Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Wake up, families

November 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching

I saw two articles yesterday when I checked my social media accounts.  One was an article about how we are training young baseball players all wrong.  The article said that pro scouts look for 90+mph throwers and if we are not training pitchers to throw 90+, it is basically a waste of time.  Ditto with regards to homers.  What a disgrace.  I would have linked to the article so you could read it yourself but for the life of me, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  If I do, I’ll pass it along.

The second article was written by Tommy John and took a radically different approach.  This article is linked HERE.  It’s called Tommy John, son to baseball parents: Wake up.  It is well worth the read.  HERE is another link from John Smoltz’ Hall of Fame acceptance speech that has been making the rounds since July.  The themes are the same.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that every single major league player or coach I have either heard or spoken to thinks that the people driving youth baseball are largely lunatics.  I’m not talking about the majority of volunteer dads who are out there teaching the basics and have their heads on straight.  I’m talking about the AAU/Travel nuts who think that a 2 hour practice after a game is a good thing.  The same guys who schedule 5 games in a weekend tournament and (maybe) mix in one practice a week if the kids are lucky.  The people like the author of the first article who try to convince parents that they should be training their boys to throw 90+ if they ever want a shot.

It’s ridiculous and like Tommy John and John Smoltz say, it needs to stop.


2 Responses to “Wake up, families”
  1. Eric Shows says:

    What are kids and families supposed to think though, when the majority of baseball players who do make it to the major leagues are celebrated because of their velocity and power. Colleges have even picked up on the velocity train and its about to swing back to the power as well because of the ball tweaks. Scouts will always think they can tame a 96 mph wild horse over a 85 mph guy who knows how to pitch. Same with offense. They’ll take a sub standard glove who can bomb and believe they can teach him how to field. Scouts always have believed in potential over results.

    • My beaf is that all this emphasis on more velocity and more power is being directed at young kids and not just the pro prospects the scouts are looking at. Directing that “prospect instruction” to kids who cannot do the basics of catching, throwing, and making contact yet is not only foolish, it’s dangerous. As the article mentioned, teaching a 10 year old how to throw at max velocity will not help him when he’s 22.

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