Baseball has certainly become a statistically driven sport of the years. Everything gets measures…Hits, walks, strikeouts, at bats, batting average, plate appearances, put outs, chances, assists, errors, pitches thrown, passed balls, wild pitches, etc. It could almost go one forever. As fans we talk about the stats of the great players as qualifiers to the All Star Game or Hall of Fame.
So when our kids start playing the game we instantly want to watch their batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage to make sure they’re doing well. It’s natural. We simply want a means to know if our child is doing well and this is how it’s always been done in the game of baseball. So why wouldn’t you??
In the Beginning It’s Useless
The traditional baseball stats have some flaws in them when used in youth baseball (kids less than 12 years old specifically). In the early years of baseball development, say 8 years old and younger, stats have absolutely no value. (more…)
A wise coach once told me, “If you put the ball in play, good things happen.”
One of the greatest baseball coaching tools I’ve found in coaching young players is a Mini-Diamond. As a coach, it allows you to take any drill where the focus is not a full, overhand throw and convert it into something that can help get more quality repetitions in during practice. This is likely something that you will find referenced throughout drills across the site.
So what is a Mini-Diamond? Simple is a 20-25 foot diamond. Think of something like the photo below. (more…)
Youth baseball has become big business. For leagues, teams, and most certainly for private coaching. Whether your child is just learning the game or is working towards earning a college scholarship, think about the conflict of interest that private coaches face.
- You take your child to them to teach some aspect of the game or fix some issue in their game.
- The more lessons your child has the more money they make.
Now I have nothing against private lessons. Another set of eyes and viewpoint is almost always beneficial. The issue I have is that the approach used by a lot of private coaches has become more and more common in youth coaching. The issue is not that what is being taught is necessarily wrong (although sometimes it is).
Hitting a baseball is a challenging task. As Ted Williams said, “The hardest thing to do in baseball is hit a round ball with a round bat squarely.” Now go and teach that skill to a 4-7 year old kid. Sound easy, right??
It can be if you have the right approach and the patience to avoid the common coaching pitfalls.
If you’ve been to a youth baseball game recently you’ve likely heard the litany of traditional coaching cues that fail our young players. Things like “stay back”, “get your elbow up”, “squish the bug”, “don’t step in the bucket”, etc.
The problem with these bits of “coaching” is most kids don’t really understand what they mean and, (more…)
How many of us have gone down the rabbit trail of YouTube videos of hitting and throwing drills trying to fix the mechanics of one of our players? I know I have. You’ve worked with young players for months on their load or hands or arm slot and you’re sure the next video will be the one that will do the trick…
I’m here to tell you that when it comes to young players (from the time they start up to 12 years old), the only words you as a coach or parent need to provide your child as instruction are hit it/throw it…“AS HARD AS YOU CAN”.
To some this is heresy, but for me this is a principle that is the foundation of how I teach the kids I work with, including my own boys. If you’ve been around our site long you’ll hear me talk a lot about this topic. I originally was introduced to the concept of intent when I stumbled (more…)