World Gone Mad

I recently received a frantic email from a parent of a seven-year-old child, seeking to schedule a 60-minute private lesson to prepare his son for his travel team tryout this weekend. Here was my response:

Dear Mr. ________,

From a philosophical standpoint, I will need to decline your offer to work with your son. I believe that 7 years old is way too young to be taking a private lesson, and certainly way too young to be exposed to a tryout format of any kind. We at DNA have maintained a strong stance for several years now that travel sports for prepubescents is not developmentally appropriate and hence not healthy for kids. We also have an enormous amount of research and data that substantiates our belief.  It's the world we live in - I know - the perceived benefits of accelerating our student-athletes through travel sports and tryouts at the earliest of ages - but we will continue to hold firm to our philosophical opposition to what appears to be the norm.

That said, I would be more than willing to work with your son for 20-30 minutes at some point this fall or spring with you present, and provide you a few pointers and drills that may be FUN for the two of you to engage in together. But to do a private lesson prior to a tryout at the tender age of 7 - this is not something me or anyone else at DNA is comfortable with.

I hope you understand our position on this.

Thanks,

Andy Pohl
DNA Sports

Properly Disciplining Athletes to Throw the Baseball Correctly

Once youth baseball coaches have correctly taught their players how to throw the ball, coaches shouldn't be afraid to discipline their players and hold them accountable for not following their training. 

Baseball Drill to Work on the Correct Hand Position When Receiving

For young baseball players who struggle catching the ball with a glove, take the glove off and have them catch with their bare hand. Focus on hand position, rather than catching the baseball. You should see immediate improvement. 

Drill to Help Fix No Follow Through When Throwing the Baseball

Young infielders who struggle with making a strong throw across the diamond need to over-exaggerate their follow through. This will help them go to and through their target when throwing the baseball.