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Lightning Baseball Academy

Lightning Baseball Academy

Now what?

Now you’re on a team that surprised you. Maybe the expectations that had been set, or your own personal expectations, that you would be on a more competitive team. Now what do you do?

Find out from your coach (the decision maker) if you could set up some time to sit down and meet with him/her to discuss it. Do NOT approach the coach before, during, or immediately after practice.  Find them at school, send them an email, or any other communication tool available to you (do not text them unless they have told you to text with them). But again, you are not attempting to speak with them at that time.You are making an appointment to speak with them.

Then prepare yourself to ensure you ask the questions you would like answers to. Do not go into that meeting thinking the coach is going to carry the conversation. Prepare yourself. Also be prepared to hear what they have to say. Do not get defensive.  Do not point fingers.  Be mature, take the feedback. And remember, all decisions the coach makes are the only decisions that matter…your opinion in this does not. Your parents opinion of this, your club coach’s opinion, your professional tutor's opinion…none of them matter.  Yes, your coach could disagree with all of you, but it doesn’t matter. Remember that.

Some questions you might want to ask (and how to ask them)…1) what are the biggest weaknesses I have that are holding me back?  2) what are some things you would like to see from me that would allow me to compete at a higher level?  3) I want to help the program in any way possible, but I want to compete at the highest levels I can….how can I prove that to you? 4) If I want to be as successful as possible in your program, what are 3 things you would recommend I avoid? 5) Do you have any hot buttons that I should avoid? Those are just some examples….but do NOT go in saying “I”m better than the other person” or “I played for “x” program and they said I should be playing at a higher level” or “my professional tutor said I’m the best he/she has ever seen…” or “my club coach played in college and he/she told me I far better than the other kids on the team…”.  

Once you have the feedback from your coach, you have a couple options. One option is to simply listen and work on what they say and move on. Another one is to listen, but verify.  Go to a trusted advisor (not your parents, because all of us parents see our children as exceptional) and explain what you heard from your coach. Then listen to what your trusted advisor says. Could be your trusted advisor and your coach are saying the same things, maybe in different words.  

Another option is do more work.Very few people have gotten worse by putting in extra work. Yes, it should be supervised to an extent, but quality hard work pays off. This statement comes with some stipulations. Ultimately, like anything else in life, we have to learn to trust those that are teaching us.That said, we have to ensure that we are successful with that teaching. We can like, or dislike a teacher’s methods at school, but if we are getting very good grades, that’s what matters. Just blindly doing what someone tells us to do, doesn’t make us better all the time. So we have to find someone we trust implicitly and ask them for input.

Prove the coach wrong.You do that by simply far outperforming your peers. It doesn’t mean your coach was technically wrong, because they could have been sending you a hidden message. But if you far outperform your peers, doing it their way, your way, the way your professional tutor wants, in the long run it doesn’t matter. You don’t prove the point by telling the coach he’s wrong.You don’t prove the coach wrong by pointing out that one of the other kids aren’t doing as well as you. Just outperform them on the field where not only your parents see how good you’re doing, but everyone on the team and in the stands can see how well you’re doing. We tell kids all the time, if you made the JV team, and you thought you should have been on the varsity team, then hit .600 on the JV team (because nobody hits .600 on the JV team and stays on the JV team). If you’re a pitcher, don’t pitch well - pitch great!

Know this….there is literally zero “shame” in making the FR team as a FR.  Or not making the varsity until your SR year. And while it’s true we do want to face the highest level of competition we can, we also need to have successes at that level. There have been many MLB players that failed so much at the MLB level, that they could never recover from it.  If you’re on a lower level, be dominate.  But also be a leader.  Use your successes to build a more rounded player.  There is great benefits from being looked to as “the one” on any team. That one person that everyone looks to, to carry the team to success.

Ultimately, we are responsible for our actions, efforts, successes and failures. The greatest thing you can ever do for yourself is to avoid excuses. So rather than making arguments and excuses as to why you’re not on the team you had hoped, or expected, take that feedback, verify it, and work to be better every day.

- DT


Lightning Baseball Academy
851 N Noble Drive  Parker Colorado 80138

Phone: 303-596-4630
Email: [email protected]

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