him to play on because I am not going compete with you."

                    The basis for his experinece- he played high school ball and coached his son's Little League team.
                    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ask him which of these video clips demonstrates his swing beliefs.

                      http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/swings.html

                      If he can't find one, then at least maybe he'll shut up. If he finds a bunch of them, maybe he's right. Always leave your own beliefs open to challenge using slow motion video of the best in the world as your compass.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by swingbuster
                        The flip side...

                        I am working with a kid (16) that has no shift and prematurely hinges his back knee and extends his front leg. His neg tilt occurs too early and he attempts to put the same swing on all balls as he gets trapped on his back side too early...
                        I would start with posture.

                        Then, I would go to connection.

                        Then, I would advance to rotation.

                        Finally, I'd finish with the hook.

                        For $150 all your questions would be answered.

                        Are you really looking for answers?

                        Or, are you trying to fit a round peg in a square hole?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by swingbuster
                          Tom,

                          While it is not considered a good swing , the loopy pitches to 8yo batters allow them to stay on the back side and tilt early to get on plane and do pretty well at that level. So , it must be something that you are aware of that will ingrain and hurt you later.
                          Huh?


                          Before you pull the trigger the axis of the body realtive to the ground at foot plant comparatively must be more to 90% for the purpose of answering your question.
                          HUH? Axis of the body more than 90%??? What the dickens does that mean?

                          Sorry for my ignorance.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            About the confronting the other instructor or coach

                            I'd say just leave it be, because if you confront them they'll become defensive and not listen to what you say, and will also ignore anyone else who says the same things you do.

                            If he walks up to you and asks for your opinion, your insight on certain things, then feel free to say what you think is the better options, or the better way to do things without seeming too confrontational
                            While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              must be more to 90%
                              Close to 90%

                              For $150 all your questions would be answered.
                              Ohfer the info pimp.
                              Last edited by swingbuster; 02-19-2006, 01:21 PM.

                              Comment

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