Hello everyone, I'm new so please bear with me are I get this down.
My son is a talented player, not just in his mommy's eyes, but many coaches both little league and private coaches have said he has a natural gift. His HS coach has played him 5 innings in 12 games. He is the only lefty pitcher on the team (sophomore). He has a few very dirty off speed pitches. His fastball is mid 70s. He can throw wherever he wants. He also is a very good outfielder and can play ss, 1st, 2nd despite being a lefty. He has speed and has uncanny proprioception. He has had 9 plate appearances and is batting 375 and an obp of 666. The coach has 12 kids that he plays. He will move them around but rarely do the other 10 kids on the team play. Today, when my son sat out his 5th game in a row, he asked his coach what he could do to get playing time and his coach said that the guys he's playing are his "rotation" for awhile. The coach just lost 3 games in a row in division to a comparable team but no one on our team could hit. Saturdays double header left 10+ stranded. I'm so frustrated my kid knows how to read the opposing team and find their weakness and get on base. After the coach stopped talking. My son told him, "I'm not a scrub, coach. I can help put a w up for you." Coach skoffed at him and said, "yeah, okay" and walked away. Is there anything I can do as a parent?  The coach has threatened the team with running if a parent contacts him directly. I just want to know if he sees a weakness in my son's playing so we can get him the help he needs. Sorry for being so wordy. Thoughts?
Thanks,
Nick's mom
Original Post
Originally Posted by Nicks mom:
Hello everyone, I'm new so please bear with me are I get this down.
My son is a talented player, not just in his mommy's eyes, but many coaches both little league and private coaches have said he has a natural gift. His HS coach has played him 5 innings in 12 games. He is the only lefty pitcher on the team (sophomore). He has a few very dirty off speed pitches. His fastball is mid 70s. He can throw wherever he wants. He also is a very good outfielder and can play ss, 1st, 2nd despite being a lefty. He has speed and has uncanny proprioception. He has had 9 plate appearances and is batting 375 and an obp of 666. The coach has 12 kids that he plays. He will move them around but rarely do the other 10 kids on the team play. Today, when my son sat out his 5th game in a row, he asked his coach what he could do to get playing time and his coach said that the guys he's playing are his "rotation" for awhile. The coach just lost 3 games in a row in division to a comparable team but no one on our team could hit. Saturdays double header left 10+ stranded. I'm so frustrated my kid knows how to read the opposing team and find their weakness and get on base. After the coach stopped talking. My son told him, "I'm not a scrub, coach. I can help put a w up for you." Coach skoffed at him and said, "yeah, okay" and walked away. Is there anything I can do as a parent?  The coach has threatened the team with running if a parent contacts him directly. I just want to know if he sees a weakness in my son's playing so we can get him the help he needs. Sorry for being so wordy. Thoughts?
Thanks,
Nick's mom

Get ready to be pounded.  

 

My $.02 is don't contact the coach. It will do more harm than good. Your kid did what he should.  Not much more he can do other than be a good teammate and continue to work hard.  These things happen and you really just have to accept it. Make sure he is on a summer team where he is "loved."   Good luck.  

Originally Posted by Nicks mom:
He also is a very good outfielder and can play ss, 1st, 2nd despite being a lefty. 

 

Originally Posted by SluggerDad:

Circle the firing squad.  Ready... Aim....

 

He could maybe take a few grounders at 3rd. Has he tried catching?

 

(OK, that's kind of mean of me, I'm sorry - but I couldn't resist)

Nick's mom, I mean this with the best of intentions, but you aren't going to get a lot of sympathy here. There is nothing you can accomplish by talking to the coach yourself. Your son has already done that, which is the correct move. He didn't like what he heard, so now he has to prove the coach wrong whenever given the opportunity. Being angry, upset and frustrated will only make things worse. Even under the best of circumstances, we are biased toward our kids and their abilities. Most parents on here have heard multiple great things about their kids playing ability over the years, but there are only so many starting spots on a team. The competition in high school is tougher, so your son needs to step up and become the player that can't be missed.

Good luck and I hope you stick around even if you feel like your getting a lot of push back on here. We need more moms

When a player isn't in the lineup he needs to remain physically and mentally ready to produce. He has to be ready for the one at bat, one inning in the field, the pinch running or inning on the mound that will make an impression on the coaching staff. To be prepared the player must keep a positive attitude and practice hard. The best way to get in the lineup is show up the first day of the season with production that shows the player should absolutely be in the lineup.

 

Do you think good players sit at other levels? On major conference college baseball teams 35 players with high school all conference, all metro, all state credentials show up for the season. Only about 18-20 get any kind of playing time.

 

Right now Jackie Bradley Jr., who may be the best defensive center fielder in baseball is in AAA as the second option to be called up after hitting over .400 in spring training. There are six better overall outfielders on the Red Sox plus one ahead of him in AAA.

 

Like your son should do, these players stay ready to take advantage of any opportunity. Your son should be the first at practice and the last to leave. Coaches notice when players work that hard to get ahead.

Add: Lefties don't play catcher, second, short or third after the preteen years. Don't even waste time thinking about it. A lot of kids were stars at previous levels. By high school the talent funnel starts getting real narrow. Earning playing time isn't about what players have done in the past. it's all about what they can do for the team riget now.

 

When my son was in high school there were three parents of kids complaining every year their kids were getting screwed by the coach. As a former college player and then travel coach I would nod my head and say, "uh huh." Then I would think to myself, "They're out of their mind. The right players are starting." Most coaches aren't stupid. Typically they can judge talent. They see a lot more than the parent sees. And they don't see it with bias. If it appears the coach has a favorite player it's typically one that works the hardest or is the most talented.

Hi Nick's Mom and welcome to the site.  A few questions to get some more perspective...  you said he has speed - what is his 60 time?  What is his home-to-first time?  What is his batted ball exit speed?  Does he have a PG rating?  Which top travel/club team is he currently signed up with?  Which varsity level top travel/club teams are calling asking him to play this coming summer?  The HS team he is on now, is it varsity or JV?  22 on the team - did they have cuts and if so, how many tried out?  What is top velocity of the hardest throwing pitcher on the team?  Setting aside his strengths for a moment, what weaknesses do you think he has that are keeping him from getting more playing time?  What does your son see as his best position?  When he squares balls up against live pitching, hitting to the opposite field, how far does the ball typically travel?  Same question pull side?  Does he hit lefty?  I look forward to your answers so I can try to provide proper guidance.

Nicks Mom - Sympathy or empathy is not what you need. What you need to understand is that you can never help your son with this issue, only hurt him. It sounds like he is not shy, but passionate about the game. Good things will happen. If they do not happen with this coach, find him a good travel team for the summer and perhaps fall. But this battle you can not win and should be left to your son.

As RJM says, your son needs to keep working and always be ready for opportunities.  3 of our varsity players were just let go over the weekend due to underage drinking tickets.  Varsity coach is pulling 2 of my JVs up to fill the spots.

 

Bottom line is, you just never know?  Always be ready for the call because good chance it will come.  Life is funny that way.

NIcks mom,

 

Welcome to the site.  I believe there is a wealth of information available to you on this site if you choose to search it. Search box is in the top left corner. There is also a ton of experience with our posters.  My suggestion would be to listen to what the posters are saying and do your own research on the topic.  

 

By high school, most parents want to stay involved with their son's baseball but it becomes a different type of involvement when they get older.  Encourage him to become the best player he can be and let the coaches coach.  My suggestion would be to let your son work it out on his own,  I've gone through this 3 times with my sons.  My wife and I are there 24x7x365 for advice but they are the ones who decide what to do.  Let your son step up and take these challenges on his own.  High school baseball can be challenging, but he has to do this on his own.  So, stand by him, and support him the best you can by empowering him.   JMO.

 

Good luck.

Whether you get hammered on here or not is going to depend on how you take the advice of the posts you're getting.  So far everyone has been pretty consistent with some great follow up questions by cabbagedad that will allow us to understand things more.  If you read all this great advice and still complain and whine about how bad this coach is you're going to get hammered.  If you take it and try to make it work then you will get sympathy and empathy. 

 

Unfortunately, there are some bad coaches out there just like there are bad lawyers, doctors and plumbers.  Taking what you've posted at face value it sounds like you have a bad one.  But we just have your side so we all take what you say with a grain of salt.  The advice has been spot on - you do not get involved unless the health of your son is in jeopardy.  He's spoken up for himself and that's about all he can do.  

 

One thing that I need more information is when he told the coach he wasn't a scrub - was that in front of the rest of the team?  If so then he's dug a hole he may not get out of.  A comment like that is for behind closed door meeting with the coach but never in front of the team.  That is challenging and undermining the coaches authority as leader of the team.  If he's as bad as you say he will say your son has an attitude and will bury him on the bench.  Right or wrong doesn't matter here - he is the coach and he has the ultimate power when he writes out the line up card.  Never do or say anything to give the coach a reason to not write you in.  Show up everyday with great attitude, great teammate, great hustle and everything else that goes into being a great player.

Originally Posted by FNL:
Originally Posted by Nicks mom:
He also is a very good outfielder and can play ss, 1st, 2nd despite being a lefty. 

 

Originally Posted by SluggerDad:

Circle the firing squad.  Ready... Aim....

 

He could maybe take a few grounders at 3rd. Has he tried catching?

 

(OK, that's kind of mean of me, I'm sorry - but I couldn't resist)

 

Don't put too much stock into the whole HS baseball thing. HS baseball is just a small part of a kid's career. If he works hard on his own and plays on a competitive summer team he will get a chance to show he can play. You will find a thousand ways a HS coach can ruin your season on here. Just get through it and remember that the coach that is recruiting your kid this summer will care very little about HS.

 

Dont risk the doghouse!

Thanks for all the great feedback. Granted, I may not know all that you guys/gals know, particularly at this level of play, that's why I sought out this site so I can get the info/advice I need. I apologize if I was whining, that wasn't the intention. I'm trying to understand the mindset of the coach so I can help my son figure out what he needs to do. My son has always, always been encouraged to take on life's challenges on his own. He's probably better at it than most.

 

Someone asked whether he had his conversation in front of his teammates. Nick knows better. He asked the coach to talk after the game, in private.

 

Cabbagedad, I only know that basic stats. Nick and I are going to review your questions and get answers. We are very interested in the feedback: good, bad or indifferent.

 

Your words were encouraging. And,despite having the same advice for Nick that many of you gave, he was not receptive to it.  I'm a mom. What do I know? I told him what the vast majority of you have advised. He went to practice at 530am with a smile on his face and determination to prove he should play. 

 

We will also seek out a high-caliber club team.

Originally Posted by Nicks mom:
Nicks Mom:  Welcome to the site. I echo much of what the other posters said--your son should continue to work and practice hard. You never know when the "call" will come. One of the other dynamics here that may be at play is that a number of HS programs will play seniors as it's the last rodeo for a number of them, On average, my son's HS varsity team has 4 sophomores each year who play very little. But it says what the coach thinks of those four for the future of "the program." If he is a LHP, perhaps he'll get a start at JV. 

You've gotten excellent advice above.  And your son did the first thing many on here would have advised - talk to the coach himself.

 

Nearly all of us on here have experienced what you have in one way or another.  Might've been an all-star coach, or a travel coach...or another HS coach.  As pointed out above, even the very best professional baseball players find themselves in confusing situations not too different from this one more than once in their career.

 

Keep in mind that most private instructors, if paid by you, will tell you wonderful things about your son.  For one, they nearly all believe they can help...they are optimists as they should be!  But they also want to build a relationship with you and your son.  A good relationship gives them a better shot at helping your son and they want you to come back (and keep paying them).

 

Whats the good news?  HS season ends soon.  Summer will be upon us and if you find the right summer team - your son will re-find the joy of playing baseball.  We went through some of this with our older son.  As a freshman in HS, his coach f-bombed him over and over in front of the team and a year later his varsity coach as a sophomore called me and threatened that he'd never pitch in his program again if he took one more pitching lesson all while acknowledging he was the best pitcher in his program.

 

Sometimes these things take care of themselves (both coaches were removed cause I guess the AD saw the same things we did)...sometimes they do not.  But your son does have a real-life situation right in front of him and I believe your role is much more about mentoring him/guiding him through it as he grows into a young man.  You can better prepare him for life than baseball here if you take on the challenge constructively.

 

Terrific opportunity for you as a parent - do your best to take advantage of it. 

Welcome Nick's mom!  The more experienced posters have given lots of advice, so I don't have much to add except in the form of being a baseball mom.  Do not under any circumstances approach the coach regarding playing time.  You will be labeled as "that mom" and it will follow your son throughout high school.  He had a discussion with the coach so coach knows he's eager to earn it.  Now it is up to him to prove it.  He needs to have the most hustle, be the first one there, be the one racing after foul balls down the line, etc.  Also remember, he's a sophomore, so there are a lot of upper classmen that coach is more familiar with and its possible coach is giving them a chance to succeed or fail before giving away their spots.  

 

As parents, we are now in the role of support staff.  For me, at least, this means getting him where he needs to go, making sure uniform is clean (we've had great conversations while standing over the sink with bars of Fels Napha soap and white pants...he helps because I am definitely not doing the 50s housewife thing!), listen when he needs to vent, provide constructive feedback if needed, and kick his butt a little if needed.  There is no bashing of teammates allowed.  I cannot stress this enough!  These are his teammates and like family.  I would never put down one of my children in order to make the other feel better, so why would it be ok with teammates? No talking negative about coaches. 

 

I believe Chicagoland has better competition than my neck of the woods, but even around here, mid 70s doesn't put a pitcher in the stud category.  If your son is passionate, make sure he's on the best summer team possible and go to a showcase if he hasn't already.  PBR has lots of local events in Illinois that are relatively inexpensive.  This will give you an accurate starting point to gauge how he stacks up regarding 60 times, arm speed, exit velo and they give a paragraph write up regarding performance.  The top showcases are Perfect Game, but are much more costly and a ways away.  If you can afford it, do it, but it's not an option for us at this time.  The off season is where he will need to work hard regarding strength so that he can show up next season and prove he's a beast.  My son, packed on 15 lbs of muscle, hit the weights hard and trained like there was no tomorrow.  It paid off.  Notice that I said he did it.  If it's their dream, they need to do it.  Mom cannot be hounding them to lift or workout.  The only time I am "hands on" is if he needs a cage session and dad isn't home (this is how he works through things mentally).  I will sit behind the screen with my batting helmet and toss balls silently as he works through whatever is going on in that head and try not to squeal like a girl.

 

And remember, you need to behave and not share any of your thoughts regarding playing time with anyone in the stands.  There are 40+ parents on your side alone that believe their player is the best out there.  

My, how polite everyone is when a mom asks this question (insert stupid smiley thing),

Mom, remember your son is a sophomore and he has two more years in high school to shine.  Riding the bench now will either inspire him to work harder or not.  All life lessons and not much you can do about it.   

Originally Posted by Nicks mom:

 

Someone asked whether he had his conversation in front of his teammates. Nick knows better. He asked the coach to talk after the game, in private.

 

 

Hate to tell you this but this probably was not the best time to talk to the coach.  Problem is there is nothing that can be done about it now.  If he goes back to the coach again it will be perceived as whining.  Most folks don't realize it but coaching a game can be a little taxing.  Especially if you are in the mist of a loosing season.  Having a kid come up to you and tell you that "I can get you the w" after you just lost can be interrupted as "hey coach, your line up sucks, if you would have put me in there, because Im so great (and you don't realize it) we would be winning".  

 

You son took the right approach to talking to the coach, I would have suggested he approach him during school or after a practice to ask him when the best time to talk was.  Surprising the coach right after a game probably was not the best approach to take.  He asked the right question when he asked what he needed to do to earn playing time.  He should have just listened to the coach and left it at that.

 

As others have said, there is not much he can do.  He can either remain bitter and think that he is better then the rest of the team or he can accept his role on the team, have fun and be ready to play when called upon.  As he is a lefty he is regulated to pitching, playing 1B or outfield at this point.  

 

I will also throw this out there.  I don't know your son so none of this might apply.  How does your son approach practice?  Does he walk around like he is better then everyone or does he give 100% every time and remain a team player?  How are his grades?  Is he a boarder line eligibility kid?  Does he understand the game?  By that I mean does he know what to do in every situation?  Some kids have wonderful skill sets but don't understand the flow of the game and may not make the proper play.

 

In HS there are a lot more things that go into a coaches playing decision then just the biggest strongest most athletic kids.  

 

One last thought.  Maybe the kids on the field are better players then you are seeing right now.  In our area its early in the season.  We have just started conference play and a lot of the kids are facing reduced playing time.  I heard a little grumbling last night and will probably hear some more tonight.  Im sure the coaches will receive a phone call or two in the next few days.  What a lot of the parents are not seeing is that up until last night everyone received equal playing time.  Now we are playing our best 10 to 14 kids.  As we were playing everyone earlier in the season the starters were dealing with reduced playing time and are still getting into the grove of playing.

 

Finally, you are going to get some good advice on here.  Some of it may be a little brutal and may not be what you are looking for but its probably all going to be right on.  Listen to the folks here.  Hang out some.  Many of these people have kids who have gone through what you are going through.  Many of them have sons playing in college, some have kids playing Minor ball and a few have kids that have played on the big stage. 

Hi Nick's Mom...you have gotten good advice, but the fact is no one knows what is in the coaches head.  He could be playing favorites, he could be playing upper level classmen to get them exposure for college, he could even be testing the team to see how they do with being sat.  *shrug*

 

All your kid can control is himself.  He should work hard, show the coach his determination, show he can be an asset to the team, show himself to be a good teammate by picking up kids who strike out, congratulating players who got out but moved the runner, and in general enjoy being part of a baseball team...and that's all he can do. He needs to accept that he may not play another inning this whole year, and any inning he does get to play should be cherished...there are no rules that say the coach HAS to play him. Once your son accepts there is nothing he can do to change the coach is when he will likely finally get the opportunity to play again. 

First of all welcome to the site. You are in a tough spot. So maybe I can offer you some words of encouragement. Lets talk about you first. You are hurting for your son because you want him to get what he wants to get. When our children want something we want to help them get it. When they are upset we are upset. And when we feel there is nothing we can do to help them, or we feel like we just don't know what to do that is not only frustrating it's painful.

 

What your son needs to know is that no matter what goes on on that field you love him just the same. That no matter if he plays a little, a lot, or not at all that has no bearing on how proud of him you are. Encourage him to continue to work hard. To go to practice each day excited about the opportunity to get better and to prove the coach wrong. Encourage him to keep a good attitude and not to sit around waiting for an opportunity but work to be prepared for it.

 

Stay positive he is tougher than you think. He will handle it much better than you. He will handle it better if you handle it well. The worse thing that can happen if you take the positive approach is that he doesn't get much PT this year. But he keeps a positive attitude and goes into the summer hungry to play and work even harder than he has before. You can use this as an opportunity to show him that when adversity strikes you hold fast. You stay positive and look for ways to turn it into a positive. Sometimes the things we think are horrible are the things that drive us to where we can go.

 

Let this build a fire under your son. Use it to build a fire under your son. Don't go the other way with it. When someone tells you your not good enough you have choices to make. Prove them right or prove them wrong. Use it as motivation or use it as an excuse to become bitter and have a bad attitude. Let your son continue to do what he is doing. Encourage him. Tell him to keep fighting. Tough times don't last. Tough people do. Good luck. Baseball is not a sprint. It's a marathon. Run the full race. Don't let today keep you from having a great tomorrow. Again, good luck.

Originally Posted by cabbagedad:

       

Hi Nick's Mom and welcome to the site.  A few questions to get some more perspective...  you said he has speed - what is his 60 time?  What is his home-to-first time?  What is his batted ball exit speed?  Does he have a PG rating?  Which top travel/club team is he currently signed up with?  Which varsity level top travel/club teams are calling asking him to play this coming summer?  The HS team he is on now, is it varsity or JV?  22 on the team - did they have cuts and if so, how many tried out?  What is top velocity of the hardest throwing pitcher on the team?  Setting aside his strengths for a moment, what weaknesses do you think he has that are keeping him from getting more playing time?  What does your son see as his best position?  When he squares balls up against live pitching, hitting to the opposite field, how far does the ball typically travel?  Same question pull side?  Does he hit lefty?  I look forward to your answers so I can try to provide proper guidance.


       
+1 to this.  Please give us facts.  Real recorded pitch velocity.  Exit velocities etc.  Further I am going to be honest here.  I really thought this was a veteran poster creating a new identity just to be funny.  As I read it I found myself getting a good laugh thinking it was clever and I wish I would have thought of it.  When I got to the ss part then I knew it was a bit.  Then I wasn't sure.  And now I think this may actually be real.  Still I don't want to be sucked in by a late april fools joke!  But at the risk of getting duped I will play along.  Mom, get some of these numbers verified.  Objective data can do a lot to figure out where you really stand.  Statistics at this level are just about meaningless.  Maybe coach was being nice and giving him his at bats against inferior pitchers?  Who knows.  But an exit velocity is what it is.  A 60 time is what it is etc.  I am guessing you may not know what these things are.  60 is a 60 yard dash.  Exit velocity is how fast the ball comes off wood or bbcor bat off the tee.  Find someone with a stalker and either from behind a screen gun the ball coming at you or sit behind the cage and.gun it going away from you.  Let us know.
Originally Posted by jolietboy:
Originally Posted by cabbagedad:

       

Hi Nick's Mom and welcome to the site.  A few questions to get some more perspective...  you said he has speed - what is his 60 time?  What is his home-to-first time?  What is his batted ball exit speed?  Does he have a PG rating?  Which top travel/club team is he currently signed up with?  Which varsity level top travel/club teams are calling asking him to play this coming summer?  The HS team he is on now, is it varsity or JV?  22 on the team - did they have cuts and if so, how many tried out?  What is top velocity of the hardest throwing pitcher on the team?  Setting aside his strengths for a moment, what weaknesses do you think he has that are keeping him from getting more playing time?  What does your son see as his best position?  When he squares balls up against live pitching, hitting to the opposite field, how far does the ball typically travel?  Same question pull side?  Does he hit lefty?  I look forward to your answers so I can try to provide proper guidance.


       
+1 to this.  Please give us facts.  Real recorded pitch velocity.  Exit velocities etc.  Further I am going to be honest here.  I really thought this was a veteran poster creating a new identity just to be funny.  As I read it I found myself getting a good laugh thinking it was clever and I wish I would have thought of it.  When I got to the ss part then I knew it was a bit.  Then I wasn't sure.  And now I think this may actually be real.  Still I don't want to be sucked in by a late april fools joke!  But at the risk of getting duped I will play along.  Mom, get some of these numbers verified.  Objective data can do a lot to figure out where you really stand.  Statistics at this level are just about meaningless.  Maybe coach was being nice and giving him his at bats against inferior pitchers?  Who knows.  But an exit velocity is what it is.  A 60 time is what it is etc.  I am guessing you may not know what these things are.  60 is a 60 yard dash.  Exit velocity is how fast the ball comes off wood or bbcor bat off the tee.  Find someone with a stalker and either from behind a screen gun the ball coming at you or sit behind the cage and.gun it going away from you.  Let us know.

Or if you could take a look at PBR and see when they are running showcases in the area.  Attend one and they will give you all the measurable you will need.

Originally Posted by joes87:
Originally Posted by Nicks mom:

 

 Having a kid come up to you and tell you that "I can get you the w" after you just lost can be interrupted as "hey coach, your line up sucks, if you would have put me in there, because Im so great (and you don't realize it) we would be winning".  

 

I'll agree probably not the most diplomatic statement, but I'd give him credit for the "swag." 

Originally Posted by RJM:

Most coaches aren't stupid. Typically they can judge talent. They see a lot more than the parent sees. And they don't see it with bias. If it appears the coach has a favorite player it's typically one that works the hardest or is the most talented.

While somewhat true, I would caution about how much a HS coach actually sees.  If you just do the math, coaches have very little time before games begin to evaluate players.  Therefore, you could be looking only at 20-30 hrs. of practice time.  With maybe 20 kids on a team, that is at best about an hour of actual skills time.  And in many cases, the penciled in starters will get more time than the backups. 

 

So not to put pressure on the kid, but realize that there is a very small window of opportunity to impress a coach and bump a "starter."  He may only have a handful of pitches to show he can hit, or a few balls to show he can field.  So he has to be ready to perform.  That is where the arriving early, staying late, and busting a$$ can play a part.   

If you come back with numbers will it change your situation with this coach in this situation? No. The coach has seen your son play. He knows how hard he throws, how fast he is, etc. He has told your son that he thinks these other guys are better by playing those other guys more than him. A coach speaks with his line up card. Now if you come back with outstanding numbers for a LH Soph - posters can say "Yep that coach is crazy." "Your son is good enough based on those numbers." And what does that do for you?

 

The fact is there is only one thing for your son to do. Go out every day and work to change the coaches perception of him as a player. When he practices, practice harder and better than everyone else. When he gets opportunities take advantage of them. Instead of waiting for an opportunity, prepare for it. The coach doesn't think your son is good enough to play anymore than he already is right now. Change that. Change the perception of him as a player. Or validate it. I would choose change it.

 

And if he doesn't change the coaches perception, fine. At least he hasn't given in. At least he hasn't quit. At least he has the summer to continue to work towards those goals, He can work towards coming back next season and shoving in everyone's face when he is the better option.

 

You coming back and giving us numbers does not change one thing. It only gives people here an opportunity to say "Those numbers indicate he is an average Soph" "Thoes numbers indicate the coach is wrong." When the fact is not being there at practice and at games to evaluate the competition he is up against and his own ability means we have no freaking clue.

 

What I do know is that he is in control of one thing. How he approaches the situation. And you are in control of one thing. How you approach the situation. YOU support him. Encourage him. Point him the right direction. Stay positive and tell him to fight for what he wants. And he needs to do just that. Mid 70's with command for a soph LH can be Mid 70's with command for a LH Jr with a bad attitude. Or it can be upper 70's with command low 80's and shoving it with a fighters attitude. How hard is he willing to work for it? How determined are you to stay positive and be his best fan?

 

Don't get discouraged and worry yourself to death over this. Tell him to get in there and keep fighting. Tell him to talk with his arm, glove, bat and work ethic. Prove the coach wrong. As a coach I love to be proven wrong in these situations. There is nothing better than to see a young man overcome the line up card. It makes the team better. It makes a program better. Again, good luck.

Originally Posted by Golfman25:
Originally Posted by RJM:

Most coaches aren't stupid. Typically they can judge talent. They see a lot more than the parent sees. And they don't see it with bias. If it appears the coach has a favorite player it's typically one that works the hardest or is the most talented.

While somewhat true, I would caution about how much a HS coach actually sees.  If you just do the math, coaches have very little time before games begin to evaluate players.  Therefore, you could be looking only at 20-30 hrs. of practice time.  With maybe 20 kids on a team, that is at best about an hour of actual skills time.  And in many cases, the penciled in starters will get more time than the backups. 

 

So not to put pressure on the kid, but realize that there is a very small window of opportunity to impress a coach and bump a "starter."  He may only have a handful of pitches to show he can hit, or a few balls to show he can field.  So he has to be ready to perform.  That is where the arriving early, staying late, and busting a$$ can play a part.   

20-30 hours before the season begins?   That's at least an hour per player per coach for observation and evaluation before games start, in your scenario.  That's plenty.

 

My son's team plays 2 games per week now in season.  Parents of players who are 2 and third options off the bench don't see the hundreds of reps each player is getting on the other 4 days of the week, so they really have no sense of the total of what the coach is considering when he makes out his lineup card each week.

 

To the OP I don't have much to add to what's been said already, except:  Advise your son be the first kid to practice and the last to leave.  Be the first out of the dugout to get a foul ball.  Put the last rake in the shed.  Take charge of what you can control -- your own attitude, effort, and preparation.  Make sure you find a home on a summer team that will give you meaningful playing time.

Anyone mind if I throw out my philosophy again?

 

 

When faced with situations such as this, your son has two choices: Either prove the coach right, or prove him wrong.  It's up to him to decide which.  Either get so good he can't ignore you - or don't put in the work and prove he was right all along.

 

 

Originally Posted by Golfman25:
Originally Posted by joes87:
Originally Posted by Nicks mom:

 

 Having a kid come up to you and tell you that "I can get you the w" after you just lost can be interrupted as "hey coach, your line up sucks, if you would have put me in there, because Im so great (and you don't realize it) we would be winning".  

 

I'll agree probably not the most diplomatic statement, but I'd give him credit for the "swag." 

I like a little confidence myself....  Though if I just lost a game, trying to oversee the kids get the field cleaned up, and am trying to get home to my family I probably would have reacted similar to the coach.

Coaches, most coaches, might change their mind and make line ups out differently.

 

Most coaches can watch a round or two of batting practice and figure out who their best hitters are.  A round or two of infield and figure out who their best infielders are. Watch them throw and figure out who has the best arm.

 

Usually the top several standout and are easy starters.  Usually there are a couple spots that require making a tougher decision.  Left handed throwers don't have a future at positions other than 1B, OF, or LHP, so playing any other position is kind of out of the picture.

 

Sometimes we see coaches play kids out of their best position.  Sometimes it just happens because of need.  However we have seen a few of the very best pitchers in their state, that were not used as pitchers on their high school teams.

 

Anyway, it's really not very difficult to watch 20 kids play baseball for a couple days and figure out who has the most talent.  Though I must admit, there has been some very strange things happen.  One of the most talented kids in the country in the 2016 class did not start for his high school team.  In fact, he hardly played.  He would have been his HS teams best pitcher (93 with a very good breaking ball and great command as a sophomore) and he is an even better position player and hitter with power.  He will be a good draft pick in 2016.  He also is a good kid and team player who plays hard and loves to compete.  He actually was one of the stars of a highest level national summer team. Not sure if anyone would have known about him had he not played for that team.

 

So mistakes do happen, for one reason or another, but if a player has what it takes he can overcome those problems.  Talent sticks out like a sore thumb and there are many people that can recognize it.

Originally Posted by JCG:
Originally Posted by Golfman25:
Originally Posted by RJM:

Most coaches aren't stupid. Typically they can judge talent. They see a lot more than the parent sees. And they don't see it with bias. If it appears the coach has a favorite player it's typically one that works the hardest or is the most talented.

While somewhat true, I would caution about how much a HS coach actually sees.  If you just do the math, coaches have very little time before games begin to evaluate players.  Therefore, you could be looking only at 20-30 hrs. of practice time.  With maybe 20 kids on a team, that is at best about an hour of actual skills time.  And in many cases, the penciled in starters will get more time than the backups. 

 

So not to put pressure on the kid, but realize that there is a very small window of opportunity to impress a coach and bump a "starter."  He may only have a handful of pitches to show he can hit, or a few balls to show he can field.  So he has to be ready to perform.  That is where the arriving early, staying late, and busting a$$ can play a part.   

20-30 hours before the season begins?   That's at least an hour per player per coach for observation and evaluation before games start, in your scenario.  That's plenty.

 

My son's team plays 2 games per week now in season.  Parents of players who are 2 and third options off the bench don't see the hundreds of reps each player is getting on the other 4 days of the week, so they really have no sense of the total of what the coach is considering when he makes out his lineup card each week.

 

To the OP I don't have much to add to what's been said already, except:  Advise your son be the first kid to practice and the last to leave.  Be the first out of the dugout to get a foul ball.  Put the last rake in the shed.  Take charge of what you can control -- your own attitude, effort, and preparation.  Make sure you find a home on a summer team that will give you meaningful playing time.

I'm not sure an hour is really enough when compared to the years I have seen some kids grow and develop.  Some of us have seen the kids succeed and fail in multiple situations while they where growing up - a lot more than 1 hour.   If the kid is having a bad day, then what?  I don't know about your program, but in my kid's the backups are not getting 100s of reps. during weekly practice.  The "starters" get the majority of work.  The backups have limited opportunities to change the coach's initial impression.  So they better be ready. 

Can't get past fact that he's only LHP on team and has only gotten 5 innings.

how did he do in those innings?  Are there a lot of pitchers on this team that are studs and they don't need your son as much?

Just thinking if coach sees him as future P he would have sent him to play a few JV games to get him on mound. 

If son doesn't already, he needs to find P instructor locally. Sounds like P is only way for him to get to play in his HS. They always need GOOD LHP. Maybe he can get good enough to be the closer they turn to his Sr.. Yr.  

he still has time to work for that

good luck

Originally Posted by Golfman25:

While somewhat true, I would caution about how much a HS coach actually sees.  If you just do the math, coaches have very little time before games begin to evaluate players.  Therefore, you could be looking only at 20-30 hrs. of practice time.  With maybe 20 kids on a team, that is at best about an hour of actual skills time.  And in many cases, the penciled in starters will get more time than the backups. 

 

 

Not sure what kind of practices you're used to, but they sound crappy. I would venture to guess that in 30 hours of practice (not factoring in scrimmages and games) my varsity kids have all gotten near 1000+ groundballs/flyballs and 1000 + swings. A lot of those on the field "game-like" reps. Subvarsity kids not identical numbers, but not too far behind.

 

 

Originally Posted by Coach_May:

First of all welcome to the site. You are in a tough spot. So maybe I can offer you some words of encouragement. Lets talk about you first. You are hurting for your son because you want him to get what he wants to get. When our children want something we want to help them get it. When they are upset we are upset. And when we feel there is nothing we can do to help them, or we feel like we just don't know what to do that is not only frustrating it's painful.

 

What your son needs to know is that no matter what goes on on that field you love him just the same. That no matter if he plays a little, a lot, or not at all that has no bearing on how proud of him you are. Encourage him to continue to work hard. To go to practice each day excited about the opportunity to get better and to prove the coach wrong. Encourage him to keep a good attitude and not to sit around waiting for an opportunity but work to be prepared for it.

 

Stay positive he is tougher than you think. He will handle it much better than you. He will handle it better if you handle it well. The worse thing that can happen if you take the positive approach is that he doesn't get much PT this year. But he keeps a positive attitude and goes into the summer hungry to play and work even harder than he has before. You can use this as an opportunity to show him that when adversity strikes you hold fast. You stay positive and look for ways to turn it into a positive. Sometimes the things we think are horrible are the things that drive us to where we can go.

 

Let this build a fire under your son. Use it to build a fire under your son. Don't go the other way with it. When someone tells you your not good enough you have choices to make. Prove them right or prove them wrong. Use it as motivation or use it as an excuse to become bitter and have a bad attitude. Let your son continue to do what he is doing. Encourage him. Tell him to keep fighting. Tough times don't last. Tough people do. Good luck. Baseball is not a sprint. It's a marathon. Run the full race. Don't let today keep you from having a great tomorrow. Again, good luck.

I don't know if anyone could have said it better.  One of the best, most inspiring posts I have ever read.  Thank you!

Originally Posted by Golfman25:
Originally Posted by RJM:

Most coaches aren't stupid. Typically they can judge talent. They see a lot more than the parent sees. And they don't see it with bias. If it appears the coach has a favorite player it's typically one that works the hardest or is the most talented.

While somewhat true, I would caution about how much a HS coach actually sees.  If you just do the math, coaches have very little time before games begin to evaluate players.  Therefore, you could be looking only at 20-30 hrs. of practice time.  With maybe 20 kids on a team, that is at best about an hour of actual skills time.  And in many cases, the penciled in starters will get more time than the backups. 

 

So not to put pressure on the kid, but realize that there is a very small window of opportunity to impress a coach and bump a "starter."  He may only have a handful of pitches to show he can hit, or a few balls to show he can field.  So he has to be ready to perform.  That is where the arriving early, staying late, and busting a$$ can play a part.   

I would add that Winter Workouts and Summer/Fall Ball, if the team has it, can have an effect too.

Originally Posted by ironhorse:
Originally Posted by Golfman25:
Originally Posted by RJM:

While somewhat true, I would caution about how much a HS coach actually sees.  If you just do the math, coaches have very little time before games begin to evaluate players.  Therefore, you could be looking only at 20-30 hrs. of practice time.  With maybe 20 kids on a team, that is at best about an hour of actual skills time.  And in many cases, the penciled in starters will get more time than the backups. 

 

 

Not sure what kind of practices you're used to, but they sound crappy. I would venture to guess that in 30 hours of practice (not factoring in scrimmages and games) my varsity kids have all gotten near 1000+ groundballs/flyballs and 1000 + swings. A lot of those on the field "game-like" reps. Subvarsity kids not identical numbers, but not too far behind.

 

 

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