My son’s high school coach tells him to do it one way and his travel coach tells him to do it another way? Any suggestions to deal with that situation?

 That is a tough situation for young ball players, but one that many encounter, especially at the beginning of high school practice. 


1. It is best for kids to shake their head in agreement and try what the coach suggests, even if they believe they know more than the coach, and even if they have been successful another way. It is never wise to tell a coach that another coach, or parent, told them to do it otherwise, or to insist their own way is best. That will get them on the bad side of a coach immediately.


2. Players should do their best to analyze what each coach suggests and not be afraid to ask coaches why they should do it a certain way, without sounding arrogant. Every technique based on good theory, in the pursuit of perfection, is worth a try.



3. It is usually best to trust the coach with the most experience. The high school coach, who is also an English teacher, probably does not have the experience of the professional coach, at the local academy. There are many “book experts,” those that know what is correct; but not as many real experts, those that can see what is incorrect. Book experts tell an athlete what they are doing wrong, real experts tell an athlete what is wrong, why it’s wrong, and how they can improve what is wrong.


4. Ultimately, players should stay with what works for them and discard what does not, as long as the successful method has good fundamental theory behind it. Coaches generally notice success and leave players to the most successful technique.


Information is readily available on line, too, so players should read up on baseball knowledge, when confused. Of course, when coaches will not leave a player alone with how they are doing something, even though they are successful, players must do what is best for making the team, or for keeping playing time. The good news is that many coaches, for the good or for the bad, tell kids everything they know the first few days of practice and then let kids be, with their own way of doing things. Finally, this is good parental advice for kids of all ages, as this baseball dilemma is common at lower youth sports  levels, also.

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