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My player development system for youth baseball is very unique and very foreign to the traditionalist.
See, I want to develop baseball players. The traditionalist wants to develop ball players but is not really sure how to do it.
I want to see my players try to play the game well. The traditionalist wants to come in first place and doesn’t care how it is done.
Most volunteer adult baseball coaches run the teams like a miniature major league team. Why? Because nobody has shown them another baseball system other than the major league model.
What do we expect the amateur baseball coach, the league administrators, board of directors, recreation leaders and the baseball parents to do? Revert back to what they know—and that is a win-at-all-costs major league baseball approach.
Unless someone has shown the adults the right way to develop players the folks are naturally going to gravitate to the only system they know.
It is way easier to coach baseball with the current win-at-all-costs approach. You don’t worry about developing players, teaching fundamentals, helping kids hit and throw better.
You don’t concern yourself with developing the proper amount of pitchers. No, you just pitch the same pitchers all the time.
You don’t worry about making sure your hitters are using the professional baseball approach to developing hitters. No, you want the kids to get walks and never swing at bad pitches (an automatic recipe for a quick exit from baseball).
Yes, baseball coaches that teach, instruct, help kids learn the game is very difficult. Most cannot even begin to coach the right stuff that helps kids improve their throwing and hitting.
It is not the coaches fault—they just don’t know how to help kids. What happens is the adults stop developing and teaching and go right to the major league win-at-all-costs approach. The easy way out.
To learn more on the what is in the best interests of kids playing baseball take a look at these items.
In case you did not know it major league baseball teams have at least five or more minor league baseball teams stocked with young baseball talent. Baseball expert coaches, trainers, strength and conditioning staff are hired for each team.
Roving instructors travel from team to team specializing in areas like catchers, infielders, base running and outfielders. Why do major leagues teams pay for all these professional coaches and staff to develop their players? Because it works.
Winning is important in the minor leagues but developing players that can survive and keep playing takes priority. Making sure players have an atmosphere to improve and get better is the top goal.
Playing the game well is something to strive for. Building your local baseball organization into a player development machine where kids can play the game well is available to you now.
Local Minor League
Player Development System
Survival of the Fittest
Preparing young ball players with the correct style and techniques to hit and throw at the bigger field distances at age 13 & 14 year olds is paramount and essential.
Without the strong baseball fundamental foundation started at the all the 12u age levels it will be difficult if not impossible to survive in baseball through the treacherous early teenage years.
We know that 3 out of 4 players drop out of baseball by age 14. The odds are against us. I just want to lessen the odds and build more fundamentally sound baseball players that might be able to grind through the extreme difficulties of the over 12 year old baseball era.
Unfortunately the large majority of these players are walking the plank that will end their careers prematurely because they simply will not develop strong enough hitting and throwing skills to garner playing time in the years to come.
My job as a minor league baseball manager for 14 years from 1984-1997 was to train baseball players to help them be in position to move up to a higher league.
Our job as minor league baseball coaching staff was to supply our major league baseball team with major league caliber players if a need arose. We had to have a quality player or pitcher ready to step in and help the Boston Red Sox when ever the phone rang.
This was a constant process beginning with rookies out of high school or college baseball all the way to established AAA players who were well seasoned. Often players stayed in the minor league player development system for 5 years or more.
Our youth baseball development systems surely do not have professional experts hired to train ball players. What we do have are volunteer dads.
How are we going to improve youth baseball?
First step is to Educate the coaches, parents and league officials first. We need all the adults to buy in to what is best for kids playing baseball.
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Who in their right mind would come back year after year and have boring baseball practice and never improve their baseball skills? and get yelled at by adults?
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Youth baseball careers are short-lived so lets make it count for our players. What do players really want out of playing baseball?