Re-Educating Youth Baseball Parents
The Trent Reynolds Player Development Commit to Hitᵀᴹ Process is a unique program that offers youth, high school and college ball players improvement in the attributes coaches want most—hitting for average and hitting for power. While our Commit to Hitᵀᴹ Process guarantees a professional baseball swing once the player has completed the program, it also promises growth in the maturity and hitting knowledge and savvy of the player. Below, TRPD’s Commit to Hitᵀᴹ instructor, Coach Justin Fultz, shares more insight into the philosophy of the program and what to expect. Review Part 1 and Part 2 before reading Part 3.
Our approach to instructing players is sometimes contrary to what his parents believe and practice. For this reason, we interview parents before their player signs up to be sure that they can embrace and act consistent with our process. If necessary, we will set boundaries to assure that the environment most conducive to the player’s development is established and maintained during sessions and at home.
Many players simply do not want to be instructed by their parents, even though Mom or Dad may be a great resource for them. They tell us things like, “Dad is not my coach, so he doesn’t understand. Why should I listen to him?
Moreover, many players like to “fix it myself” which is a good thing since most of the people in their lives and in the future will not be able to teach them professional hitting mechanics. Because of this, we encourage players to become experts in their swing and in a sense, their own hitting coach.
One of the biggest and most common complaints that we hear from our program graduates is that, “My coach does not like my swing and keeps trying to get me to change my mechanics.” This is unfortunately the reality that players must learn to deal with…coaches who are not trained in professional hitting mechanics attempting to instruct.
Only a player who fully understand the ins-and-outs of his swing, is confident in his abilities, and who sees himself as his hitting coach will be able to politely thank the coach for his input, do what the coach wants when he is watching, and then forget it and do what he knows is best for his swing when the coach walks away. Without this psychological armor, most players will give into poor instruction from adults, see a deterioration of their results and may become so frustrated that they quit the game.
It’s therefore critical that the relationship between the player and parent be transformed as much as the player’s swing mechanics. And it’s critical that the player and parent are aligned on each others roles and responsibilities in the process.
As I mentioned earlier, the player’s responsibility is to do the hard work required by the process and his role is to learn to become his own hitting coach. The parent’s role shifts from instructor and coach to encourager, supporter and builder of self-image and self-esteem. The parent’s job is no longer to notice and share with the player all his mistakes, but to rather praise his work ethic, help him focus on the process and not results, help him acknowledge the progress and improvement that he is making, and assure that he gets the rest and nourishment necessary to give his maximum effort during program sessions.
By stressing the importance of becoming a better person as well as better mechanics, the Commit to Hitᵀᴹ Process not only builds better players but better people. And by emphasizing process over short-term results and re-defining the player/parent roles and responsibilities, both parties are more likely to get the full potential from their investment in the the program.
Learn more about the Commit to Hitᵀᴹ Process Hitting Instruction. If you or your player are interested in the Commit to Hitᵀᴹ Process, please contact Coach Justin Fultz for more information: [email protected] or 512.970.8955.