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Gave a lesson tonight:

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  • Gave a lesson tonight:

    Had a call from a young man I've given lessons to before. He has been struggling some and so, I wanted to help him out some. It was very hot, he had already played a game today in a tournament, and yet, we had a blast. We went over much of the old stuff I had done with him and he admitted he had gotten away from a lot of it over time and with other coaches. During this lesson I asked "why" and he said that was something he had been missing from his lessons/other coaching. He said that he needs that. For example, we were talking about at bats at the end of the lesson where I was throwing to him and I gave the situation runner on second tie game no outs what are you thinking. He froze for a minute. He is a left handed power hitter. Then he went through the scenerio of looking middle in something to pull to advance the runner but something he could drive first pitch... So I said that he didn't get something to drive and took a curve. I threw him a curve for a strike. He said that now he was thinking gap to gap and would still like something in but if he recognizes a fastball he can drive to either power gap, ... I asked him why he didn't say he was looking for a curve. He said he wouldn't be looking for someone to double up the curve rather most go away from him since he is so big and strong.

    Whether you agree with our thought process doesn't matter, I think more of this needs to be done where you don't just throw BP but have players at least discuss a plan. Often I let them describe their plan and then I throw pitches or change counts to make them change their approach. However, I also think it is necessary to tell them that no matter what the plan, you have to be able to read and react in the box.

    We wrapped up by him telling me what we did tonight and why. We were there an hour and a half. He did a pretty good job of it. I had a blast. I know you guys do too when you give lessons or coach. Thanks for what you do for kids.
    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.

  • #2
    cannonball,

    It all gets down to how improvements gets locked in that is slowly but surely eroding in youth baseball by playing so many games during the year.
    I see this constantly and it proves that games actually make your athlete regress if the games over exceed the fundamental repetitious practices they should be doing.
    One on one individual clinical practice thru repetition is the holey grail in becoming the best you can be.

    With all the year round club ball everywhere this is becoming more and more evident .
    You can see it acutely now and in the past at the beginning of spring even when the kids that do practice in the fall and winter, when they start the spring games with excellent mechanics (batting, pitching or defence) and as the season rolls and less practice is used on the athletes their motor skills degrade.
    Primum non nocere

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
      Had a call from a young man I've given lessons to before. He has been struggling some and so, I wanted to help him out some. It was very hot, he had already played a game today in a tournament, and yet, we had a blast. We went over much of the old stuff I had done with him and he admitted he had gotten away from a lot of it over time and with other coaches. During this lesson I asked "why" and he said that was something he had been missing from his lessons/other coaching. He said that he needs that. For example, we were talking about at bats at the end of the lesson where I was throwing to him and I gave the situation runner on second tie game no outs what are you thinking. He froze for a minute. He is a left handed power hitter. Then he went through the scenerio of looking middle in something to pull to advance the runner but something he could drive first pitch... So I said that he didn't get something to drive and took a curve. I threw him a curve for a strike. He said that now he was thinking gap to gap and would still like something in but if he recognizes a fastball he can drive to either power gap, ... I asked him why he didn't say he was looking for a curve. He said he wouldn't be looking for someone to double up the curve rather most go away from him since he is so big and strong.

      Whether you agree with our thought process doesn't matter, I think more of this needs to be done where you don't just throw BP but have players at least discuss a plan. Often I let them describe their plan and then I throw pitches or change counts to make them change their approach. However, I also think it is necessary to tell them that no matter what the plan, you have to be able to read and react in the box.

      We wrapped up by him telling me what we did tonight and why. We were there an hour and a half. He did a pretty good job of it. I had a blast. I know you guys do too when you give lessons or coach. Thanks for what you do for kids.
      Nice story Cannonball. You're right, there are a lot of players who go up to the plate without a plan and I have never understood why. It's actually what makes baseball such a great game, such a thinking man's game as Eddie Murray once said. It's fun to try to figure out what the pitcher is going to do, and it's even more fun when you're right and take advantage of it. I start teaching kids to think about the game and what is going on at the earliest ages, so by the time they're in high school they can analyze the pitcher by themselves, much like your dicussion above. Kids are a LOT more capable in this regard than most coaches think.

      -JJA
      The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

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      • #4
        Dirtberry and JJA, you both made great posts. I agree with both of you! To be honest, we did an hour and a half and I could not believe that it went that long. It was truly fun. I think that some of us lose the instructor/coach in ourselves when we set time limits on a lesson. This young man has a lot of upside but just got to the point where he felt overwhelmed. He needed the conversation and talking him through some stuff. The thing is, I know a lot of our members know this stuff but like Dirtberry said, they are playing so many games that practice is no longer a teaching environment. It is more BP and get on the field. JJA, when we got out of our respective cars to go to the cage, I asked this young man how teams were getting him out. He said they get me out every way they want. I told him it isn't that easy. Then, I had him walk me through his game yesterday. Turns out he hit the ball hard 3 of his at bats but the results were not there. As we all know sometimes you can go through a stretch where the results are not there but you are hitting the ball hard. That told me he wasn't as bad off as he thought.
        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

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