The other day I had a new student with his dad, attend their first training session with MD&I Baseball Academy. The first session, is always a evaluation session to work on various skills: hitting, fielding and throwing. It’s also a good way to see if the player is comfortable with training, and if its a good fit for both. After I talk with the kid, and we do dynamic warmups, the dad leaves with his laptop to watch the NFL playoff game with other parents. I came out the batting tunnel and told the dad, he need to stay close and watch his son’s lesson, so he can watch what I’m teaching his son. The kid was 10 years old and needed lots of help with hitting, and couldn’t catch.
In the facility where I train, I watch majority of kids from 9-15 years of age , who play on select baseball teams…can’t hit! My thought process is the players from age 9-11 are just learning about rotating, using their hips, and balance. The critical age that dads will be more helpful, is the 12-14 age groups. Hitting the baseball is even more difficult at this age because the baseball diamond will be getting bigger. Hitting a baseball is difficult if kids don’t get the necessary reps of live batting practice.
You can’t expect a kid to be a good hitter, if he’s only going to a instructor, team practice (maybe once a week)…they need to hit at least 2 more times a week. I was reading a article written by Mike McCarthy about “What Can Youth Hitters Learn From Chess Players”…the answer is MEMORY. Hitting a baseball is about muscle memory, and to be a successful hitter you have to be able to recognize pitches. The reason why are select baseball team was very successful was due to majority of the dads threw batting practice to their kids. Sometimes we would call each other (during a off day) from practice, and get together and throw batting practice to our kids. That’s the reason most of our players “own” school baseball records.
Hey Dad….if your kid is playing select baseball or softball you need to throw batting practice…there is know shortcut to success, and your kid will benefit from your help:) Start with TEE WORK, FRONT TOSS, and then LIVE BATTING PRACTICE.
Check out the book by Malcolm Gladwell “Outliers” The Story of Success…read Chapter Two “The 10,000 Hour Rule”.
Keep MD&I Alive!