The Impatience of Youth

Try to remember when you were about five (5) or six (6). Are there things that you can do now that are much better? Things like running, throwing, ducking out of the way of something coming at you, jumping … you know stuff like that.

The reasons for your betterment now, is because your bigger, stronger, and there’s more of you.
There’s more of you in the physical sense in addition to your experiences in life. If you’re fifteen, that’s about nine or ten more years more of the physical and mental stuff.

If you were about five(5) or six(6) years old, and I were to tell you to be patient with your learning curve of baseball skills, be patient with developing your velocity, be patient in the learning to command your pitches - you’d probably say to your self, “that’s easy for you to say coach … but it’s just not working for me right now.” Then, I would say, “ when you get to be, oh… about fifteen (15), you’ll be bigger, stronger and with more of you to do stuff with…”

You’d still say to yourself… “ that’s easy for you to say coach!”

Well, if your going into your teenage years, just remember back when you were about five(5) or six(6), and how right now … you are bigger and stronger, and in just a few years you’ll be even bigger and stronger yet.

Your pitching ability will come together. Your command with come together. Your overall ability will be better than what it is right now – you must have dedication and patience.

Oh, yeah … I know … “That was easy for me to say, coach…” :dozey:

Coach B.

Have you ever seen a wall plaque that reads: “Lord, grant me patience—and I want it RIGHT NOW!”? Sound familiar? Well, that’s the way it’s always been with kids, ages five, six—and even older than that. They want everything to come to them just like that. But it doesn’t work that way. It takes time, patience, and stick-to-it-iveness. And believe me, it’s worth the time and the effort—the reward, the satisfaction is so much greater.
I remember when I learned the slider—I got the hang of it in about ten minutes, but I recognized that I wasn’t going to “get” that pitch where I wanted it that quickly, and so I spent some eight or nine months working on it. And the following summer, at the end of July, I felt comfortable enough with it that I could try it out in a game. I used it in a relief appearance and struck out two batters with it, and ahhh—the satisfaction, especially when I saw what happened to that second batter—he swung and missed and lost his balance and fell over on his tush with his arms and legs up in the air like an overturned bug! :slight_smile: 8)

Good stuff, Coach B.

I find I have to teach the patience lesson to the parents as much as the kids I work with.

It’s men like yourself, Roger, that gives youngsters a chance every year to enjoy this game. Your ability to balance a lot in orbit at one time, keep a even temper, and still exist with the lawn chair crowd has all my respect and admiration. I couldn’t do … and that’s the truth.

I put on a preseason event once, along with the rest of our coaching staff, for a school district. It was a way to promote ticket sales, sponsorship and other stuff primarily, in addition to give youngsters a chance to enjoy some instruction.

One youngster was going through some instruction from one of our pitchers, only to hear all kinds of vocals from his father behind the nets. My pitcher with him was about to walk over and pull him through the netting, (could’ve done it too!), when I step’d in and asked the man to let my man do his job. Still no respect, no ability to reason with the man.
" Pay attention!" was the constant chorus from this father.

When the event was over, I was walking over to our bullpen, picking up baseballs and cleaning up when I noticed a set of keys on the ground. I picked them up and put them in the bucket that I had, holding the balls that I found.

Over on the other side of the field where the other bullpen was, I notice three people searching the ground, moving the grass back and forth with their feet. A man, a women and a youngster.

Yup - it was him.

I walked over to the three, asked if they were looking for some keys - “YES” the man said. I told him that his son could’ve had a great time enjoying the ballpark and all the sights and sounds - but no, he had to be on his back. I also told him that this constant ’ “pay attention” said nothing to the youngster and said even less about him.

I handed him his keys and just couldn’t help myself ‘’ “here, next time, PAY ATTENTION.”

Coach B.

there should be more Rogers in this world. :allgood:

Excellent, Coach B!

It kind of all gets back to Malcom Gladwell’s suggestion in his book, Outliers, that it takes 10,000 days/practice/repetitions to get really good at something.

Most young baseball players don’t actually realize how hard they have to work to really improve. Many think they’re working harder than they really are…

That’s what happens when a player on the field is trying to do something, trying to get something out of the instruction, and he keeps getting heckled, whether by an impatient parent or someone else…I remember an old story about Shoeless Joe Jackson several years before the Black Sox scandal exploded into the headlines. One day Jackson was playing in the outfield, and there was a heckler in the stands who was well aware of the player’s inability to read or write. That fan kept getting on Jackson, over and over and over: “How do you spell ‘illiterate’?” (In some accounts it was “How do you spell ‘cat’?”) Well, Jackson managed to ignore the guy, but a couple of innings later he came to bat with two men on base. He swung and belted a vicious line drive off the center-field fence, driving in both runners, and as he pulled into third base he looked up at the stands and hollered at the heckler, "Hey, big mouth, how do you spell ‘triple’?"
Not another word was heard from that heckler for the rest of the game.


Thanks for the kind words.