I called time out and walked out to the mound. Kid had walked the first 3 batters. My first question to him was “Why are you struggling to throw strikes so bad? You dominated this summer and have numerous colleges interested in you,” which means they saw how good he was too. His answer,“My high school coach has told me he doesn’t want me to pitch the way you told me.”
Never-mind that I have coached at a higher level. Never-mind that I have scouted or played for a pro team. Never-mind that I have multiple pro and D1 pitchers that I work with. Never-mind that 4-6 guys on that varsity team is guys that I work with that he hasn’t changed. Never-mind that dozens before this year have gone thru that coaches program and was their top players and went on to play college baseball and eventually graduate college. No credit given outside of his program what so ever.
This is a very common thought process among select baseball programs now days. One reason is there are more travel ball programs than ever before. Many ex-pros and college players see an opportunity at $60-$100 an hour doing something they love to do as a great way to feed their family. I mean, many of them made pennies on the dollar in the minor leagues eating ramen noodles. Why not be able to make money at something that they did professionally and were trained by some of the best of the best go do at that level? I mean, we are all taught that a Baylor, Harvard or Rice education is better than a community college education. I am sure those teachers are on a better pay scale at the better schools too. So why does a high school coach that didn’t play pro ball or didn’t even play in college get to override our training?
I myself can be guilty sometimes of it too. But then I remember how many kids have came thru my door and their dad is standing beside them throwing in his 2 cents which often is where those kids get a lot of their training from. Which in turn that means that the high school head coach more often than not has a higher training level than the parent and more often than not has more kids on the team that dont play select baseball year round.
More often than not we as trainers tell these kids to ignore their high school coach. Could you imagine a superior of a first responder telling someone after a training session to ignore their captain if he says different? Someone gets hurt or worse killed. Baseball is not that big. Yes, I just said that and it goes for all sports!
We are here to develop good young men. We are not here to develop stubborn, hardheaded kids. That goes for all coaches, little league, select, high school and college. To find a common ground as coaches should be what we do so that these kids can grow from that. We must understand how to work with each other better.
It starts with knowing what season it is. If a high school coach doesn’t want their kids trained in spring than that select coach needs to respect that. But at the same time he needs to prep him in fall or winter to be ready for spring. I have coaches that allow their high school players to come to me in spring if they struggle. But its rare. I have high school coaches that also recommend our program in summer and fall. I also have coaches that I would like to tell them they need to find another job because they aren’t good at the one they are doing. I am sure they have select coaches, maybe even me, that they think the same about.
Ultimately, we have to remember we are mentors as coaches in any sport. We spend more time with the kids than most of their parents do. The impact we make on their lives sometimes can be more or less productive than their parents. Remember why you started coaching. Most of us started to make a difference. If you are doing it for a check than I am sure all of us other coaches can agree that you are one of the ones that need to find another job.
Coach James Bills, President of WeR Athletics and Texas Pitching Coaches Association, is a former high school and college coach. Coach Bills has been a professional scout for 8 years as well as has trained 100’s of college and professional athletes. He is also the owner of The University of Baseball located in Bertram, Texas and a managing partner with Silverstone Sports Management out of LA. Podcast: In Your Face Sports
Email: [email protected]
- 2019 Season - Week 12Area Round of the 2019 Central Texas High School Playoffs as the tournaments continue. Lake Travis has a rematch against San Antonio Madison at Rattlers Stadium in San Marcos. Westlake would go on the Win the State Championship while Cavs would defeat Judson again in 3rd round at the Alamodome but would fall the following […]
- 2019 Season - Week 11Steve and Russell breakdown the 2019 High School Playoffs in Central Texas on 104.9 Horn FM. Bi-District week where districts collide in this first round. McCallum and Westwood battled out....Giddings defeated Houston Kashmir 50-0. Georgetown at LBJ, Lake Travis at Smithson Valley, Vandegrift hosts Bridgeland at home led by Jax Mccauley in a close comeback […]
- 2019 Season - Week 10Russell & Steve cover week 11 on our 10th show as teams get near the playoffs and districts begin to line up as teams edge each other out for the final playoff spots. Russell became a grandpa the night before this show. . . Vista Ridge beat Round Rock 41-38.
- 2019 Season - Week 9Week 9 of The Friday Night Countdown on 104.9 Horn FM is your Pre-Game for Central Texas High School Football for 2019 Season! Thursday Night games we rained out and delayed. Weiss winning 14-7 over Eastview.
- Video: Longhorn Greatday with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin AreaTexas student-athletes spent a day with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Austin.
- Texas Lottery Veteran Recognition: Stan M. BrooksStan M. Brooks has served his country and greater global community as both a protector of freedom and shepherd of opportunity and achievement. First, Brooks joined the U.S. Army Air Forces and was assigned as a crew member whose unit operated low-flying attack bombers during the Mediterranean combat campaign of World War II. Then, following […]