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@2022NYC posted:

I don't understood why HS coaches who charge for lessons or who are coaches on a travel team that have their students on it does not find it a conflict of interest. 

Then in your opinion hitting coaches like me who are also high school coaches and teachers should forfeit their outside income for the roughly $2,500 I get paid to coach in high school.

I have a problem with any coach at any level who charges his own players for lessons.  I think you can use facilities but not to charge your players.  It fits under above reproach.  I don’t think travel coaches should charge their players for lessons.  Make that money from others not yours.  It falls under conflict of interest and if you want me to help you then you will have to pay.  Just me.  But not a fan of it.  

@PitchingFan posted:

The way you worded it.  I would hope a high school coach would not charge his players for lessons.  But I know those who do. 

I missed your reply.  I've been on this site since it first started and have been a moderator here ever since MN Mom took over the site.  I moderate other boards as well.  I have a pretty impressive resume but I won't bore you with that.  Why should I be required to coach for free when my contract for HS ball is set by the state association.  After that, it is my free time to do as I think right.  I would expect any person with a skill to charge for that skill.  This past week, we called a plummer and paid him a lot for his skill.  In HS ball, I don't get paid much for my skill.  I do it because I love the game and the players.  If I run a business in the summer, I should be allowed to make money from that business.  No one is forcing any player to take lessons from me.  In fact, and if you followed my posts on this and other sites, I turn a lot of people down each summer.  I set my capacity at 22 hitters.  I have hitters from my school and all over the area.  I have a range of hitters from age 10 to collegiate hitters.  (I don't count the collegiate hitters in my 22 since they most often call and ask to get in for a very brief time.

Now to the rest of your question.  Yes, I charge.  I used to do it for free.  I didn't want the pain from an additional form for taxes.  I am very expensive.    My AD called me in and asked me to charge since he thought that with me having a business but our players hitting for free it might cause some concerns with parents who didn't get their hitter in.  So, I charge $15 for approximately 45 min.  I have hitters hit in groups of 2.  I turned down, and I think I mentioned this on this site last year, approximately 50 hitters last year.  Per my parents, they are told that I don't require hitters to hit with me.  They want that due to the success of my hitters.  Again, the resume stuff.  Then, there is the success of my personal hitting student.  My kid went on to be a two time All American, hit 50 home runs in college and broke 8 of her college records.  Sorry, resume.  

Now the question back to you is why you would expect me to donate my times and skills for free?  

@PitchingFan posted:

I have a problem with any coach at any level who charges his own players for lessons.  I think you can use facilities but not to charge your players.  It fits under above reproach.  I don’t think travel coaches should charge their players for lessons.  Make that money from others not yours.  It falls under conflict of interest and if you want me to help you then you will have to pay.  Just me.  But not a fan of it.  

So, in your view, I should do all of the work like I did getting up at 6 in the morning 5 days a week to do weight room, staying after school for open gym, working on the field mowing, weeding, ... repairing facilities, buying equipment, ... and I am to be condemned for trying to make some money.  If you factor in all of the time away from the family to do this, you then find out why so many people are getting out of coaching.  In a neighboring school district, a young man I coached against has called it quits after 4 years.  He couldn't handle the time away from family while his kids were young.  He also couldn't handle all of the criticism when he was trying to build a program.  I built a program!  

Again, in my case parents are begging to get their child in.  This summer when we were not allowed to coach, parents were furious that I could not coach them.  I don't think any of our parents are upset that I do lessons.  

The problem isn't giving quality instruction for a price that you feel is worth your time. The problem is when Coach FewExtraBucks starts letting his small business get in the way of his judgement. When it is neck and neck between two guys for a position and the guy who spent $1200 in lessons in the offseason gets the starting job because he knows the parents will sign him up again. Or when Johnny HittingLessons keeps pinch hitting for the starter even though he is hitting .200 on the season. That is when it starts to get ugly

You see it all the time in travel, the kids who take lessons at the academy are often awarded more chances than the kids who don't do lessons and just play. We were part of that one summer, it was obvious. Kept quiet and moved on at the end of the season. Watched that very good team fall apart by the time they were 16. 

Our HS coach had a travel organization. He took players from the school, charged a pretty penny, and played a weak schedule full of local tournaments. A lot played, but some didn't. We never had to worry about this, but there was another kid who played for a cheaper rival organization.  It was fairly obvious the kid had more talent than some of the kids who played for him over the summer. He didn't see any meaningful innings until he was a senior when most of the coaches travel guys had already graduated. 

Unfortunately for every guy who knows what he's doing and does it the right way there are 10 more who like you said, agree the HS HC job doesn't pay enough and use their title as coach as a business opportunity ahead of it being a making my better players better for a few bucks situation. 

I can’t tell you what to do and won’t but I will tell you what I did.  Btw, I’ve been here 14 years.  Was here under a different name to start with and changed jobs.  Couldn’t log in one day and couldn’t get my password to work so began a new name.  
I was in a small town and taught hitting and pitching lessons. Became HS Hc for baseball and AC for softball.  Dropped charging all my players on either team.  It was an ethics thing for me.  Did I lose money?   Most of it but picked up others, mostly our competition but stayed above reproach.  I had to make a choice and I wanted to help our school.  They were paying me for my skills.  So you are preaching to the choir. Last year one of the dads talked me into helping Coach a Girls Softball travel team that had five of the girls I did lessons on. I stopped charging them for lessons while I was coaching them.  Again, I won’t tell you what to do but I did state my opinion and I can do that because I made the choice on multiple occasions.  You have to do you.  

As a non-coach, I feel the HS coach is obligated to help players improve with coaching during the season. When it turns into an off hours one on one lesson I’m ok with charging. It can be a slippery slope though IMO. Coach didn’t seem to have any interest in telling kids what they were doing wrong, but the lesson kids were always getting tips. And guess what, they also got the PH opportunity before more deserving non-lesson kids. 

Where I see the biggest issue though, wealthy dad has a travel team with a bunch of kids he flies in for tournaments and a few that he actually pays. He hired the HS coach to help coach the travel team. His kid is not very good at all but started every game and never missed an AB. it doesn’t impact my son much as he plays a different position, but the entire team knows what’s going on and the parents do as well. 

Just realized this, my son’s hitting coach invited him to start playing and practicing with his travel team. He hasn’t charged us for the hitting instruction lately and only charged for the practices/workouts/tournaments. The hitting cost was about 50% more than the team cost

I think it's a relic of yesteryear where coaches, and for that matter teachers, give countless hours on nights and weekends to help an never ending parade of kids.  Getting corrections, occasional tips and such is one thing, but a regularly scheduled, weekly private one-on-one batting session?  Why would anyone think this should be free to any and all?  I would insist on paying even if the coach didn't ask.  It seems odd that the same people who happily pay a travel coach for hitting lessons bristle at the thought of paying the HS coach for the same service.

@TN DAD posted:

Hello all,

I fully expect a coach even at the High School level is "coaching" all of the time in some form or fashion. But what is the expected time commitment from coaches throughout the country? I figured the expected commitment time frame is something like this:

Jan-May coaching and practicing and playing

June- Small break and then field maintenance, facilities upkeep, and promotion, securing donors, camps

July - Same as June but with Dead period, communicate off-season/summer workouts, conditioning

August-December - School starts- volunteer "open cage" after school, communicating with players about expectations, grades, potential college interest, suggest camps, showcases

 

This seems like a full year job and for a passionate person, this is part of the process.

I want to fully understand the commitment from a coaches and parents expectation.

 

Thanks so much!!

Back to OP....My parental expectation of a high school coach is to be a role model for the development of solid character & importance of team, provide safe structured team practices but know (be interested in) the players' skill sets individually with in season coaching, and ideally be available if the players (not parents) have off season questions or need occasional guidance (camps, colleges, workouts, arm health). I am truly amazed at the passion, time and true dedication virtually EVERY single coach has displayed since my college player was 4. Sure we as parents have witnessed all different coaching styles, playing opportunity politics, but we decided to look at the big picture & give people the benefit of the doubt. I love your ideal plan, but as a parent the plan above far exceeds my expectation. Not being a coach's wife but being besties with many, condensing the June- December schedule to focus on your other job and family, may bring loads of joy and secure the personal support you will need to start off the next season. Our high school did just go through a head coach and culture change after a 3 year transitional period so I wish you luck. As mom, I took the approach of being grateful for the coaches' over the top in season time commitment & respecting their experience (whether it be with baseball or life in general) and it worked out well. 

@Smitty28 posted:

I think it's a relic of yesteryear where coaches, and for that matter teachers, give countless hours on nights and weekends to help an never ending parade of kids.  Getting corrections, occasional tips and such is one thing, but a regularly scheduled, weekly private one-on-one batting session?  Why would anyone think this should be free to any and all?  I would insist on paying even if the coach didn't ask.  It seems odd that the same people who happily pay a travel coach for hitting lessons bristle at the thought of paying the HS coach for the same service.

I do not think a travel coach should be paid for hitting lessons.  That is their job is to teach their players to hit.  I think any coach should not be paid to teach hitting or pitching lessons to their players.  To any other plays, charge them.  I don't have a problem with schools or colleges that allow their coaches to use their facilities to make extra money but they should not charge their players.  Again, just me. 

@PitchingFan posted:

I do not think a travel coach should be paid for hitting lessons.  That is their job is to teach their players to hit.  I think any coach should not be paid to teach hitting or pitching lessons to their players.  To any other plays, charge them.  I don't have a problem with schools or colleges that allow their coaches to use their facilities to make extra money but they should not charge their players.  Again, just me. 

Ok, you live in a different world than I do.  My kids travel coach committed to 2 practices a week and access to the hitting facility, that's it.  We paid extra for every tournament.  The coach said his job was to teach the kids to play the game the right way, and I was totally ok with that.  If we wanted hitting lessons, pitching lessons or specific fielding or catching lessons, those were extra as well.  I think in Southern California that is the norm.

@PitchingFan posted:

I do not think a travel coach should be paid for hitting lessons.  That is their job is to teach their players to hit.  I think any coach should not be paid to teach hitting or pitching lessons to their players.  To any other plays, charge them.  I don't have a problem with schools or colleges that allow their coaches to use their facilities to make extra money but they should not charge their players.  Again, just me. 

It can be considered a violation of some state associations if a school's facilities are used for lesson to players from other school districts.  IOWs, it might be considered recruiting and using the facilities to recruit.   You are entitled to your opinion.  That and roughly $8 will get you an extra value meal at McDonalds.  Your assumption (Note the saying about assumptions) are not accurate in all places.  You would have a coach use facilities and not charge when the coach is charged.  Personally, I'm alright with charging.  No parent is forced to use my services and the best play when the season is in.  Fortunately, my parents want my services and I'm sure other parents want the same from their coaches.  

I paid my son’s travel coach about $1,500 for one on one hitting lessons over ten weeks. The lessons overlapped the travel team winter workouts by five weeks. Since the lessons were away from the team I didn’t think anything about paying. The impact of the lessons eventually had about a 40K ROI.

The only thing that bothered me about paying is the coach mostly drove home what I had been telling my son for two years, “There’s going to be a day when you can’t pull everything.” What did dad know? He only played college ball. The travel coach was a former D1 coach and associate pro scout on his way to becoming a full time pro scout. I paid for my son to listen.

The previous summer (after freshman year) my son was starting to tune me out. At the end of one day I was a little irritated with him I told him after this year someone else  is going to have to coach him and kick his arse to the next level. There was a 17u coach watching and waiting to talk to us. Talk about giving him an opening! 

Last edited by RJM

As a coach, I always felt that if I was teaching my players it was part of my job as their coach.  If I thought they could pitch I taught them to pitch to help the team.  I taught them to hit as part of being their coach.  I do not think a player should have to pay his coach in travel or high school to be teach him the game.  But that and $6 where I live will buy me a meal at McDonald’s.  

@RJM posted:

Let’s have some peace. Stop threatening people’s lives with McDonald’s food. Can’t we all just get along! 😁

Yeah, I agree. You really can’t compare a situation in the rural south to what goes on in San Diego. Personally I don’t begrudge any coach/instructor for charging a fair fee. The more important issue to me is whether or not I was getting my money’s worth. My sons hitting coach is the AA hitting instructor for the Cubs. He was a college All-American, won an Olympic medal, and played 5 years in the big leagues. He isn’t cheap but he fantastic and is worth every penny. I never tried to teach my son to hit as my expertise is pitching. I think hardly anyone can be an expert at both. It’s one or the other. Once a kid is past 12 years old I would run away from any instructor that is trying to pass himself off as a hitting AND pitching coach. But I’m in a big metro area and there are a lot of options here. Only a few of them are really good options and it’s taken a lot of years to get to those. I work with a partner and instruct local HS & college pitchers. In normal times we usually have a group of 12 to 15 from half a dozen various schools.  We decided years ago not to charge $ for our instruction. We view it as our form of community service. We both pitched in college and neither of us ever got good pitching instruction. We are self taught. So we do for others what wasn’t done for us. Having no fee involved gives us the freedom to be completely honest with players and parents and it eliminates any hint of conflict of interest. But this is our passion not our vocation - and that matters a lot. Almost all HS baseball coaches are underpaid. If they want/need to supplement their income by giving lessons I’m fine with that -as long as they are giving good instruction. 

@PitchingFan posted:

As a coach, I always felt that if I was teaching my players it was part of my job as their coach.  If I thought they could pitch I taught them to pitch to help the team.  I taught them to hit as part of being their coach.  I do not think a player should have to pay his coach in travel or high school to be teach him the game.  But that and $6 where I live will buy me a meal at McDonald’s.  

What makes you assume that a coach isn't coaching the game when those players are in season?  When that season is over, players have a choice on what they do as do their parents.  BTW, I'll put up my resume and what I have done for my players against anyone at anytime.  

I'm just stating my opinion.  I think a coach is a coach to his players and should not get paid twice.  I'm not bashing you.  You have your opinion and I have mine.  I made my choices because of my convictions.  I just saw ME as a coach to my players all year round, not just during season.  You have to do you and I have to do me.  I can appreciate you and not agree with you.  I've never questioned YOUR abilities.  I've never questioned your resume.  I just have my opinion of what a high school and travel coach should do in relation to their players.  Again, I have friends that do it and that is their choice.  But don't think the parents of those who don't use you or get to use you don't have a problem with it.  I've heard them about my friends in travel and high school.  No different than coaching your own kid like you and I have done if I remember right.  Not the best scenario but required at times.  There are those on here who will tell both of us we should never have done it but we did.  Again, I don't have to agree with your choices and you mine.  But there are choices that we make in life that are not best but good.  I fully understand where you are coming from but in this conversation I will not change my mind nor you.  But maybe some other guy or gal is reading this that is having to make this decision for them and they are hearing both sides of it.  So it gives them information to make their choice for them.  Let me also say I would never pay my child's travel coach to give my kid lessons. 

@adbono posted:

Yeah, I agree. You really can’t compare a situation in the rural south to what goes on in San Diego. Personally I don’t begrudge any coach/instructor for charging a fair fee. The more important issue to me is whether or not I was getting my money’s worth. My sons hitting coach is the AA hitting instructor for the Cubs. He was a college All-American, won an Olympic medal, and played 5 years in the big leagues. He isn’t cheap but he fantastic and is worth every penny. I never tried to teach my son to hit as my expertise is pitching. I think hardly anyone can be an expert at both. It’s one or the other. Once a kid is past 12 years old I would run away from any instructor that is trying to pass himself off as a hitting AND pitching coach. But I’m in a big metro area and there are a lot of options here. Only a few of them are really good options and it’s taken a lot of years to get to those. I work with a partner and instruct local HS & college pitchers. In normal times we usually have a group of 12 to 15 from half a dozen various schools.  We decided years ago not to charge $ for our instruction. We view it as our form of community service. We both pitched in college and neither of us ever got good pitching instruction. We are self taught. So we do for others what wasn’t done for us. Having no fee involved gives us the freedom to be completely honest with players and parents and it eliminates any hint of conflict of interest. But this is our passion not our vocation - and that matters a lot. Almost all HS baseball coaches are underpaid. If they want/need to supplement their income by giving lessons I’m fine with that -as long as they are giving good instruction. 

There are a couple of really good points in here. Are you getting your monies worth or are you trying to buy your way into the next level? In other words, is the money improving the talent or is it attempting to buy a piece of the high school coach’s heart for preferential treatment? 

Like adbono I didn’t get any decent instruction until I encountered a former minor leaguer. Junior year of high school a former player came back to help after being released. It wasn’t until then anyone showed me the proper grip on each pitch. I grew up with, “if I hold it this way what does the ball do?”

The first time I got any hitting instruction was college ball after starting 0-16 with 7 K’s. Weights in high school? Stay away! Don’t get muscle bound.

@CoachB25 posted:

Then in your opinion hitting coaches like me who are also high school coaches and teachers should forfeit their outside income for the roughly $2,500 I get paid to coach in high school.

Coach B,

You absolutely have a right to earn a living and I absolutely wish my kid could be trained by you. I may be an alarmist here but imo this is a recipe for a disaster and can ruin your good reputation. What if a student who is not taking lessons from you gets cut and their parents argue their darling child was unfairly treated because you favored kids on the team who paid you? 

 

 

@2022NYC posted:

Coach B,

You absolutely have a right to earn a living and I absolutely wish my kid could be trained by you. I may be an alarmist here but imo this is a recipe for a disaster and can ruin your good reputation. What if a student who is not taking lessons from you gets cut and their parents argue their darling child was unfairly treated because you favored kids on the team who paid you? 

 

 

I hand out a "hold harmless agreement" before each hitting session.  As you might know, they really are worthless for the most part BUT one statement on it states that if your child takes hitting lessons from me, it does not guarantee your child anything.   (Paraphrasing.)  Again, I limit my sessions to 22 hitters.  Pretty much the hitters that make it in are some of the better players anyway and have the drive to do these lessons.  I give the first lesson to any new hitter for free and I assess them.  If they don't have the drive and aren't coachable, they won't get past that free lesson.  I only have hard chargers in my lessons.  I recently sent video of one of my hitters to a college coach.  In the video, I pointed out that this player works and had to have a special time.  1:00 in the afternoon.  that had them wrapping up around 2:00.  I told the college coach that if they questioned this hitter's work ethic that on the day of the video, this hitter was hitting at 107 heat index and did so for an hour.  I also told that coach that this hitter would shatter his school's records.  Well, the virus hit but this hitter was having one of the top 3 seasons in the history of that school for a freshman.  

Edited--

I live in a very small town. I often refer to it as "Small Town USA."  Everywhere I go I am called "coach."  I have coached HS ball for 35 years.  I am now coaching former player's kids.  My reputation is solid and I'm not worried about it.  

Last edited by CoachB25

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