Baseball Hitting Instruction: Roles of Coaches, Parents, and Players
Parents and players should hold their instructors accountable for paid baseball hitting instruction, as long as they do their part. Below are the roles that each – instructors, parents, players – should have in the training process.
As a hitting coach, I often live and die, so to speak, with my hitting students results. When they struggle, it is very disappointing, even though in the end, I believe the baseball hitting instruction and hard work pays dividends for the hitting students. Of course, no matter how bad I feel, I realize that I cannot hit for the players and that I can only show them the correct way to go about improving. However, that does not mean I am not accountable, as long as they implement and practice the things I teach them, which is no easy or guaranteed thing.
In this age of sport specialization and travel baseball, many young ballplayers get professional baseball hitting instruction. Usually, that is a good thing because kids have a better chance of competing and reaching their potential, as long as the professional instruction is high quality. Parents and players have the right to feel disappointed, when the results of that instruction do not produce good results, especially when they apply the effort necessary to make the needed changes to their baseball swings.
When I say all coaches and I should be held accountable to some degree, I realize there are limits to that accountability, as talent and the level played have big part in hitting success. However, if I am “on my game,” there are certain things to expect from quality baseball hitting instruction.
Hitting Coach’s Role in Baseball Hitting Instruction includes giving:
- A better-looking swing – a good-looking swing does not guarantee success, but it usually leads to it. Players should look as if they “swing the bat,” as opposed to the bat swinging them.
- A greater knowledge of the mechanics of the swing by the player and/or parent of the young player – knowledge of the mechanics is important, even for young players, as knowledge often leads to confidence. Good coaches keep things simple, so even non-baseball oriented parents and young students should be able to understand some basics of hitting.
- The individual players hitting strengths and weaknesses.
- The hitting drills that help them overcome those deficiencies.
- Players hope, confidence and motivation to practice.
As mentioned, things take time, but coaches should be held accountable if they do not provide the above.
Player’s Role with Baseball Hitting Instruction includes:
- Giving the coach full attention
- The effort to implement what the coach teaches
- Practicing the instructed things after leaving the hitting training
Parents’ Role with Baseball Hitting Instruction includes:
- Learning the basics of what the coach is teaching
- Reinforcing those basics in a positive, reaffirming way to their son or daughter
- Keeping hope alive with their attitude, while never forcing kids to practice, but encouraging them to, along with being willing to practice with them
Finally, parents may have the toughest role of all, as their patience is crucial for the baseball hitting instruction to work, not to mention their money.