LOOKING FOR ADVICE

by Anonymous

Hi Coach,

I am looking for advice on the proper wording of an email that I am needing to send to my son’s coach. This is a 7-8 year old coach pitch league team… not select or anything like that … just league…

Let me start by saying that there are 2 above average players on the team and the rest are all evenly average …. He has essentially picked his 6 infield players and made it very clear that the other 7 boys will only be playing outfield.

He has totally seperate practices on seperate days where the infiled does infield drills and for the outfield practice he just hits them fly balls for an hour telling them to catch them…. Not only is he not giving the ‘outfield’ boys any opportunity to attempt the infield positions, the 6 infield players will never sit out and the 7 outfield players will rotate and actually only play half the game.

I know that you are a huge advocate of letting all the boys try all the positions so I was hoping that you could help me choose my words to try to get my point accross that this is not right…maybe you have something impactful that illustrates how this is negatively affecting the boys …

It’s coaches like this that make parents say things like ‘oh, Johnny is not playing this year because he doesn’t really like baseball’

If you have anything, would you mind emailing me any articles you may have to help my case.

Thanks,

Concerned mom

COACH HENZE’S RESPONSE

Thanks for the email Concerned Mom!

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A 7 or 8 year old boy that likes baseball should be given the opportunity to play all positions that are safe for him to play. When I say “safe”, I mean he should have average reaction times (or better) for his age to play positions of pitcher or 1st base in this sort of league. We don’t want a kid playing pitcher that can’t react to a hard hit line drive and we can’t have a child that can’t catch throws at 1st base.

With that said, all average players and higher should have the opportunity to play all positions on a regular basis at that age. I don’t care who the coach is or even what level of ball they are playing (7-8 year olds should simply be in house league), they should learn the basics at all positions. I would guess that any coach doing this sort of thing doesn’t feel competent in his ability to teach things to all kids. He simply wants to put his good athletes in those positions because it is easier. Or… he has an ego the size of Texas and thinks winning is more important that developing baseball players.

As far as words to use in an email… I don’t necessarily want to get involved with that. Have you contacted the league director yet? That would be where I would start at this level. Also, see if other parents feel the same way. Maybe they would want to discuss it with the director or coach also??

If you want to go directly to the coach, I think it is best to state your case face to face in a very business like manner. I would email him to ask for a time to meet and discuss your concerns (don’t tell him, over email, what your concerns are). Be very calm and nice, but firm.

When you meet, simply explain what you are thinking to him. Emails are too easy to hide behind for coaches.

I would like to hear back from you when this is all said and done. Feel free to comment below with questions and how things went. I am also asking my visitors to share their thoughts on your question.

So MYB Readers…. Please share your comments and thoughts below.

Thanks!

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