How a youth player can change or not change

Sammamish Baseball Academy

Over the years we have all seen players rise up from nowhere and become a player.  In 15yrs of coaching I have seen this many times and what I have found is attitude and drive are the top two factors in determining a player’s growth.  A player can have the raw abilities but over time if those skills are not put to good use a player will be passed up by other players.  A player who is pretty good at age 12 will not always translate into a successful high school player.  The willingness to take on help from instructors and coaches will be a huge factor for a players development.  But it all starts with attitude of a player to accept the advice.

A large part of accepting advice is the drive of a player to always be looking to get better.  Not settling on the fact that a player can live off past performances or seasons.  For example if you have speed can you perfect the drag bunt or constantly work on reads of a pitcher or catcher to steal bases.  On the defensive side of the ball are you reading whats going on infront of you and positioning yourself for success. Master: Being at the right place at the right time.  Pitchers should always be trying new grips, variations of looks to hold runners, different arm slots and building awarness about situations.

Players cannot just play the game as two seasons ago or last week.  The game is always getting faster which means quicker decisions, your opponents are getting smarter, and the mental awarness of a player shows up pretty quick during the course of a game.  The attitude and drive of a player will also affect performance.  If a player struggles because they are not elevating their game it can lead to a negative attitude.  So how can a player avoid staying the same and causing drop performance?

1.  Seek out  instuctors/coaches for a complete analysis of skills.  Don’t be afraid of feedback, use it as helpful info.  Use it to jumpstart the attitude and drive!

2.  Go to camps.  Not prospect camps.  Actual instruction camps for specific parts of the game.  There are a lot of great camps out there by quality instructors.  Try to find camps or clinics that go on for a month or weeks.    This will help create muscle memory which is so important for an athlete.

3.  Get out of your comfort zone.  If you have spent the last three seasons with the same team, it might be time for a change.  Right down your goals and compare them to what you are currently getting from your team.  If you don’t write down your goals how can you work on executing a plan?

4.  When you get into HS go to camps at colleges.  Doesn’t matter if it is a 4-year school or Commuinty College.  The instruction will be good and its a chance to get your name out there and get FEEDBACK!

5.  Although this is the last item I am going to write about today a players fitness level should be at the top of the list.  Seek out a trainer to do a fitness & nutrition evaluation.  Is can be a turning point for any athlete.  Typically players who are constantly working out have more confidence and belief in what they are doing and about to do.  Players that are in great shape can battle fatigue, bounce back quicker and prevent injuries.

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