quote:
Politics: Any process that leaves my kid on the bench or off the team.
My son starts and bats in a notable spot in the batting order. I'll still tell you there are politics on the team impacting usage of the best possible lineup, the ability to win and morale.
wow...you guys and gals are so entertaining. Its amazing the different aspects of games being played other than the one on the field.

I do have a little question. It seems that our coaches are teaching "small ball" when it comes to batting. I'm hearing parents of really talented batters saying that they've paid thousands for batting coaches over the years and they're boys are taught to smack the ball out of the park and now the high school coaches are telling the boys they need to learn a new way of batting that involves this weird, unnatural looking stance (like they're holding the bat away from themselves and they look like they're about to do the splits) and they are supposed to hit the ball down and in front of and between the third baseman and shortstop or the first baseman and second baseman.

What's up with this?
Without seeing this stance, who knows...

I can tell you that homeruns alone will not win games, unless of course everyone on the team can hit one, which I have never heard of in HS.

Not sure why the coach is changing batting during the season, seems like someing he should have worked out prior the start of the season.
I don't think anyone expects homeruns all the time. I'm not suggesting that. I am suggesting that in order to advance in the game you need to be a strong batter. Why then would a coach advocate a batting strategy that does not promote becomming a strong batter?

One of the parents did say these coaches came from colleges that are not big on baseball so they learned a "small ball" batting strategy, whereas a college that has a strong baseball reputation teaches a totally different batting strategy that promotes more powerful batters.

I was hoping someone with knowledge would enlighten me a little.
It really depends on the coaching philosophy---we like speed and contact--if we have power it is an asset---we have had our #4 hitter bunt on occasion---it all depends on the game situation--we like to hit and run--hit behind the runner--double steal etc

If we have spped in the batting lineup we will speed in the field and leads to solid defense and we depend on defense and pitching---simply a coaching philosphy
Regarding small ball.

I believe the best hitters are also the best bunters. They seem to be able to slow the game down.

I also believe I rather teach and excecute
situational hitting to moving the runner up
vs the sac bunt.

I am not a big advocate of the slap bunt (in baseball) yet it an remains effective hitting tactic
in fastpitch.

With regards to "politics". I think that word has
some utility in certain specific situations and especially in Wash DC, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, and of course the current Administration.

In baseball, I am inclined to believe it is more about building relationships (and is a substitute for the misuse of the term 'politics'). And of
course there are two basic elements known throughout for developing, sustaining and improving relationships at all levels. That would be trust, and communications. Without trust and communications, the process for developing, sustaining and improving relationships becomes most difficult, and challenging, if not impossible.

And of course the best approach for parents to buildinh a relationship with the HS and College Head Coach includes what I call the 3 B's.
'Be Brief', 'Be Truthful' and 'Be Gone'.

For the HS or College player, the 3 B's are tailored a bit and includes:
'Be On Time', 'Be Brief' and 'Be Gone'.

And to give credit to where credut is due, I borrowed, in 1998, the approach from my friend, CAPT D. Conley, CDR of the USS Halsey, whose highest rank at retirement is RADM (USN).

I recently chatted with RADM Conley is the parking lot last week, near the Pentagon. An Outstanding man.

cheers
Bear
A run is a run. Home runs are fun, but a game full of nice base hits, sprinkled with a few doubles and a triple plus some well executed bunts and smart base running is fun to watch too. How boring if they all just got up there and hit it over the wall.
I like the building relationships advice from bear.
quote:
One of the parents did say these coaches came from colleges that are not big on baseball so they learned a "small ball" batting strategy, whereas a college that has a strong baseball reputation teaches a totally different batting strategy that promotes more powerful batters.


Fullerton, Irvine, Long Beach have all played/lived by the small ball strategy and they are schools that are big on baseball. Fullerton, under Horton, had/(has?) a reputation for making opponets pay defensivly by presuring them with hit and runs, bunts, stealing bases all game long.

Having said that I am not big on changing everyone's batting style into one uniform standard. A good player will constantly tweek his own batting style, taking advice from coaches and fellow players during his career in a manner that fits his ability and more importantly his confidence. Lack of confidence in a hitting style or approach will greatly diminish a hitters results. A HS coach has to learn where to draw the line between helping or hurting each kids swing and confidence.
War Dog....I just went through that same situation. Son was not 6' or with the "in crowd", did not play for the most expensive summer team, etc. He went in to make the team, wound up a starter and now a up and coming prospect for next year. Attitude is everything, don't take it either way for granted and let the boy shine. Coaches see talent and it looks bad upon them if they play favorites when others shine brighter.
what I've learned:

1) In almost all cases, the HS baseball coach knows more about baseball players and their potential than the parents.
2) As a parent, you need to let go and allow your child to handle issues and develop on their own.
3)Encourage your kid to work hard in school, on the practice field and in games and everything will take care of itself.
4) Be there emotionally for your kid, but do not make excuses for them.
quote:
Originally posted by Aldoinla:
what I've learned:

1) In almost all cases, the HS baseball coach knows more about baseball players and their potential than the parents.
2) As a parent, you need to let go and allow your child to handle issues and develop on their own.
3)Encourage your kid to work hard in school, on the practice field and in games and everything will take care of itself.
4) Be there emotionally for your kid, but do not make excuses for them.


Well stated. With my oldest watched a few of his teamates parents put their mouths & actions in the way of their sons play. At home games, many times, just found it easiast to sit down the rf foul line with my shades on & Ipod on. Now that my youngest is in school ball, we seem to have a much more reserved group of parents.
I have to say that I got my fair share of politics at college. From day one, when the coach who recruited me left the program, I was in for an uphill battle. I didn't know it at the time, but there were forces at play before I ever took a step onto campus.

I battled for 4 long years to overcome being on the wrong side of the political fence. My head coach for a long time had his guys who helped with the transition to D1, and to top that off, every year the new recruiting coach would bring in his crop of players that were slated to play.

I was never resentful at the players that were being given the upper hand, but instead I very much disliked the system. My class was getting decimated and the whole time I felt bad about myself.

Looking back, the situation did make me stronger and more mature but I should have either accepted my situation earlier or transferred. There is no reason to remain in a bad situation.

My experience showed a lot of the business of sports and really shaped a lot of my views on baseball that I hold now. I had to overcome a lot in college and hope my story can help the next generation of student-athletes.

Ken Jacobi

Author of “Going with the Pitch: Adjusting to Baseball, School, and Life as a Division I College Athlete”

As my son enters his sophomore year, we are filled with uncertainty about the upcoming year. He I suppose is one of those marginal players- inconsistent, and very unsure of himself. Lots of parents and coaches have told him and us how much potential he has to be a great player, but his low self confidence and reluctance to practice daily is holding him back. He sat most of his freshman year after being told that he made the team but wouldn’t see the field much. I fear that this season will be the same as last. On top of riding the bench, he actually gained weight and went into summer ball out of shape and had lost his swing. His strengths have always been hitting and pitching. I really believe that being on the JV team his freshman year was more of a detriment to his development as a player. The school usually finishes slightly above .500 in the weakest conference, with obvious attention and playing time given to the players deemed better. Politics aside, my son has been lumped in with the sub par players. So, my question is: is it better to quit school ball, continue with lessons and training for summer ball, or endure another season with the school team that results in the whole spring being lost, and no improvement to his game because he is not an “important” player.

please be kind. I know that my kid most likely will not play college or MLB, but he is good enough to hang with these kids if he was only given a chance.

 

I appreciate the advice in advance.

Welcome! 

What does your son want to do?  I would ask him and follow that path. Does he love summer ball and dislike school ball? If yes, then skip school ball and train for the summer. Is he ambivalent about all baseball (does his reluctance to practice apply year-round)? If so, maybe he doesn't want to play baseball at all and is only playing because other people think he should.  You didn't mention not playing at all as an option, but maybe it should be considered -- just because he is good enough doesn't mean he has to (or wants to) "hang with those kids". 

 

 

KTCOTB posted:

As my son enters his sophomore year, we are filled with uncertainty about the upcoming year. He I suppose is one of those marginal players- inconsistent, and very unsure of himself. Lots of parents and coaches have told him and us how much potential he has to be a great player, but his low self confidence and reluctance to practice daily is holding him back. He sat most of his freshman year after being told that he made the team but wouldn’t see the field much. I fear that this season will be the same as last. On top of riding the bench, he actually gained weight and went into summer ball out of shape and had lost his swing. His strengths have always been hitting and pitching. I really believe that being on the JV team his freshman year was more of a detriment to his development as a player. The school usually finishes slightly above .500 in the weakest conference, with obvious attention and playing time given to the players deemed better. Politics aside, my son has been lumped in with the sub par players. So, my question is: is it better to quit school ball, continue with lessons and training for summer ball, or endure another season with the school team that results in the whole spring being lost, and no improvement to his game because he is not an “important” player.

please be kind. I know that my kid most likely will not play college or MLB, but he is good enough to hang with these kids if he was only given a chance.

 

I appreciate the advice in advance.

Welcome back, KTCOTB.  I still think you have been looking at this wrong.  You have been consistent with the message that he just needs to be given a chance.  He made JV last year and played summer ball this year.  He didn't play in many games with JV last year but practiced with the team daily.  You have provided him with the opportunity to take lessons and play summer ball.  He IS getting HUNDREDS of chances.  At some point, he needs to decide that he is going to be the hunter, not the victim.  He needs to decide he wants to work harder than those ahead of him to earn that PT.  The funnel only narrows further going forward.  As he works his way (should he decide) toward varsity ball, he will only encounter more kids who do work hard every day.  They have the passion and drive to do it.  If he really commits, before long, he will be more confident.  But commit and work come first.  Not the other way around (at least for most).  And, BTW, this includes conditioning.

As a former HS coach, we could usually see whether a kid had that drive or not when they first came into the program.  That said, I have seen a few find their "lightbulb" moment a year or two later, so it is not totally out of the question.  But the clock is ticking.  You two should probably sit down and have a real heart-to-heart.  If he doesn't want to commit to stepping up the efforts and taking control of his baseball destiny, maybe he is better off finding something else that he might have more passion for.  Or he can just enjoy going out to the field with the boys every day for as long as that lasts.

 

KTC ... You should teach your son to face obstacles and overcome them rather than run from them. It may determine the difference as an adult in him being the complainer at the water cooler or the employee with a solution to the problem.

We have asked him multiple times if he wants to play or not. I especially have explained to him that a big commitment is required as he gets older and the competition more fierce. It is a tough situation. His first love is football where he is a starter both ways, and is one of the coaches favorites. Baseball is more of a struggle. He is very quiet, and that is often mistaken for not being enthusiastic. He wants to play school ball, but has been mentally beaten down so badly over the last three years, with this same coach who just doesn’t think much of him. He told me after the first day of open gym that if he gets cut as a sophomore from JV, or sits this year, that will be it for school ball. I told him that he will get chances this year, and he has to kick that proverbial door open, and make them see his ability. He thinks that practicing a couple of times a week, and a couple of lessons a week are enough. I know it takes more, but he does not understand that, since football comes so easy to him, and he is very good at it with little preparation. We will keep working and see. I don’t believe in quitting, but when do we face reality, that maybe it’s not meant to be with school ball regardless of what he does? My biggest worry is that the teams (varsity and JV) are not well coached. The teams finish slightly above .500 every year. Varsity and JV practice together, which sounds good but it doesn’t allow enough time for each player to get his reps in the cage and in the field. Practice consists of warmup, catch, very little base running or running at all, about 10 swings in the cage, and shagging maybe 10 fly balls (he is an outfielder too). The pitchers get an invite around this time each year to do early morning workouts, but that is only if you are picked to do so. My son has never gotten an invite to work out with the pitchers. It’s a combination of lack of meaningful opportunities, and then he not capitalizing on the chances he gets. Very tough.

KTCOTB,

Your post seems to indicate your son has made up his mind about school baseball, and he isn't sufficiently self-motivated to change his place on the team or his skill set.  If that is the case, the outcome will be predictable. 

As a parent, I understand your frustration because this is 100% on him.  I agree with CabbageDad that maybe it is time to sit down and have a heart to heart where you ask the questions and let him talk about what it is going to take to find that baseball passion again.   I have 3 sons.   I knew what buttons to push for each of them, and I also know when it was time to move on.  Again, sit down with him and just listen.  Don't let him make excuses but allow him to make a decisions.  Hopefully a plan to go forward with baseball will come out of it.

Good luck!

He wants to play school ball, but has been mentally beaten down so badly over the last three years, with this same coach who just doesn’t think much of him.

Please explain how a freshman on JV has the same coach for three years. 

Where I live, there is middle school baseball in the fall, so sometimes the JV coach is also the middle school coach.  This person is a football player, so that is probably not the case.  Maybe he coached middle school baseball and went up to JV the same year.  Also, in my state, kids can play non-contact sports before high school.  My son made the JV baseball team in 7th grade and should be on varsity this year as a freshman (although he will very likely play a mix of JV and V).

The coach started as a 7th grade coach when my son was in 7th grade. In 8th grade the coach moved up to coach 8th grade. I though we were done with him for high school, but I was wrong. The HS JV coach decided to move to Florida, so this guy took his place as the JV coach. 

Had to chime in on this one as the title peaked interest. Grew up in a small daddy ball town that caused me start wrestling in the winter (had zero issue with politics in that sport, and actually fell in love with it).

However, reading through the post this doesn't sound like "politics" at all. As far as the coaching being bad??? that may or may not be real as they do win more than they lose, but it doesn't really matter. The funnel is starting to happen and the kid doesn't seem like he wants to put in the work (sorry if that came out harsh, I was just trying to sum it up).

Truly, I mean no disrespect. It seems that he has natural gifts as he made the JV baseball team as a freshman, and is a 2-way football player for years with all with very little effort/training. As every knows natural gifts only takes you so far. Hard work and dedication is needed to further his sports future. I recommend taking the advise mentioned before, and evaluate what is actual and perceived. After all, there is much more to life than just sports!       

KTCOTB posted:

We have asked him multiple times if he wants to play or not. I especially have explained to him that a big commitment is required as he gets older and the competition more fierce. It is a tough situation. His first love is football where he is a starter both ways, and is one of the coaches favorites. Baseball is more of a struggle. He is very quiet, and that is often mistaken for not being enthusiastic. He wants to play school ball, but has been mentally beaten down so badly over the last three years, with this same coach who just doesn’t think much of him. He told me after the first day of open gym that if he gets cut as a sophomore from JV, or sits this year, that will be it for school ball. I told him that he will get chances this year, and he has to kick that proverbial door open, and make them see his ability. He thinks that practicing a couple of times a week, and a couple of lessons a week are enough. I know it takes more, but he does not understand that, since football comes so easy to him, and he is very good at it with little preparation. We will keep working and see. I don’t believe in quitting, but when do we face reality, that maybe it’s not meant to be with school ball regardless of what he does? My biggest worry is that the teams (varsity and JV) are not well coached. The teams finish slightly above .500 every year. Varsity and JV practice together, which sounds good but it doesn’t allow enough time for each player to get his reps in the cage and in the field. Practice consists of warmup, catch, very little base running or running at all, about 10 swings in the cage, and shagging maybe 10 fly balls (he is an outfielder too). The pitchers get an invite around this time each year to do early morning workouts, but that is only if you are picked to do so. My son has never gotten an invite to work out with the pitchers. It’s a combination of lack of meaningful opportunities, and then he not capitalizing on the chances he gets. Very tough.

Really, it sounds like you are doing everything right, as long as you emphasize to him that it is up to him, not up to the coach (in terms of putting in the necessary extra work). Your biggest worry should NOT be that the teams are not well coached.  With your background and with the tools, information and opportunities you have provided your son, you know deep down that the ball is in his court.

It's just hard, particularly when it is a sport or activity that we have personal connection to and we've watched our kids grow up around it.  When we see signs of the possible end of that chapter, it really can be difficult.  But that is easier to handle than sudden ending - at least we sort of see it coming and can start to mentally prepare.  I think the answer to your question "when do we face reality" in this case falls under the cliche "the game will tell you".  Your son seems to be aware.  He will either decide to push the issue or the game will tell him sooner than later.  I certainly agree with your "no quit" philosophy but if it comes to the point where the writing is clearly on the wall and he makes that decision, I would be more open to allowing it.

I'm glad to hear football is going well.  Regardless of the baseball outcome, he has that as a continued athletic outlet and seems to be flourishing there.  Just remember, sometimes (particularly with teens) the same message heard the 1,000th time can be heard differently or perhaps finally actually heard for the first time.  So, as long as he wants to continue with the lessons, with workouts and with tryouts, no sense in giving up on him yet.  Meanwhile, continue to enjoy every facet of his young life.

I would like to follow Cabbage’s post with a comment about high school coaches and why they are so valuable. Sure, there are some bad ones. But a majority are good. Some are as good as Cabbage, Coach May and some others on the board.

As a parent I only saw two kinds of personalities having two kids (baseball and a softball player). Girls are psychological and emotionally different than boys. I’ve coached both. I’ll stick to boys to continue.

From 13u to 16u I only coached eighteen different boys outside my son in those three years. Over their careers high school coaches deal with hundreds, if not thousands of kids including teaching. They’ve been exposed to every kind of high school age personality and reaction on a daily basis. It’s why a high school coach can have the kind of observation Cabbage just posted. With my limited exposure to baseball players even as a coach my response was much tougher with far less reasoning. 

Teachers deal with kids and life. While travel coaches care about kids if the kid isn’t all in on baseball he’s gone. Teachers have to understand the kid and figure out how to get through to him. 

"He thinks that practicing a couple of times a week, and a couple of lessons a week are enough. I know it takes more, but he does not understand that, since football comes so easy to him, and he is very good at it with little preparation."  

Let life teach him.  Practicing everyday is standard.  Where we are, to make the field, you are practicing everyday, plus working out on your own or with a trainer on the side.  Life shows you what it takes, and it appears it is.  It doesn't sound like he loves it.  If he did, sitting last year would have burned enough to practice more.  It know you want it for him, like we all do, but if they don't want it, it is usually taken away.  

I coached a similar player to KTCOTB's son.  He was an exceptional football player but really liked baseball.  However, he didn't like it enough to try to win that starting spot.  In football, he was better.  In baseball, he was not.  How could one player be so competitive in one sport and lack the competitive nature in another?  There are a lot of factors.  Perhaps the football coaching staff has found the right buttons to push.  Perhaps your son likes baseball but doesn't have the actual drive.  Perhaps your son is playing for you.  Regardless of how many times I talked to the young man that played for me, he would always say that he wanted to be on the team.  Eventually, his senior year, he came to me and said that he was playing for his dad and that he wanted to workout for football since he was going to play football in college. 

 

BTW, it was good reading an old thread with some of the old poster's contributions.  I loved seeing TRHIt's name.   

I agree with CoachB25.  I have had some players who were great in other sports and thought they could just come out and succeed at baseball.  No offense but football doesn't always require the same requirement of technique that baseball does, you can sometimes live off athletic ability.  A little tougher in baseball and I have coached some high level football teams in my years.  Is he starting varsity or jv in football?  That would explain a few things.  I hope you realize that personality has a lot to do with player/coach interaction.   If I remember the story right, you were involved in a situation that dictated the coach not liking your player.   If that is true, remember it is easier to forgive than forget.  He may have forgave you but not forgot.  The sins of the father will be passed on to the third and fourth generations.  But for the coach to keep your son, as you have been told, he is giving him a chance.  Most would have cut him.  If I am thinking of the wrong situation, please forgive me.

No, you guys are dead on. Some of his problem is perception, but mostly that he is not putting forth the effort that is required to get to the next level. I did it, and so I know what it is like, and what it takes. A lot of it is his attitude. He has no delusions of grandeur- draft pick or college ball. He was well taught in football and is very strong, so that helps. He knows his stuff. He was on JV and later called up to varsity for football. The middle linebacker on varsity is very big, and is pretty good, so they kept him down mostly due to that and to let him grow another year. They all know he is quiet and reserved, but technically very sound.

Baseball- his training lagged a bit, with hitting being his real strength. The past couple of years he has started to learn pitching, because he has a very strong arm. Yes, the game may push him out as the rigors become more intensive. He struggles with consistency and confidence. We all know those two are key to being successful. We will see what lies ahead. I will keep you guys posted on the outcome. 
Thanks again for the words of wisdom. Part of me knows this already, so maybe I needed to hear it from others too.

I’ve never bought into one player at a position blocking the way. Coaches find a place for talented players. I was a safety my soph year of varsity football. Junior year after a graduation I was moved to corner. 

The funny thing is someone asked why I didn’t have as many interceptions junior year. I wasn’t standing in the middle of the field getting hit between the numbers with overthrows.

In baseball, younger players who can hit are often placed at corners until stud upperclassmen graduate.

I have to disagree this time. In Baseball you can get away with being small. Football requires size. The only exception I believe is running backs. My son is not huge. He also sustained a concussion practicing with varsity which I believe kept him down longer. There were some really good players who were kept down at JV because of their size. 

KTCOTB posted:

I have to disagree this time. In Baseball you can get away with being small. Football requires size. The only exception I believe is running backs. My son is not huge. He also sustained a concussion practicing with varsity which I believe kept him down longer. There were some really good players who were kept down at JV because of their size. 

KTC, this is probably getting into thread drift and/or nitpicking but it could be somewhat relevant I guess...

You said.. "The middle linebacker on varsity is very big, and is pretty good, so they kept him down mostly due to that and to let him grow another year."

There is a distinct difference between being kept out of a slot because you are behind a stud on the depth chart and not yet being big enough for the varsity level of play.  So, if the primary reason son was kept down was because of stud linebacker, RJM is correct.  Most teams would have found another slot for him.  If it was mostly because he didn't have the size yet, totally different story.

It's all good.  Sounds like next year is promising.

"A TRUE STORY"

After a brief slump, Mantle was sent down to the Yankees' top farm team, the Kansas City Blues. However, he was not able to find the power he once had in the lower minors. Out of frustration, he called his father one day and told him, "I don't think I can play baseball anymore."

Mutt drove up to Kansas City that day. When he arrived, he started packing his son's clothes and, according to Mantle's memory, said "I thought I raised a man. I see I raised a coward instead. You can come back to Oklahoma and work the mines with me." Mantle immediately broke out of his slump, going on to hit .361 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs during his stay in Kansas City. 

Bob

Consultant posted:

"A TRUE STORY"

After a brief slump, Mantle was sent down to the Yankees' top farm team, the Kansas City Blues. However, he was not able to find the power he once had in the lower minors. Out of frustration, he called his father one day and told him, "I don't think I can play baseball anymore."

Mutt drove up to Kansas City that day. When he arrived, he started packing his son's clothes and, according to Mantle's memory, said "I thought I raised a man. I see I raised a coward instead. You can come back to Oklahoma and work the mines with me." Mantle immediately broke out of his slump, going on to hit .361 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs during his stay in Kansas City. 

Bob

Great story Bob!  Mutt Mantle... what a name.  

I don't understand why he would continue to play club baseball and take lessons if he is done with high school baseball. It's one thing to play rec for fun on the side, it's another to train, spend money and travel just for your kid to continue having fun. The bad coaches are still going to be there next year. He either works hard and does something about his situation or quits and lets the bad guys win. 

Consultant posted:

"A TRUE STORY"

After a brief slump, Mantle was sent down to the Yankees' top farm team, the Kansas City Blues. However, he was not able to find the power he once had in the lower minors. Out of frustration, he called his father one day and told him, "I don't think I can play baseball anymore."

Mutt drove up to Kansas City that day. When he arrived, he started packing his son's clothes and, according to Mantle's memory, said "I thought I raised a man. I see I raised a coward instead. You can come back to Oklahoma and work the mines with me." Mantle immediately broke out of his slump, going on to hit .361 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs during his stay in Kansas City. 

Bob

Mickey Mantle may have been a phenomenal baseball player, but his personal life was an absolute mess and at least one biographer has concluded that was partly down to having been raised by a domineering father.

Hopefully your son will see the value in the struggle and use it as fuel to up his game. Getting a message through to a teenage kid is a tough and almost impossible when coming from dad. I hope you can find a way to get through to him and let me know how you did it. 

Add Reply

×
×
×
×