To succeed in baseball you need skills, knowledge, passion, a short memory and the most important ingredient, confidence.
My son had all of these ingredients until last year. Last year, my son struggled and I blame myself because I saw it coming.
My son enjoyed three years of success playing under a task master head coach who taught him the game and an assistant coach who built his confidence. After the 2009 season, the confidence building assistant coach left the team. Unfortunately, he left with little notice so we didn't explore options.
Prior to the 2010 season, my wife and I were very concerned about my son's baseball psyche without the assistant coach there to counterbalance the head coach. Sure enough, Nic had the worst season of his career and 2010 turned out to be a long painful season to endure as predicted. There were some bright spots during the year, like Nic's first home run over a fence in Noblesville Indiana and the entire Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament. Despite these highlights my son still contemplated quitting the game that he loved so much once.
Luckily, I persuaded my son to tryout for other teams for the 2011 season. During the tryout process, coaches saw his potential, his leadership and his knowledge of the game. All of them were complimentary. The tryout process was the first step back to a confident state of mind.
During the tryout process, we interviewed coaches with as much scrutiny as the coaches were evaluating my son. We were in search of a confidence building coach. We not only found a confidence building coach, but we found an entire coaching staff who would provide a positive environment. We jumped at the opportunity.
My son played fall ball with the new team and struggled in the beginning. His self-confidence was still low, but the confidence that the coaching staff had in my son was still sky high. By the end of the fall ball season, my son was hitting the ball hard and was looking forward to the spring season.
|Single over the SS|
|Returning to the Field after a 3 Run Double|
This weekend, playing against some of his old teammates who were now scattered among other teams, he enjoyed success again. In the semi-final game of the tournament he had 6 RBIs. He did it by getting back to his old style of hitting the ball the other way.
My son also played a flawless second base (when he wasn't catching). When my son asked his previous coach if he could earn a chance to play second, the coach chuckled and told my son that he is not an infielder. He completely dismissed him.
It was a thrill for me to watch my son this weekend. I got to see his contagious smile and his geniune love of the game again.
The Main Point
Quick word of advice. Find a coach who builds confidence and run away from a coach who erodes it. I was an idiot for not finding a better situation for my son last year.