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As a summer/fall baseball coach, I have obviously experienced many different views from parents and players as far as expectations of summer/fall programs.

My intentions of this thread is to ask..........

What are things that parents/players look for in a summer/fall baseball program?

I am more interested in a players point of view on this topic but realize these players probably don't play on here like us "grown ups" do. So parents, give us your $.02.

I have some comments to make on this topic but will wait with expectations on what I think will be posted.

Looking forward to various responses.
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What I want to see:

First and foremost - Playing the toughest competition that can be found.

Teaching the team the fine points they need to make it to the next level.

Making some attempt to balance the team's needs vs. individual development. Realizing this is always a balancing act.

Fairness in the lineups and batting order. This implies that is has some basis in stats.

Well designed, efficient practices.

A well disciplined organization (e.g., good pre-game warmup routine, post-game analysis, communication, etc.).

Good communications between the coaches and players and parents.

What I do NOT expect:

Teaching fundamentals. The players should bring these to a top tier select team and not need to be taught them.

Any certain W-L record. Play the toughest competition, play good ball & let the chips fall where they may.

Expensive uniforms.

Travel for the sake of travel.
Last edited by Texan
I think it depends on what age you are talking about. Each age group should be different expectations. My son is in high school (senior) I ask him what he expected of fall and summer baseball. His answer: exposure, competition,as many at bats as possible, but mostly as much exposure as possible.

A 10 or 11 year old would probably response much differently.
In a perfect world, I would prefer:

An organization with some lead in their britches and skins on the wall.

Solid track record of their players signing with colleges. (not just the studs but the majority of their kids)

Good communication. A nice website helps.

A cost that is not outrageous. Maybe less than $1000?

Playing strong competition.

Leadership that has the players' best interest at heart and the integrity to be honest with parents about their son's future in baseball. (even if this is not always what the parent wants to hear)

Is this asking too much?
Originally posted by Texan:

Teaching fundamentals. The players should bring these to a top tier select team and not need to be taught them..

In my book, you can never be done teaching fundamentals. If you don't agree, you need to watch some HS or Select Baseball games. Even the top tier teams are making basic fundamental mistakes.

That is why even in the Majors that they spend 6 weeks in Florida or Arizona going over fundamentals day after day.
Last edited by KellerDad
From a parents point of view, I agree with alot of you. From a players point of view I believe some of the motives can be different. Here is what I believe what some of the boys think, my opinion of course;

1) Do any of my friends play on the team?

2) Nice uniforms are cool (as long as my parents or sponsors pay)

3) Beating other rival teams year after year

4) What my peers think of my team/org (I dont want to made fun of because i'm on a lesser team)

5) Winning and having fun, Losing is no fun

6) Having a good relationship with the coaches on a personal level as well as on the field

5) Being the starter on the field and in the upper batting order.

6) And Last but not least, What team will let me meet the most girls!!! Jk on that one, or am I??
Last edited {1}
Originally posted by KellerDad:
In my book, you can never be done teaching fundamentals. If you don't agree, you need to watch some HS or Select Baseball games. Even the top tier teams are making basic fundamental mistakes.

Teaching fundamentals or drilling fundamentals? There is a difference, I think everyone would agree.

Continue getting reps in? Of course. But players at that level should know their fundamentals - even if they don't execute them every time. All the players who played on my teams are now going into HS knowing the fundamentals.

And I have watched plenty of HS, select, college and pro games. Your condescending comment was uncalled for if you wish to be in a polite discourse.

Perhaps you want your son on a HS select team where they will spend 30 minutes talking about relays or the pitcher's fielding assignments. But I don't. My son already knows those things.
Yet are the paid coaches always impartial?

It did not affect my son, so no axes to grind here. But I have seen clubs with paid coaches show favoritism towards boys from certain HS's. Perhaps because their club uses that HS's facilities. Or perhaps because that HS has been a strong recruiting base for that club, and they want to maintain that "customer base".

But it does happen, even with paid coaches.
I am glad to see some constructive conversation about this topic. Many of the topics discussed here are what I expected to see.

One I have not seen, is the opportunity for these young ballplayers to enjoy playing the game of baseball.

As generations go by, I believe this element tends to become weaker and weaker in amatuer baseball. Us grown ups Smile.....25 and older, we can remember the days when you show up, tryout, and a coach would call you a tell you which team you are on. As with everyday life, the continuous quest to better an individual comes with changes. Such as select programs.

Parents and Players in my mind, get a preconcieved idea that if you do this or that the outcome will be success.

In my mind, if a kid with talent focuses on enjoying the game of baseball and playing under a "team" concept, everything takes care of itself.

In essence, I do not believe select programs make good ballplayers. I believe focused, dedicated, and kids with integrity make good ballplayers. Which concludes that no matter what situation your a young ballplayer is in, this ballplayer will get exactly what he puts into it.

There are many examples of this but I will save it waiting for more comments on my this post.
Last edited by Ken Guthrie
As many of you know, I had the pleasure to coach the DBAT 16U team this past summer.

In regards to this topic, one of the most fullfilling moments of my summer as a coach came at the conclusion of our Mickey Mantle World Series.

When we had our last player/coach meeting, the kids finished by giving each other hugs and handshakes. Now this may sound corny, but to me, this is what makes me coach.

When I look back on my baseball career, I never think of individual accomplishments. But I do reflect on my teammates and moments off the field more than on the field.

Just remember this folks, this is amatuer baseball. It is not life and death. What is meant to be will happen. Forcing issues will only complicate things and take away enjoyment.
Ken, Congrats on a great season and welcome to the board. Your experience, knowledge, and perspective will add a lot to this already great bb.

I’ll preface my comments and opinions with I have a 14U player. I share the same sentiments reflected by several of the previous posters about organized practices, cost, no frills uniforms, and at a younger age playtime, etc. Also I understand that my opinions are still based on kids that have not entered HS yet.

1) Integrity: Many coaches do not realize their impact on these players, on and off the field. I (unfortunately) remember more of my past coaches names than teachers. I want my son to not only learn the game but to learn to respect it, the coaches, the umpires. Besides at home, it also starts at the top of the team.

2) Commitment: Not only should players and families consider it an honor to play for teams, coaches and organizations should consider it the same that parents have entrusted their kids to these coaches and organizations.

3) Skills / knowledge: No one will ever ask my son, what his record was, or if he won a World Series. What they will look for are skills, hustle, mental toughness, character, etc.

4)Teaching and drills: I’d much rather have lots of good practices, than play a lot of games. When you do play games, I agree, find good competition. I’d rater loose and play passionately than win a meaningless game…

5) Communication: I don’t understand why many coaches have such an untouchable attitude… I don’t expect them to field every silly question, but I’d like to be able to approach them for honest constructive questions and opinions on how to help better my son.

6) Fun. Yes fun. I embarrassed myself this year when I made some offhanded remarks to a mom for bringing snacks to a “select” game. My son quickly reminded me that we parents say this is supposed to be for the kids, but seldom act like it… I don’t believe younger players know what 110 % effort really is. I’d like to have a coach get it out of them without them even knowing it. Then looking back at the end of the day and reorganizing what they did so they can give even more next time.

7) Belief: This is such a mental game, and one obviously one of failures. I am looking for a positive coach that instills a believe attitude in his players and in turn believes in them.

Yes this sounds a little dreamy, but I have seen these qualities in some coaches out there, so I know they exist. My son has had had the absolute privilege to play on a team that to date has won a whole lot of games…Big deal…I believe baseball really is like life. Though he still dreams of being a pro, I realize he will not be one. But I hope the friends and memories he has made, and will continue to will make, will make him a better person. It is refreshing to see Ken’s comments as to why he coaches. IMHO a coach is not measured by his won / loss record. What good is it to be on a winning team and hate the sport at the end of the season?

Dave Senor

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