Think about it. Pro teams hire specialized coaches for anything and everything, even a bench coach who specializes in, I don't know, spitting? Just kidding, a bench coach is responsible for keeping the team motivated and focused and probably some other stuff, like bathroom breaks. On a more serious note, youth league teams typically have one general coach and an assistant coach. These coaches are volunteers and rarely specialize in any one area of the game.
Coaches of youth baseball and softball are often a parent of one of the players on the team. These coaches can be great at teaching the basics of the game but when a player has trouble with hitting, he/she is probably not the best person to ask for advice. The youth players and coach tend to bond, creating a sense of loyalty that can actually prevent a player from reaching his or her full potential as a hitter. How? The sense of loyalty often prevents the parents of the player from seeking outside help. Hitting a ball with a bat is the toughest part of the game to get a grip on. Most youth players either suck at it or they are naturally gifted hitters. Without a good hitting coach, the youth players that suck at it probably always will and, more often than not, quit playing the game before they reach high school.
Can you imagine how many kids quit the game because they didn't have a good hitting coach to bring out their full potential and hidden natural talents?
A good hitting coach has an arsenal of tips and tricks that help players hone their abilities and reach their own, individual best performance behind the plate. Before we discuss where to find a good hitting coach, we first need to know what makes a coach a good hitting coach.
Characteristics of a good hitting coach:
- Has a proven track record
- Has a stack of positive testimonials from previous clients
- Can explain their approach to hitting and why it works, in simple terms
- Can explain to the player(s) the what, when, why and how of each step
- Can show the player proof of their improvement after a number of lessons
- Can identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently
- Builds confidence and mental toughness along with skills (mental toughness doesn't mean military style training)
Where to find a good hitting coach.
Despite the bonding that may have taken place between the volunteer coach and his youth players, a good coach will be the first one to suggest that parents hire a good hitting coach for their child. He is also the first one a parent should ask for suggestions. You won't find a coach in the yellow pages, usually, but instead, by asking around. Ask the other parents, coaches of opposing teams, schools, and so on. Word of mouth is a good hitting coach's best advertising and all you have to do to find one is ask. Before hiring a coach that specializes in hitting, make sure they meet all of the above list of characteristics. Otherwise, you will be wasting your time and money.
Every coach has their own ideas of what works and what doesn't. If what they are preaching works, then they shouldn't have a problem with showing you proof that their approach to hitting works. Hitting philosophies are abundant and comparable to religion in the fact that each one claims truth, but unlike religion, the proof is tangible.