Back to Back Issues Page
Is This the Best Thing Ever for Baseball? Vol.138 Jan. 2016
January 07, 2016

Best Thing to Happen to Baseball

I began 2015 touting Mike Matheny’s ‘manifesto’ and I am going to do a do-over here in 2016 because it merits another look.

The ‘Matheny Manifesto’ is the best thing to happen to youth baseball maybe in the history of of the game. Maybe the pendulum in youth baseball is swinging back to a more sensible, player development minded approach. (NOTE: Mike Matheny is currently the field manager for the St. Louis Cardinals).

What do we mean by player development approach? The Matheny Manifesto goes into a bit more detail but here is a sampling of the tone of his message…

Is Winning Really Irrelivent?

First, winning below high school varsity is really irrelevant.

Now before you say, “But Dave”, hold your horses, don’t worry. I am as competitive at the next guy. I like to win.

But, player development trumps winning. Developing a deep, healthy pitching staff, playing multiple positions, and conducting baseball practices where players get many reps (touches) trumps winning.

Teaching the professional baseball hitting mindset trumps winning… (Coaches who encourage trying to get walks rather than swinging the bat).

Players who do not develop into run producing offensive players, who can’t handle the ball (I call it playing ‘close’ to the ball--catching and throwing efficiently), and have a decent, accurate arm are going to drop off the baseball wagon (especially at age 13 & 14). There is nothing wrong with a kid that stops playing baseball--I just hope it is not from lack of good coaching.

That is why I say winning is irrelevant—if we don’t develop kid’s skills its GAME-OVER and players never even reach high school baseball.

It's Easy...Just Say Nothing

Second, parents and spectators say nothing. That’s right, it’s okay just to be there. Loud verbalizing, cheering and coaching from the bleachers is detrimental to and adds needless pressure to young ballplayers.

Let the coaches coach. Players can get very distracted and confused when spectators get overly involved in the games and become too vocal.

Pace Car Approach

Third, let the players play. Coach during practice and just manage the games like a pace car.

Coaches should refrain from taking over and yelling before and after every play. Try to do your coaching and teaching between innings in the privacy of the dugout.

Nobody wants to play baseball and be told what to do every second of the game. Be enthusiastic and encouraging, but don’t over coach during games.

Mike Matheny’s letter to parents has become the viral “Matheny Manifesto”. It has now turned into a full size book about Mike’s career. Every league and baseball organization without a doubt should have copies so everyone can have chance to read it.

Right now this is our best hope to bring a sensible ‘player development approach’ back to our kids.

Good Bye Dad

My dad, Bert Holt, passed away last month at 82.

Long time high school, junior college coach and professional baseball scout lost his battle with multiple myloma cancer in December.

I caught the baseball itch at a very young age following my dad around as a coaches son. It was awesome. He had a tremendous passion for the game and teaching the fundamentals, and the necessary work ethic required to achieve success to his players. It was passed on to me, too. God be with you Dad. Thank you.

Where is the player development?
follow Coach and Play Baseball on Facebook

Your Child Is Not Going to Play Pro or College Baseball

post puberty baseball years?

Summer Baseball Camp To Your Town

Does your local baseball area need a quality summer baseball camp for your players?

Get in touch with Coach Dave and talk over the opportunities and see if we can match up the dates. Coach Dave will bring his player development system to your area for a weeklong summer day camp.

Do you want to give your local players a chance to improve their skills over the summer in a professional baseball style environment?

Do you want a coach that uses positive coaching style approach and builds stronger, high character kids? Then you should talk to Coach Dave now and get the ball rolling for week of summer baseball camp. Contact Coach Dave Holt

Free 4-Day Baseball Coaching Course EXTENDED to Jan. 30th.

4-Day Free Coaching Course that starts you out right!

If you are new to coaching or been around awhile, take advantage of this great deal. This will get your juices flowing and mind wandering. Get your ducks in a row now before you get too far along in the season.

My email courses will get you up to speed real fast and prepare you for the next steps so you don't have to waste a bunch of time fumbling around the internet.

Youth baseball coaching looks pretty easy from the outside looking in. But watch out, you could get eaten alive if you don't know a little bit more than the average baseball parents.

If you have any questions on the course please send me an email and I will get back with you.

Hurry! Extended (to Jan. 30th) 4 Day Baseball Coaching Course at:

Coach and Play Baseball YouTube Channel Unique Player Development Strategies for local organizations.

Ramp Up for Next Season Now!

Latest News from Coach and Play Baseball

Super Simple Guide Hard Copy is Here

Player Development is the Winning Model

Dynamic 101 Page Binder with 3 Audio Cds

Before you learn the baseball stuff you should really know how to build a coaching approach and style.

Here is the workbook and audio CDs that will help build your foundation to manage your ballclub.

I often use the measuring stick by seeing how many of your ballplayers return to play the next year. Are you helping kids to get better, enjoy the game, and build on the experiences of being a good teammate?

Are you attracting players to baseball or driving them out? Are you a magnet to players or a repellent?

Use this guidebook and audio CDs to study the best practices for successful youth coaches and parents.

Super Simple Guide to Coaching Youth Baseball with 3 Audio CDs.

Baseball Impossible Player Development

MakeOver 6 DVD Set

Virtual Coaching Clinics & Lessons

Contact me anytime about anything.

Baseball Clinic Guidebooks for Sports Parents

Special Bundle Deal for all 4-eBooks

My most popular player development products will be on SALE for only a few more days.

January 2016 Vol. 138 Additional Topics

Videos Coaching Baseball

Revolutionize Baseball Coaching - 3 DVD Set NOW HERE!

Our current player development system does not work nearly as well as it should.

Why? Too much emphasis on winning and not enough focus on training baseball players.

The 3-DVD's videos will give you and your entire youth baseball league a real live on-camera system to follow in order to properly approach youth baseball with the greatest return on investment.

JUST RELEASED 3-DVD Set Volume Series on How to Revolutionize Coaching Youth Baseball

A Virtual COACHING CLINIC on your own TV or DVD Player

DVD Video Topics in Brand New Player Development Series

Comments? Ideas, Feedback?

I’d love to hear form you . Just reply to this zine and tell what you think! I’m here to help where I can!

When you have a minute and want to know more check out my INFORMATIVE fabulous baseball coaching books...

Super Simple Guide to Coaching Youth Baseball
You Go As Far as Your Bat Takes You
Develop an Endless Supply of Pitchers

Until next time, Thanks for your service to Baseball!

Dave Holt
Baseball Development

Coach & Play Baseball Home Page

Back to Back Issues Page