I wanted to address some questions that I receive on a daily basis. These are from players, parents, and coaches that I have had the pleasure to work with. I figured if they wanted to know than maybe you do too. In no particular order, here we go:
Q.) My kid lacks confidnece, how do I get him to be more confident?
A.) Confidence comes from experiencing some sort of success. Success is hard to come by, especially as a youth baseball player, and especially in live game situations. So, success can be gained through intense and consistant practice, training, and instructional sessions. It’s easier to create success when it can be had in a controlled environment. Once success is obtained in practice sessions it will be more likely to transcend into game situations……the ultimate goal. In a 30 minute hitting lesson a player can take 200 meaningful swings…..it may take 3 years of little league games to get 200 live, game-situation swings.
Q.) My kids coach is terrible, what should I do?
A.) Seek help from outside resources. Find someone in your area that can teach your kid. Ask around. Do not rely on a little league or a club baseball coach to get your son better. In most cases they’re a volunteer. Their best interest is in their own son. Or they lack the knowledge of the game to properly teach it. Some good coaches are out there but they are far and few between. Once you get into high school you should be around a better cast of coaches in all aspects. Nevertheless, how you prepare yourself on your own time is going to be the difference maker in your own baseball career.
Q.) Should I play Club or Travel Baseball?
A.) Yes. Baseball at the local little league or park district level can be a terribly watered down product and not a good gauge of your kids true talent and ability. Seek out a select team, or some sort of option outside of the local little league and park districts. Whether it’s right or wrong, kids are now playing on select teams at 8 years old. I think more realistically, you should make every effort to be a member of a select team by the age of 12 years old, especially if you are serious about playing in high school and beyond. You can still play little league as well but for those who can play at a club level, do it!
Q.) My kids team is terrible and I’m sick of it!!!!
A.) Baseball is an individual sport, especially at the younger levels. Your best resources as an individual player are you, your family, and those you choose to surround yourself with. Parents!!!! Seek this out. You will always have a choice in where your kid learns the game and trains properly. You may not always have a choice in which team they play for.
Q.) How do I get exposure for my high school kid that wants to play in college?
A.) Hopefully you have a little bit of help from your high school coaches, but let’s not assume that. You want to be getting serious exposure by the age of 16. You have to ask yourself….who is watching me play? If college recruiters or scouts are not attending your high school and summer-team games then you’re not being seen. That’s ok. You can do a lot yourself in terms of research and marketing your son. Make video’s of game footage and workout/training sessions. Send them out. You can obtain nearly every college baseball coaches email by doing a little “google” research. Send them a letter. Post on a YouTube site that you can refer them to. Remember: They want to see a combination of not only baseball skill (hitting, fielding, throwing) but athleticism (running, agility, strength). Lastly, remember this, If you perform well enough and stand out in your area, THEY WILL FIND YOU, trust me. Be very skeptic of recruiting services in general. Technology these days allows us, as athletes to get a certain level of exposure. Beyond that, you want recommendations. Maybe that guy you have been training with knows a lot of college coaches and scouts and is willing to help you by writing a letter of recommendation or make a call for you :-).
Q.) Who is the best all-around baseball player right now?
A.) Mike Trout is the best all-around baseball player on the planet right now
Q.) Who is the best hitter in baseball right now?
A.) Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter on the planet right now.
Q.) Who is the best all-around shortstop right now?
A.) Troy Tulowitzki is the best all-around shortstop on the planet right now.
Q.) Who is the best defensive shortstop ever?
A.) Tough. Omar Vizquel had the better hands but Ozzie Smith had better range AND won a world series. Ozzie Smith is the best defensive shortstop ever.
Q.) Who is the best pitcher you ever faced?
A.) Two come to mind. I faced a 19 year old C.C Sabathia in Double-A (Akron, 2000) and a 21 year old Josh Beckett in Double-A (Portland, 2001). For me, C.C Sabathia was the best pitcher I ever faced. More to come……