2022 did extremely well at the plate this spring, batting 0.400. Won the offensive player of the year award. Son moved up to a higher team in the organization and the coach picked him because of his performance. 

The coach has given him a few batting lessons over the past two years.  From the few lessons, the feedback was valuable and effective.  I couldn't afford the lessons and took over as his hitting coach 2018-2019.  So, there is probably some ego in here.

First tournament this fall, 2022 went 0.500 with a bombed triple.  Coach started coaching his hitting and his performance has gone below 0.100.  One hit in the next 3 tournaments. No power, he is behind everything, pop ups or grounders to first, second or short right.  It's making me crazy.

I get him in the cage and he is back to pounding the ball.  He gets in front of the coach and starts doing what's he's told and it's gone. 

I don't talk to coaches, I would prefer not to. I have pretty much let the kid handle the conversations and stay out of the way.

Do I talk to the coach? What's the best way to start this conversation?

Original Post

My son is in his freshman year of college. D1 school on the west coast. Coaching staff has changed his and all of the rest of the freshman's hitting mechanics over this Fall. It's taking some time for many to adjust their swings and implement this new approach successfully. 

It's tough (I've been there). But let your kid handle it/figure it out.....by doing so, you'll be helping him much more for the future (college ball) than getting a triple or two in next weekend's tourney. 

Good Luck.

Back in the high school years my son had his swing changed to increase his (already very good for high school and 16u travel) hitting ability and college potential. At first he went backwards as change was uncomfortable. Once he got it the improvement was sensational. 

What has to be determined is the hitting coach screwing him up or your son hasn’t transitioned yet. But regardless your son is old enough to handle the situation with the coach. At this point you can only coach him on how to deal with the coach.

2022 decided he wants to handle it.  So, I'll back off.

My basic question was how to deal with the situation.  Coach is very good and the organization is very good.  This is just a hiccup and wanted to deal with it the right way. It will probably come down to a failure to communicate.  15 year old boys don't always hear what they are being told and then it gets interpreted into a swing. We'll see.

And yes, batting average is meaningless in a small window.  It's the quality of the contact that is concerning.  Going from frozen rope, deep gap power to duck farts and dribblers, it's obvious something is up.  Hard hits at people wouldn't concern me.   

Thank you for the input.  

JETSR71 posted:

2022 decided he wants to handle it.  So, I'll back off.

My basic question was how to deal with the situation.  Coach is very good and the organization is very good.  This is just a hiccup and wanted to deal with it the right way. It will probably come down to a failure to communicate.  15 year old boys don't always hear what they are being told and then it gets interpreted into a swing. We'll see.

And yes, batting average is meaningless in a small window.  It's the quality of the contact that is concerning.  Going from frozen rope, deep gap power to duck farts and dribblers, it's obvious something is up.  Hard hits at people wouldn't concern me.   

Thank you for the input.  

Not sure if you have many opportunities to speak with the coach, but this may help.  

Background... my son was working on pitching mechanics and I was surprised how much he regressed.  Spoke to son about it and he said... 'coach is trying to change some things'.  One day after practice (I didn't stay during practice) I said hello to the pitching coach and said "Hey, son said you guys are working on his pitching mechanics.  How is that going?".  He proceeded to tell me that he was struggling applying what they were working on but was pleased with sons focus and effort to continue to try.  I asked.. is there anything I can do to help while he is at home?  He gave me a couple things to remind him that he thought son was not understanding when he threw and I said okay.  That was the end of the conversation.  Few years later, all those mechanical changes are part of sons delivery today and his performance no only went back to where it was, he improved dramatically.  While I'm comparing apples and oranges since son was not a SO when this happened, it is a thought.

My point of this story is that you mentioned it was driving you crazy that your sons 'power' seems to be gone when not in front of the coaches.  While that's fair, how does your son feel?  What are his thoughts regarding his progress and what the coach is teaching him?  (I did not see where you mentioned this)  Finally, you could ask the coach "Hey, son mentioned that you guys are working on (hitting mechanics) and we spend a lot of time in cages.  Anything I can do to reinforce / look out for what you guys are working on?"  Might help get the dialog going

This may be a moot point now that your son wants to handle it, but I thought I would share a personal experience.  Having a 2022 as well, I feel that every story posted on this website lately reflects what I live day in and day out.  I've been fortunate to have a great relationship with sons coaches over the years.  I worked hard at not trying to impose too much of my own thoughts while trying to support their teachings while son and I practiced together.  In the end, they were very thankful and were always willing to answer my questions so I figured my approach was working. LOL 

As they say.. 'enjoy the ride'.  I keep reminding myself of that everyday. 

 

Only thing I see that could help...

"I get him in the cage and he is back to pounding the ball.  He gets in front of the coach and starts doing what's he's told and it's gone."

If he has buy in to what the coach is teaching. Make sure he is using the changes in the cage so he gets the reps for the changes to stick. If he is hitting one way with the coach, then going in the cage and hitting his old way, it will take a lot longer for the coaches changes to start working. Just a thought. 

In general;

-hitting coaches should make things simple. You don't want a batter going up to the plate thinking a lot. 

- Dads don't make good hitting coaches for their sons, for the same reasons that doctors don't treat their own kids. Too emotionally involved. 

 

   

Do you trust that the coach knows what he's doing?  If so, then trust him.  It sounds like this new coach has been working with your kid for no more than a month.  You may just need to be patient.

My son started playing with a new team a few years ago that he chose because their PC is considered one of the best in our area.  This coach made some changes to my son's delivery.  For the first couple of months of the season, the boy really didn't look good--not throwing strikes, velo not where it needed to be.  But my son kept working on the changes his PC wanted.  Then something clicked (at a major tournament, fortunately), and Junior picked up 8 mph in velocity from the prior season and looked great.  Things weren't perfect--he had a few outings after that where things weren't so smooth--that's often the nature of these things.  But now, after 2 years plus with his PC, he's much better than he would have been had he stuck with his old delivery.    

57special posted:

In general;

-hitting coaches should make things simple. You don't want a batter going up to the plate thinking a lot. 

- Dads don't make good hitting coaches for their sons, for the same reasons that doctors don't treat their own kids. Too emotionally involved. 

 

   

I paid a hitting instructor $1,500 to get my son to buy into something I had been telling him for two years. 

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