So You Want Your Kid to be a Good Baseball Player

Some parents come from a place of supporting their kid’s biggest passion in life. Others come from a place of wanting their kid to be the best they can be at whatever they do. Others may wish for their kid to have more baseball success than they had. Regardless of where you’re coming from, you’re not alone if you want to give your kid every chance to realize his or her potential.

I’ve observed hundreds of kids from the age of 2 to 10 being introduced to baseball. I’ve learned that how you get started playing baseball can have a big impact, perhaps more than what is possible once your kid has some experience.

In this article I don’t discuss mechanics or getting formal lessons. I discuss what you can do when your kid is just getting started that will be most helpful for the long run. Some of my advice will be conventional wisdom or common sense. Some of it will surprise you. Most of it will be based on evidence backed by data or scientific studies.

Praise Effort, not Results

It is easy to get excited about results. Hitting the ball over the fence or making a diving catch are times when you’ll naturally get excited and want to say, “Great hit!,” or “Great catch,” or “You’re really good at baseball.”


Specifically, don’t convey the message that your kid is talented, and that results are all that matter.

What you want to praise is effort. If your kid just made a great diving catch after having practiced diving catches for a few months, then a way to praise effort might be “Wow it’s great to see all that practice paying off. Nice catch!”

Whether as parent or as coach, the most critical moment to reinforce the message that effort is more important than results is when a particular effort does not yield the desired result. Examples:

  • He hustles to first base as fast as possible after a hit. He’s out by a foot. Heap praise for effort, and for what that effort will mean on average in the long run.
  • She moves at maximum speed and dives but barely misses the ball. Heap praise for the effort.
  • He makes a difficult stop at shortstop but then throws over the first baseman’s head. Praise the great effort to make that stop.

The scientific literature overwhelmingly finds that praising effort over results leads to many long-term benefits. It helps kids learn to develop resilience, work hard, and seek challenges, all while learning with an appropriate mindset. You can read many stories of extremely talented baseball players who stall out, while being passed up by harder working peers with less talent. In many cases, the root cause can be traced to how they were praised as children.

Baseball is a game of repetition. Like any other field, there is some talent involved, but as a kid matures into a teenager and finally an adult, having the resilience to practice and overcome failure and hardship begins to matter as much if not more than talent. I’ve found that by the age of 11, many players hustle less than they used to. The coach can reteach hustle, but it’s a lot of work. I suspect that the main reason for the decline in effort is years of being praised more for results than for effort.

Starting your kid down the path of believing they can accomplish anything if they work hard enough will do far more for their baseball career than instilling a belief that they have talent. The belief in one’s ability to accomplish anything through hard work will carry over into many other parts of life. Praise effort.

Practice with Your Kid

Practicing with a team is important. Practicing at home is even more important, to get enough repetition while keeping it fun. It can be with Mom, Dad, or an older sibling. Practicing by one’s self or with a neighbor/friend is also possible. But in my experience, that doesn’t happen much because it isn’t as fun for kids just starting out.

I know a very athletically talented kid in his 5th year of baseball who performs little better than an average player. I think it’s partly because he never practices at home with a parent or anyone else. Conversely, I have seen a few kids with ordinary talent who started baseball at the relatively late age of 8 or 9 quickly catch up to their peers. These successful late starters practiced at home with a parent or older brother. It paid off.

Try Left-handed Hitting

Genetics determine whether you are left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous. If you’re right-handed, you’ll throw right. If you are left-handed, you’ll throw left. Being able to throw with both hands is rare. It is very difficult for a right-handed kid to learn to throw as well with his left arm.

However, hitting is a completely different story. So-called right-handed hitting means your left leg, left shoulder, left eye, and left hip all face the pitcher. The only part that is “right” is the hand on top of the two-handed grip on the bat. This would make sense if batting one-handed because a forearm stroke (think tennis) is stronger than backhand. But hitters use two hands. As far as I can tell, right-handers batting right-handed is primarily a social convention. Everyone does it that way, so that must be the right way to do it.

Actually, it’s the wrong way. Batting left-handed has so many advantages that I could easily write a full article on the subject (Update: A few years later, I wrote Handedness in Youth Baseball). I’ll just list the most important lefty advantages:

  • It is easier to see the release point from an opposite-hand pitcher. Over 85% of pitchers are right-handed. Therefore lefty batting is an advantage. This factor matters at all levels and is the principle reason why there are always far more lefty hitters in the major leagues then there are in the general population.
  • After you hit a ball, a lefty starts closer to first base, facing in the right direction. With this head start, more grounders result in getting safely to first base. This matters more at the younger ages where the distance between bases is 50 to 70 feet. At high school level and beyond, this advantage matters less with 90 feet base paths.
  • Bunting for a hit (drag bunting) is far easier for lefties. Right-handed batters almost never do it.

Note that there is actually some research to suggest that there is also right or left eye dominance which is not the same as right or left hand dominance. Roughly 2/3 of the population is right-eye dominant, while 88% of the population is right-hand dominant. It is possible that eye dominance matters more than hand dominance for hitting well, though research on this point is not yet conclusive.

Players of any age are capable of learning to be a switch hitter with enough practice. It typically takes 2-3 years of dedicated practice to learn to swing from the opposite side as a teenager or older. It takes no extra time if that’s how you first learn. If you look at most 4- or 5-year-olds first learning to hit, it is hard to tell if they are lefty or righty when they try both sides, as both are equally terrible.

So do your kid favor. Explain to them that the best hitters bat from the left side of the plate. Explain that this will be best for them if they want to play baseball for a long time. Then get them to try hitting lefty.

Don’t be surprised when your right-handed throwing kid insists on switching back to right-handed batting a couple years later, due to social pressure from kids, parents, or a misinformed coach. If you get into a discussion with a coach about it, you can cite these interesting statistics:

People who throw right and bat left-only in the general population are practically nonexistent, perhaps less than 1 in 1,000. Switch hitters are more common, perhaps 1 in 100. In major league history through 2014, the Lahman baseball database has data on handedness for both batting and throwing for 17,275 major league players. Among these players, 11.8% have both thrown right and batted left. Here’s the data broken out by the six possibilities, with the general population figures coming from John T. Reed’s guesswork:

Throws Bats Major Leagues General Population
Right Right 62.6% 89%
Right Left 11.8% 0.1%
Right Both 5.5% 1%
Left Right 3.2% 0.1%
Left Left 15.9% 10%
Left Both 1.0% 0.1%

If you weren’t convinced before, you should be now. That 11.8% figure reflects the fact that lefties hit better but right-handed throwers are needed for infield positions (except first base). Athletic right-handed throwers who bat left are in short supply and high demand. It is roughly equivalent to basketball selecting for people who are over 7 feet tall . . .

By one estimate, there are normally around 70 males in the U.S. between ages 20-40 that are 7 feet or taller. This is only an estimate, but if correct that means that 17% of U.S. males who grow to 7 feet or taller will be in the NBA at some point in their lives.

In both the basketball example and the baseball lefty batting example, the sport selects for certain attributes. With basketball, you can’t do a whole lot to increase what genetics gives you for height. With baseball, genetics does put a cap on athletic potential. But genetics has little to do with batting left or right. Just choose to bat left.

You can read more about lefty-batting in this USA Today article, or read a very thorough lefty hitting discussion in the batting chapter of John T. Reed’s Youth Baseball Coaching book.

All that being said, make sure that batting lefty doesn’t interfere with having fun. If, after months of practicing hitting from the left side, a kid more easily hits from the right side, then you might want to go with what naturally feels more comfortable for your kid, especially if it’s more fun.

Don’t Make Your Kid Afraid of the Ball

Nearly all starting baseball players are afraid of the ball. Some are much more afraid than others. Fear starts the first time a kid gets beaned with a hard ball. So the big trick with getting started is not to use a hard ball until they have the necessary skills and confidence.

Whiffle balls or very compressible toy balls are best for toddlers. Once a kid is completely comfortable with that, or if starting at a later age, the next step is either tennis balls or level 1 baseballs. Level 1 baseballs are used in my league for the 5-6 year old division but if I were to start with a 5-year-old who had never played catch, I would start by playing around with whiffle balls or really soft balls for a month or two before introducing Level 1 balls. Tennis balls are okay for hitting practice but have a tendency to bounce out of gloves when playing catch. I prefer white whiffles over tennis balls for hitting as well because they don’t go as fast or far, and are easier to find when lost in bushes.

The next step after level 1 balls are level 5 balls, which are used in our league by the 7-8 year old division. While not quite as hard as real baseballs, they are much harder than squishy level 1 balls and I don’t recommend them for kids who have very little experience playing catch.

My son started playing baseball at the very young age of 20 months. Before the age of 3 he wanted me to start pitching hard baseballs to him but I refused. I said, “Only if you learn to duck.” So he practiced. Thousands of ducked whiffle balls later, he could duck well. So we started using level 1 balls at about the age of 3. However, my son was an unusually motivated toddler who typically practiced over 10 hours/week. Whatever your kid’s age, use a softer than normal ball until you’re convinced he or she won’t get hurt.

Other ideas:

  • Teach your young batter how to take a hit on the upper back, using tennis balls.
  • Don’t hit too-hard grounders. It will make your kid worse at fielding grounders because they will develop fear-based habits such as lifting their head, pulling their glove away, trying to field the ball outside of legs instead of between legs, etc.
  • When 2 or more beginning players play catch or infield, make sure they are all paying attention, in order to avoid beaning an inattentive kid.

Start With the Right Equipment

When my son first became aware of baseball at the age of 20 months, he grabbed a broom and said, “ball, ball, ball.” A broom turned out to be the wrong piece of equipment as he never managed to hit a tennis ball with it despite trying an hour/day for 4 days. So I bought a toy bat and ball that were both very soft. That worked fine.

A few months later, he got his first glove. The ball popped out some at first, and I have since seen this repeated many times with new players. The glove pocket must be easy to open and close in order to squeeze and hold onto a caught ball. There are ways to break in gloves, but in my opinion it’s easiest to buy pre-broken-in gloves at the young ages, as I describe in Get the Best Glove.

The single biggest point of equipment failure in young kids is the bat. With toddlers you’ll start with a toy bat of some sort. Then you’ll get a very short and light tee ball bat. But most kids of any age are eager to move up to longer and heavier bats. Don’t let them.

Every year, you see a couple kids on each team who can’t bring their bat around very fast. Quite often the coach insists they use a lighter bat, and they immediately swing faster and get better hits. There’s actually a simple test to determine if a player is using a bat that is too heavy. I wrote a very detailed bat guide which explains the physics behind this. It also includes a section for 5 to 6-year-olds.

You obviously want to get a helmet before a kid faces pitches from hard baseballs.

The other piece of equipment is a batting tee, and possibly a hitting net as well. The first tee we purchased was an inexpensive $30 model that fell apart after a thousand or so swings destroyed the pole. While buying low cost versions of baseball equipment is fine for starting players with most types of equipment, a hitting tee is the exception. It is worth paying for a $70 model instead of a $30 model. Elsewhere, I discuss why and how to use a tee along with recommended models.

Get Started with Calisthenics Early

In the U.S., most kids don’t do physical conditioning of any sort until high school, or at earliest junior high. Perhaps this is part of the reason why there are so many youth sports injuries in the U.S.

One of the most interesting sports articles I’ve read discusses the reasons why so many tennis stars come from Russia, and so many come from one particular club, Spartak Tennis Club, located in a small town out in the boondocks. It had to do with the lesson plans. What really caught my eye was the emphasis on general physical conditioning. The 5- to 7-year-old class was not permitted to play tennis for the first three years of training. They just did a variety of muscle strengthening exercises and ballet-like tennis moves to learn form. Ordinary kids who persevered with this training regimen all turned into good tennis players, and quite a few went on to become international tennis stars.

The culture in the U.S. is different around conditioning so I don’t expect many people will get their kids on a regimen similar to that of the Spartak Tennis Club. Nonetheless, you can at least nudge your kid in that direction with exercises particularly helpful for baseball, such as:

Running: Whether playing tag, running races with friends, or playing a running sport like soccer or basketball, there’s universal agreement that running around is good for kids no matter what sport they play, and baseball is no exception. There’s not much running in baseball so your kid needs to find other fun ways to run around.

Jump rope: Baseball is all about coordinating various body parts together gracefully. Any activity which does this is helpful, including juggling, dancing, skateboarding, pogo sticking, etc. But jumping rope is particularly good as it quickly gets the heart going and requires quite a bit of coordination as you learn various tricks.

Five minute calisthenics routine: My son didn’t start doing a morning routine until he was 10. In retrospect, I wish he had started at the age of 8, or perhaps even earlier with really simple exercises. Pick 3 or 4 common calisthenics and do them as part of the morning wake-up routine. My son does 25 push-ups, 5 one-armed planks from each side (reaches under his chest), and 5 leg lifts from each side. He added wall squats to the routine a few months later.

Update: Two years later, my son began a formal strength and conditioning program centered around calisthenics, which I discussed in Strength and Conditioning Guide for Pre-High School Athletes (Especially Baseball)

Play Multiple Sports and Other Physical Activities

Numerous studies support balanced physical development. The natural way to do that is to engage in a wide variety of sports and other physical activities. Many kids will do this somewhat naturally by running around and playing physical games or sports with school friends at recess or neighborhood friends at home.

However, over the past couple decades, two trends have been working against this:

  • Decline of neighborhood play: When choosing your permanent place of residence, include active neighborhoods in your criteria. Kids will develop wonderfully if they have kids to run around with in their neighborhood. My best friend from the age of 3-10 was Chris Flynn. He didn’t do much organized sports until he was 9 but he went on to become a college football star and professional lacrosse player. We played many hours per week outside with other kids from the neighborhood.
  • Rise of sports specialization: In baseball, the rise of travel ball is having some kids play year round and drop all other sports in order to do what it takes to be the best young baseball player. Regardless of your opinion on how important this is for developing a youth athlete, it is well known that year-round play of a single sport below high school age is not a good way to develop a body, and increases chances for injury. Even at the high school level it’s a good idea to play at least 2 organized sports. Some go so far as to say that hyperspecialization is ruining youth sports.

Kids who engage in a wide variety of physical activities, play outside with their school and neighborhood friends, and don’t specialize will develop well. They will also have less need for calisthenics to ensure balanced physical development.

Above all, Have Fun!

You hear it from experienced baseball coaches. You hear it from players who made the major leagues. At the youngest ages (10 and below), it’s about having fun. Many kids will naturally love baseball and have a lot of fun with it, so long as parents or coaches don’t turn too serious.

Kids who like baseball won’t always want to efficiently drill the same things. Pitchers will want to experiment with goofy grips and funny windups. Hitters will want to imitate batting stances they’ve seen on TV. Fielders may want to spend excessive time trying to dive for the ball or execute a Derek Jeter throw. Whatever. If they’re having fun, they’ll be motivated to stick with it for a long time and they will become more disciplined with their practice time as they mature.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t ever make a kid play baseball. Encourage them to pursue their passions, not yours. If they like baseball but they’re not ready for team play, don’t force it. You can tell which kids are being forced to play. They are almost always among the worst players and look like they don’t want to be there.

For beginning baseball players at the early ages, nothing matters more than having fun.

Author: Joe Golton

I’m a dad with a son who loves baseball. Professionally, I’ve been a software developer, investor, controller, and logistics manager. I now make my living from this blog, supplemented with occasional consulting gigs.

17 thoughts on “So You Want Your Kid to be a Good Baseball Player”

  1. Thank you so much for your article! My son is 5 (will be 6 in March) and will be starting his first organized sport. Our township does not offer regular tee ball but instead offers Ripken Quickball. I want to set my son up for success. What do you know about Ripken Quickball and would this be better/worse/equivalent to starting him in regular tee ball? Thank you!!!

  2. Karen – My area is predominantly PONY league, Little League, and travel ball so I can’t speak from experience about Ripken Quickball. From the description it sounds great! At this age, it’s important for the kids to experience some feelings of success, while not becoming afraid of the ball. Kids have short attention spans but all of them enjoy running around the bases. From the description, it seems to me like Quickball is fun and age appropriate.

  3. Great info and I appreciate your honesty and reality-based (although not always popular) advice and insight. As a mom of three boys and an experienced teacher, I have actually “seen” and experienced many of the things you mention in the article…I couldn’t agree more. My husband, who has played ball his whole life, both formally and informally (who grew up in Pittsburgh) and has been telling me much of what you wrote about, simply replied “thank you, told you so” after I read the article to both him and my 7-year old son (who lives and breathes baseball)…great for my son to hear!

  4. Hi Penny – At the young ages, I would not invest in an expensive glove. All that really matters at the young ages is that the glove open and close easily, which it won’t do if it’s too big. The kind of gloves discussed in that link are for kids who are a bit older. Also – I don’t know why the article distinguishes between gloves for left and right handed players – most gloves have both a left and right handed model that are just mirror images of each other.

    I discussed what matters most for gloves for very young ball players in the following article:

  5. This year, we took our kids to their first baseball game, and I loved seeing them soak it all in. Reliving these moments through the eyes of your child is worth more than gold. It was the game between Ukrainian teams Biotexcom-KNTU and Sea Devils. Personally I’m not a big fun, but since we used service of reproductive medicine center Biotexcom, we support their team as well. Plus I consider baseball one of the greatest games kid could be involved in. Kids should play it. Not only should kids participate in baseball for school, they should play baseball with their families, too, to learn how to have fun outdoors. I believe everyone should be allowed to play baseball no matter whether you are a child, a teenager, or a grown adult. Kids need more responsibilities teamwork and friends. It is very important to develop the body as well as develop the mind. It also is a sport that requires such a wide variety of skills that it can help kids branch out into most other sports. It also includes very little contact and is generally safer than some other sports such as football. There are many skills strengthened by baseball, and it is good for kids

  6. My name is Chad and I’m the parent of a 12 u travel ball catcher. There are days I’m on cloud 9 with my sons skills behind the plate. Then there’s the side of me that comes out when he may have a strikeout our grounder to short. It’s hard as a parent to control my emotions when all you want is your son to succeed in life and Baseball. Any suggestions on my behavior?

  7. Hi Chad – The behavior you describe (and other behaviors you imply) are pretty common in the world of youth baseball. Our recreation league recognized we had a lot of that kind of behavior a decade ago and decided to try to do something about it at a league level. So we brought in the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). While we are no means perfect, requiring all coaches (and optionally parents) over the years to attend these PCA workshops has definitely made a difference.

    One of the most frequent behaviors discussed is how you talk to your player right after a game, regardless of what emotions you may have had during the game, and how your player performed. There are many parents who will immediately jump into all the details of the player’s performance, especially going over specific plays where the player could have done something better, or needs to work on more. The general advice is not to do that – but rather talk about something unrelated to baseball. The best thing you can say about a game you just saw is “I love watching you play!”

    If you are able to attend a PCA workshop near you, I highly recommend it.

  8. My son has been playing on a team in various leagues for 3 years now. He is really talented. The last league we were in, one of the umpires told us that every now and then a truly talented kid comes along and ours was one of those kids. This year we moved up a league, where he is the smallest on a team full of truly talented kids. His confidence has been shaken, and you can see it in his performance. We do all of the things you suggest-praising the effort, etc. What else can I do? Should we put him in a camp? We practice a lot, and I just bought him a pitching machine (not a fancy one you would find at batting cages, just one for the back yard). He is also in karate, which he loves and excels in. I just hate seeing him down on himself like this. Any advice would be appreciated!

  9. Hi Robyn,

    I understand what you’re going through as same thing happened with my son. I don’t know how big your son is, but my son was the smallest or second smallest kid on every team he has ever played on. When he was 5 he could pitch, and by pitch I mean throw strikes. He and several teammates were turning double plays at the age of 6. And yet, by the age of 8, he was no longer considered among the top 10 performers in his age group, despite being an excellent fielder and pitcher.

    Why the dropoff compared to other kids?

    The short answer: hitting.

    The long answer: He was very light and small, and his physical development trailed that of other players (partly because his age being near the cutoff also made him the youngest on most teams). More physically developed kids will be bigger, stronger, and (often) more coordinated. This is normal and natural. Why this matters in baseball is because bigger and stronger kids hit the ball harder, and the older they get, the more that matters. By the time they get to the age of 13, if the ball isn’t hit very hard, it is almost always an out. Coaches usually prefer their players big, strong, and hitting the ball hard, at all levels (even though, statistically, it is often not much of an advantage at the youngest ages).

    Never focus on how “talented” your son is. Try not to even in your own mind (though I know that may be difficult). Many parents mistake being ahead or behind in physical development as indicative of talent or lack thereof.

    Focus on encouraging your son to control what he can control. He can practice more, and he can practice in a more focused way. He can ask the coach, “what do I need to work on in order to earn more playing time?” – and then do what the coach asks. He can work out (this can be far more helpful than people realized even at the younger ages – see the strength and conditioning guide I wrote). He can use his body in a variety of physical activities every day.

    I have read a wide variety of stories about young players who surprised everyone. Look up Robert Stock – if there was ever a sure thing to make the major leagues, it was him, as he was throwing 95 MPH and routinely hitting the ball over 350 feet at the age of 14. He fizzled out in the minors. And then read the exact opposite story of Daniel Nava. The moral of these stories is that you don’t know how a player will turn out until he is fully grown, which may not happen sometimes until the age of 20.

    To be honest, I’m still learning how to deal with it, even though my son is already 13. He is the smallest player on his team once again. The coach isn’t pitching him much, despite him never giving up an earned run yet this year and having a WHIP of less than 0.70 (everyone else on the team is above 1.3). All he can do is control what he can control – which is to pitch well when he’s called on to pitch.

  10. My son is 8years old he’s talented,He’s a back catcher and hits from both sides of plate and he’s also small.That worries me.after reading your article you gave me some ideas.Listen I know the feeling when we start to notice something is wrong.Its scary.sometimes we just have to give them more time.Great article…best regards.

  11. My son is similar to how you explain your son to have been when he was little. My son is 4.5 now. He started hitting off a tee at 18 months, a pitched wiffle ball at 2.5 and hitting an overhand pitch from my husband with a tee ball level ball and pulling it. He dives for balls to catch them, he will use our rebound net to throw the ball and dive for the rebound. He played organized tee ball last year when he just turned 4. What is your advice on moving him up to Jr rookie a year early. He loves to play, he asks to play in the yard from the time he gets home from school, until it gets dark. He can throw 22 mph, and accurate. He says he doesn’t want to play tee ball, that he is bored. I don’t want him to not love playing organized ball. I also fear moving him up too soon. He also plays hockey in the winter and golf in the summer.

  12. I remember having some conversations about that with my own son. I used to tell him he has some good individual skills but still needs to learn how to play on a team. He bought that, and end up having a great time playing T-ball.

    There are things you can encourage him to do that will increase the challenge level. Examples are:

    Try to play a lot of shortstop and 3rd base and practice making that throw to 1st on real plays. In my league they did not keep score, but he was still proud to make those throws and know that the kids would have been out if we weren’t allowing everyone to automatically be safe at 1st. Can practice fielding grounders, catching easy pop flies, etc. which are much harder to do in game-realistic setting than in practice sessions – because part of it is learning to snap to attention just before the ball is pitched/hit.

    I have some really strong memories from those years, like the time my son made a hard throw from 3rd base to 1st base and the kid wasn’t paying attention – didn’t move his glove – so ball hit an inch below the glove – right in his stomach. I also remember when my son was 6 he was involved in 2 double plays from SS to 2B to 1B. Really incredible to see 6 year olds doing that (though understand that the runners were slow!).

    There are some really great memories to have at this level – don’t skip it. Try to talk about challenges and also getting to be with kids his ages so he can make friends with them.

    Above all – don’t let him play travel ball early. In my opinion, travel ball at age 5 or 6 is totally crazy – more likely than not to lead to baseball burnout by age 10.

  13. I have been searching for articles like this because my 9 year old son just started playing baseball last summer. It was one short summer season. We are in a state that shut down hard for Covid. In March 2020 he was playing essentially his first season of baseball when it was cancelled. Then everything was shut down until last summer’s short season, and now he’s in his second season (but first real season). I do not think he is bad at baseball, I think he has potential, but the coaches he has are in my view, not good. I just watch them throw him in the outfield, and they don’t give him any chance to play anything else, not even at practice. This is a basic little league team but these kids are at practice 5 days a week for two hours each with a game on the weekend. I have watched practices and they use the outfielders essentially as base runners. My son basically plays outfield for 15 minutes, doesn’t even have any balls hit to him by the coaches to field, and then rotates with the other “undesirables” and becomes a base runner for the rest of practice. We haven’t played official games yet but have scrimmaged. They sat him for 4 of 6 innings. Zero balls were hit to him to field.

    It’s upsetting because he’s not a goofy lost cause sort of kid. He has a good attitude and works hard and is not hopeless! No he is not the best but he is far from the worst. He has potential! I watch the kids they have playing the in field make mistake after mistake after mistake. I know he can play the in field just As well as many of these kids can! I watch my kid being given zero chance, trust me, the kid can field a ball! I don’t understand why they are treating him like this – they have these kids in their set positions but they are not exceptional! I’m genuinely confused why they are doing this. It’s breaking his spirit a bit. I just keep telling him to keep practicing, keep having a great attitude, keep being a good listener. But I just do not understand why he is being given zero chance. They give him zero chance to even show them what he can do! Not in scrimmages/games and not at practice. Do you please have any advice for me?

  14. Sandra – There are always going to be some coaches like this in any league, unfortunately. I personally detest it – there is no reason to winnow out the average and below average players at such a young age. In many cases they may turn out to be better players a few years from now – but not if, as you say, they are never given a chance.

    An article I wrote on getting benched in baseball has some relevant advice.

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