Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Development Rate of New Players

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Development Rate of New Players

    As a coach, I faced an uphill battle two years ago when I had a 7-year-old and 8-year-old who were new to baseball. Both kids were uncoordinated and generally didn't seem very athletic. One was a big guy with an ugly swing but a lot of power. The other was a skinny kid with knock knees. Both kids played for me for two seasons and improved. But their improvement was gradual. After those two seasons, they both had bad experiences with a poor coach. He yelled a lot at kids when they made mistakes but rarely yelled any helpful information about how to correct mistakes. Both kids were casters who swung only with their arms. They did not turn their hips unless I reminded them. With new coaches, they fell into their old ways of swinging and struggled. They struck out a fair number of times.They also had to deal with the fear of moving to kid pitch. They were frightened of being hit by a pitch.

    So both of those kids were ready to quit when I managed to latch onto them again. In the spring, I drafted one and rekindled his love for the game. He still struggled with hitting, but I managed to get him into a groove by the summer. This fall, he was drafted by another team, and he's been their best hitter. I'm really proud of him and really excited to see him break out after two years and four seasons, including three playing for me.

    I wasn't able to draft the other kid during the spring, and he was ready to quit after his bad experience with another coach. But his dad convinced him to try moving to a new league, and I was able to draft him in the new league. I believe the agreement he had with his dad was that he would try but that he wanted the freedom to quit if he didn't want to keep playing. Well, that young man has figured out hitting and has become a capable outfielder. He got a game-winning hit a few weeks ago and may pitch for the first time on Saturday. His dad said he really is enjoying the game.

    There were times when I thought neither of this kids would ever make it as ballplayers, but I dedicated a lot of time to them. After two years, they're blossoming. They are still somewhat uncoordinated and could use lots of groundballs. That's my goal for the winter.

    And the reason I mention these two kids is that they developed slowly. Since I knew they were a few seasons behind a lot of other players, I was patient with them, but I also knew that a lot of kids who start late struggle and don't stick around for more than a season or two.

    This fall, I drafted a 10-year-old who had never played before. He's strong, but he's not particularly big. He's just kind of an athletic type of kid who spends a lot of time outdoors. His dad is a part-time professional bass fisherman. When I heard that this kid had never played before, I was concerned that I had a big job on my hands. But I saw immediately that he had some skill. He has good coordination, good, quick hands and good ears for listening and interpreting. Another coach noted that he is a blank canvas, a kid with no swing flaws or throwing issues. He struck out or walked every AB for the first five games, but he was inching closer to hitting. And he did that twice in two games. In fact, he very nearly hit a 180-foot homer to center field on Wednesday. He also has settled into playing second base and does well with it.

    I'm not sure that I have a specific point to all of this. I just think it's really interesting how two kids can struggle to adapt to the game while another races out of the shoot. I'm sure part of it is that the new kid is just a better athlete with more natural skill for the game. I'm sure my coaching experience also gives my new kid a better chance for success than the guys who started with me a few years ago.

    All in all, I'm really happy to see the development of the players. The joy they experience really brings a lot of happiness for them, their families, their teammates and for me, also. Those big smiles are priceless.

    This fall has been a tough season, too. So knowing that I can develop players has been a real blessing. A few weeks ago, we lost 15-0 to a team, and i think we got one out in the whole game. Each inning was stopped due to run limits. We played that team again on Wednesday. Before the game, I gave the kids this quote, which I saw posted on Facebook: The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

    After putting in a lot of hard work, we shined. We lost 12-7 but trailed just 9-7 in the bottom half of the fifth inning before I ran out of pitching. A few base-running mistakes and a few errors on defense were the difference in us winning and losing. After that team beat us 15-0, you never could have convinced me that my team was more talented. But I believe that now.

    I had one kid almost clear the fence with his second career hit. Two other kids cranked doubles. They had been struggling just to make contact. One of them later went all the way around for a "home run" on errors. It was his first home run, and the guys came out of the dugout to greet him. In the first inning, we allowed only one run. All three outs were on grounders. We made more defensive plays in later innings, and my pitchers started to throw strikes more consistently. My son struck out the other team's best batter with smoke. He was ahead 0-2, and I had explained before the game that you always want to go after a good hitter with your best fastball on 0-2. He had tried it a few weeks ago and hit a batter in the foot. But he threw one right down the heart of the plate this time.

    Now, we have won only one game. But this team has come so, so far. We hung with the league's best team last week, too. I have to say that this season has been my most rewarding. After that 15-0 win, I was ready to run and hide. But now I am excited and want to draft the same group of kids for the spring season.

  • #2
    Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
    I'm not sure that I have a specific point to all of this. I just think it's really interesting how two kids can struggle to adapt to the game while another races out of the shoot.
    Pick your parents carefully. The kids who are athletic "out of the shoot" probably have more athletic families. Their families are probably more active. Their kids developed some agility on the playground if not on the ball field. My daughter never had any interest in baseball or softball until she asked to throw and catch the day before the first practice for 7/8's. She was one of the best players even tough half the girls had played tee ball (maybe a commentary on the value of tee ball).

    Younger brothers and sisters come "out of the shoot" faster. My son was hanging around his sister's softball and basketball practices from the time he was three. When he was seven in the basketball clinic he was going behind his back and between his legs. A mother asked if he learned that in clinic. I told her he learned it at his sister's 11/12 basketball practices along with all the dribbling he did in the driveway.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tg643 View Post
      Pick your parents carefully. The kids who are athletic "out of the shoot" probably have more athletic families. Their families are probably more active. Their kids developed some agility on the playground if not on the ball field. My daughter never had any interest in baseball or softball until she asked to throw and catch the day before the first practice for 7/8's. She was one of the best players even tough half the girls had played tee ball (maybe a commentary on the value of tee ball).

      Younger brothers and sisters come "out of the shoot" faster. My son was hanging around his sister's softball and basketball practices from the time he was three. When he was seven in the basketball clinic he was going behind his back and between his legs. A mother asked if he learned that in clinic. I told her he learned it at his sister's 11/12 basketball practices along with all the dribbling he did in the driveway.
      yes. there are kids who learn almost immediately and some need years. the great talents usually learn very fast. I heard a tennis coach talking about a good player a couple years ago. he said "you never had to tell him anything twice he would immediately implement this into his game if you corrected him. that is talent and coordination
      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
        Pick your parents carefully. The kids who are athletic "out of the shoot" probably have more athletic families. Their families are probably more active. Their kids developed some agility on the playground if not on the ball field. My daughter never had any interest in baseball or softball until she asked to throw and catch the day before the first practice for 7/8's. She was one of the best players even tough half the girls had played tee ball (maybe a commentary on the value of tee ball).

        Younger brothers and sisters come "out of the shoot" faster. My son was hanging around his sister's softball and basketball practices from the time he was three. When he was seven in the basketball clinic he was going behind his back and between his legs. A mother asked if he learned that in clinic. I told her he learned it at his sister's 11/12 basketball practices along with all the dribbling he did in the driveway.
        I have witnessed the talent of younger siblings. But the thing about athletic parents doesn't always apply. I have had several talented kids whose parents were short, dumpy and slow with no athletic experience. I had a kid whose mom played Big Ten college volleyball and whose dad played Big Ten football. His mom is over 6 feet tall. His dad is super strong. Their kid is one of the most uncoordinated, non-athletic children I've ever seen. There might be something to what you're recommending, but it seems like more of a craps shoot to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
          I have witnessed the talent of younger siblings. But the thing about athletic parents doesn't always apply. I have had several talented kids whose parents were short, dumpy and slow with no athletic experience. I had a kid whose mom played Big Ten college volleyball and whose dad played Big Ten football. His mom is over 6 feet tall. His dad is super strong. Their kid is one of the most uncoordinated, non-athletic children I've ever seen. There might be something to what you're recommending, but it seems like more of a craps shoot to me.
          I believe there are reasons to choose kids based in part upon their parents...not necessarily from their parents' success in other sports, although that doesn't hurt.
          I've found, at youth levels, the biggest factor in baseball, because it is such a skill sport, is a dad who has a good understanding and perspective of the game and of what is important. A dad who is willing to spend time with the kid playing catch or going to batting cages, throw BP, etc. A dad with those qualities and who has played the game, posesses good throwing mechanics for the kid to emulate, is even better.
          Finally, consider whether the parents have realistic expecations and see the child's performance accurately. Will they be pains in the derriere, or will they be calm supportive parents.

          Comment


          • #6
            They are all blank canvases at 7 or 8. Their desire to commit to improving is step one. The coach you referred to yelling at kids has it alll wrong. With my own kid and kids I coached I let them feel like mistakes were just things they have not mastered yet. My son is 15 and he still has the desire to improve. We don't talk as much about what he's not. We talka lot though about what he can be. That is what keeps kids engaged. Now keeping that realistic is topic for another discussion.
            There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think you've happened upon the hidden treasure of coaching (Really the thing I found absolutely addicting in regards to it). When you put in the time, effort, patience..love, most times you get very positive results which reward you for the rest of your life while watching the kid you've developed..or had a hand in the process (The real truth is you develop each other) continue on in the game or just life (Jake has oft mentioned his guys and the great things they done and become).
              The variables which are listed are great hints for kid selection, getting the young ones around relaxed and smooth athletic movements really helps them to understand how their bodies need to move, it is one of the reasons that clinics are a potential positive factor, so players who have consistant athletic exposure no matter the sport are excellent candidates (I've had great results with soccor kids and martial arts kids and even kids who went to tumbling classes).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
                I have witnessed the talent of younger siblings. But the thing about athletic parents doesn't always apply. I have had several talented kids whose parents were short, dumpy and slow with no athletic experience. I had a kid whose mom played Big Ten college volleyball and whose dad played Big Ten football. His mom is over 6 feet tall. His dad is super strong. Their kid is one of the most uncoordinated, non-athletic children I've ever seen. There might be something to what you're recommending, but it seems like more of a craps shoot to me.
                You may be able to post an example. There's always going to be an exception to the norm. But where you find athletic parents you find athletic kids. Every player on my son's showcase baseball team went D1. Every father and some of the mothers played college sports at some level.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by raptor View Post
                  I believe there are reasons to choose kids based in part upon their parents...not necessarily from their parents' success in other sports, although that doesn't hurt.
                  I've found, at youth levels, the biggest factor in baseball, because it is such a skill sport, is a dad who has a good understanding and perspective of the game and of what is important. A dad who is willing to spend time with the kid playing catch or going to batting cages, throw BP, etc. A dad with those qualities and who has played the game, posesses good throwing mechanics for the kid to emulate, is even better.
                  Finally, consider whether the parents have realistic expecations and see the child's performance accurately. Will they be pains in the derriere, or will they be calm supportive parents.
                  When I coached Babe Ruth baseball out of high school and LL as a parent if I needed a tiebreaker on kids one was have I seen or heard of the kid adn his father spending time at the field. I also went by athletic parents and older athletic siblings the kid may be competing against in the backyard.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
                    I have witnessed the talent of younger siblings. But the thing about athletic parents doesn't always apply. I have had several talented kids whose parents were short, dumpy and slow with no athletic experience. I had a kid whose mom played Big Ten college volleyball and whose dad played Big Ten football. His mom is over 6 feet tall. His dad is super strong. Their kid is one of the most uncoordinated, non-athletic children I've ever seen. There might be something to what you're recommending, but it seems like more of a craps shoot to me.
                    Adopted or the mail man. And I'm probably right.

                    Nice posts throughout the thread. All of this is a big part of the process, in my experience. I just take whoever comes my way. Baseball has to be in the heart and blood to get maximum value out of it. We all have those kids who "get it" on the first or second try and we have those kids who "tell them something a 1000 times and then tell them again because that may be the time they get it." "Baseball is like church: many attend but few understand." That sort of thing.

                    The very first goal of the coach is to make it a positive experience for everyone. Having said that, I will send kids who have talent packing if they are goof balls and take down the rest of the team.

                    Also, the talents required for baseball don't always translate to the talents required in other sports. And daddy may be an ex-big leaguer but momma may be a klutz.
                    Major Figure

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And daddy may be an ex-big leaguer but momma may be a klutz.

                      These are the exceptions. I know one. A friend was an All-American pitcher in the SEC. He also played basketball his first two years. He was a high draft choice. He made it to AAA. His son was an better than average LL player. After LL, the game became a struggle. THe kid was cut from the high school program soph year. My friend joked to me he polluted the gene pool with his first wife. The dad is 6'4". The kid is 5'10". This can happen when marrying a 5'2" woman.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        And daddy may be an ex-big leaguer but momma may be a klutz.

                        These are the exceptions. I know one. A friend was an All-American pitcher in the SEC. He also played basketball his first two years. He was a high draft choice. He made it to AAA. His son was an better than average LL player. After LL, the game became a struggle. THe kid was cut from the high school program soph year. My friend joked to me he polluted the gene pool with his first wife. The dad is 6'4". The kid is 5'10". This can happen when marrying a 5'2" woman.

                        yeah don't marry that little cutie but the tall volleyball player
                        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by omg View Post
                          Adopted or the mail man. And I'm probably right.

                          Nice posts throughout the thread. All of this is a big part of the process, in my experience. I just take whoever comes my way. Baseball has to be in the heart and blood to get maximum value out of it. We all have those kids who "get it" on the first or second try and we have those kids who "tell them something a 1000 times and then tell them again because that may be the time they get it." "Baseball is like church: many attend but few understand." That sort of thing.
                          Outstanding balance of great humor and great advice!

                          Today, the kid who has to be told something 1,000 times got his big chance! He is the kid who warned his dad before the start of the season that he might want to quit. He is a super nice kid. He has some skill, but he isn't all that coordinated. He still has trouble fielding grounders. He doesn't focus much and isn't aggressive. He's the kind of kid who hits the ball to the fence, runs to first and stands there while the other team is throwing the ball over the cutoff man's head and then over the catcher's head, too.

                          I gave this kid a crash course on pitching on Thursday. Today, we tossed him into the frying pan. He gave up the max four runs, but he had two strikes on three or four batters. He mostly walked guys. But I have a feeling he'll be able to help us a lot by the end of the season.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
                            Outstanding balance of great humor and great advice!

                            Today, the kid who has to be told something 1,000 times got his big chance! He is the kid who warned his dad before the start of the season that he might want to quit. He is a super nice kid. He has some skill, but he isn't all that coordinated. He still has trouble fielding grounders. He doesn't focus much and isn't aggressive. He's the kind of kid who hits the ball to the fence, runs to first and stands there while the other team is throwing the ball over the cutoff man's head and then over the catcher's head, too.

                            I gave this kid a crash course on pitching on Thursday. Today, we tossed him into the frying pan. He gave up the max four runs, but he had two strikes on three or four batters. He mostly walked guys. But I have a feeling he'll be able to help us a lot by the end of the season.
                            Oh yes. Pitchers can be un-athletic.
                            Major Figure

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by omg View Post
                              Oh yes. Pitchers can be un-athletic.
                              David Wells comes to mind.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X