WHAT HAPPENED!!!! to practice and the importance of it. There used to be a time where teams would practice 3-5 days per week depending on the sport. There used to be a time where practice was emphasized and there was never a question about the importance of practicing.
What happened to those days? As I was searching through the USA Baseball website I came across Michael Cuddyer’s video on practice. Finally! I listen to a former big leaguer, who represents USA Baseball, talk about the importance of practice. http://www.usabaseball.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=201161476
Practice is the time where players get the opportunity to fail without repercussions and without hurting the team. At the same time its an opportunity for players to learn and develop new skills. When I was 9 yrs old playing on a 10U team our team went 36-3, which today most parents would say “thats not enough games”. But we were also on the field practicing 4 days per week. We were on the field 6 out of 7 days the entire spring, wonder if those same parents would sign up for that.
I tell you all that because the coach of that team, who now coaches in my organization, broke it down to me like this, “How comfortable would you be walking into an exam that you didn’t study for?” “How can we expect players to perform in the game (exams) when they don’t prepare (practice/study) for them?” Parents, its time to ask yourself that same question.
To drive the point home, its the bottom of the 7th, no outs, runner on third base and your son/daughter is up. He/She has had a terrible day at the plate having struck out 3 times already, so coach decides to put on a suicide squeeze. Panicking because the team has not practice bunting in three weeks, he/she fails to get the bunt down and runner gets thrown out at home. Now your frustrated, along with the coach, because he/she couldn’t get the bunt down, or failed the test! Can you really blame he/she, absolutely NOT. You cannot expect your son/daughter to succeed if they are set up for failure.
I thinks its time to go back to the old days and GET BACK TO THE BASICS, where practice and the development of our players is the focal point. Who cares if your child played 60, 80, 100 games when they were 10 years old. The only thing that will come out of that is overuse and arm issues. No wonder why Tommy John is so relevant these days, especially with High School and college players.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!! YOUR NEVER TOO GOOD TO PRACTICE.