Thursday, May 8, 2008

Learning Baseball By Example

I'm a big believer in kids learning by example. Watching others execute drills and plays helps ingrain a mental picture of the proper way to field, throw, swing, etc. When practicing with younger players I often like to have guest to demonstrate technique. For example when coaching an 11 year old team I would have 13 or 14 year old players help out with practice. I would hand pick kids who show a passion for baseball and can demonstrate skills and principles well. The younger kids look up to the older players and seem to give their undivided attention. I find that these sessions bring out the best in the younger players. In addition it gives the older kids a chance to gain more confidence in their abilities.

Another great thing a Mom or Dad can do is take your son or daughter to high school, college or minor league baseball games. These events normally allow you to get close to the action. Your player will have a chance to watch highly skilled players play the game. You will find that many young players will respond to this by incorporating some of the techniques they observe at these games.

We are lucky to have a minor league team within 30 minutes of our town. Each year I would invite players and parents from my team to watch at least one game per year. We would do this early in the season and I found that it set the tone well for the team. I also like to take my own kids to college and minor league games at least once a month. I truly believe this helped their baseball development.

Coach Bob

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