Just because the season is over doesn't mean you can't refine your skill as a coach--or as an involved baseball parent.
So for all the parents and coaches involved in baseball during this time, here are some simple guidelines that you might find helpful to raise your baseball IQ and get you ready for next year..
- Educate yourself about the game and pass on the knowledge. Go to games with your kid. You don't need to spend a lot of dough by going to a pro game, just seek out the Junior College or high school games. Analyze, dissect, pay attention, ask questions, discuss, share, grow together.
- Encourage the kids.
- Help them understand this is a game of failure and help them persevere through the inevitable rough times. The best players, more often than not, are the ones who fail the best. They don't let negative results or mistakes get to them. They have a strong belief in themselves that isn't tied into their results and have the ability to focus on the moment. If you get a hit 3 out of 10 times, you're doing well. That's failing 7 times!
- Understand that during the game the kids are trying to focus, play, and flow and need to take those couple of hours to perfect this most important part of the game. Encourage them but try not to instruct during the game. You've got all week to improve their mechanics. For those brief couple hours a week, leave em alone to play and find the flow of the game without mechanical thoughts.
- Along the same lines as #8, understand full well the difference between practice and game time!
"During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out 1,700 times and walked 1,800 times. That means I played 7 years without ever hitting the ball."
~ Mickey Mantle
Till next time, have fun, play hard, and keep your eye on the ball...
Brent Mayne is a 15-year veteran of the Major Leagues. He ranks 75th in the history of baseball with 1,143 pro games caught, and his .993 career fielding percentage is 4th all-time. Brent is the author of the book "The Art of Catching"--a comprehensive guide to teaching and building defensive catching skills.