Here’s my latest post, enjoy!
It’s also important to consider the mental state of players when they are being taught new skills.
At first they are highly enthusiastic and ready to take on all challenges. It is at this point that they are most receptive to learning skills and it is at this point that retention of key points and focus on the lesson will be at its peak. Take good advantage of this phase to hammer home the essentials, not the finer points.
As they begin to work on the skill, it presents challenges for them and can become frustrating. It is at this point that they need the highest amount of support. Support differs from instruction. It’s often difficult to make changes and adjustments when they are in this phase. Trust that what you taught to them early on will hold. Do not miss any opportunity to praise for even the smallest success because players at this phase need this encouragement and will most likely dismiss criticism (even well-meaning) as white noise, so don’t waste your breath on it.
Those nuggets of praise will build confidence and the player will begin to reassert himself to the task at hand. Continued focus on what he’s doing right will eventually get him to a tipping point where he begins to take ownership of the new skill as his ability improves.
As a coach, you will recognize this moment when the player now possesses the new skill and is ready to work on the finer points within that specific skill. It is at this point that any new adjustments came be made or new skills can be undertaken with the highest amount of anticipated success.
Don’t put too much onto them too soon, understand and recognize their passage through the steps and use the knowledge to help accelerate the player’s developmental curve.
Paul, all good points. As I mentioned on Lantz’ site I’ve seen guys at the HSV level not take phase 1 serious enough and cause themselves frustration in the process.
Support is extremely important part of the learning process, especially from trusted coaches.
Right now my son is playing fall baseball. His two coaches are a former Division I all American and MiLB pitcher and a current MiLB pitcher. THese guys know how to relate to pitchers and players. In the few short weeks since the fall season began the progress is amazing.
It’s got a lot to do with support.
PS. I got some advice from Lantz on my HS Junior son’s tempo. These two coaches helped him speed up his tempo keeping everything else in line with the new tempo. I am happy to report that this weekend his velocity was consistent at 88-90. Throughout three inning several fastballs hit 90 on the gun. Funny part is he didn’t even realize how hard he was throwing.