Whether your son is 8, 12 or 17, one piece of the baseball puzzle that can help their chances of success increase dramatically is YOU (parents).
Yes, the summer team they play on is critical, the person that works with them as their instructor is important, as is their high school coach.
However, parents are the individuals that deal with the athlete on a DAILY basis…at no charge!
I can say with 100% certainty that without my parents, myself, my brother and my sister (all D1 athletes) would not have gotten where we did.
The proof is in the results – this article about Having Goals and Planning for Success was written by my dad; the parent of two sons who played D1 baseball for top 10 programs and both drafted by MLB teams out of high school.
From an early age, my parents supported us and made sacrifices for us.
They wanted us to reach our goals and become successful as much as we wanted it!
My dad helped our cause even more.
I was the oldest, and for as long as I can remember, my dad was always reading instructional books to learn as MUCH as he could about baseball, hitting, etc.
This started when I was about 7 years old.
Now, 20 years later, he is STILL researching the internet, watching videos and studying hitting in order to continue to learn.
My brother is now a Junior at the University of Kentucky (update: my brother is now a D1 coach), and my dad’s willingness to put in the hours to learn about hitting is still paying dividends with Matt.
They constantly talk about his mentality, swing mechanics, pitch selection, etc.
Growing up, we still went to instructors, played for other coaches and all of that.
However, all of the hours hitting in the garage, taking ground balls on our own, and playing long toss is what made us the players we became.
If my dad hadn’t been willing to put in the hours with me, it would have made it much tougher to get where we did.
So what are my suggestions for you as a parent to do?
First, learn as much as you can about the game, about hitting and/or pitching mechanics, and training.
The more you know, the more you will be able to help develop your son on your own time.
Next, there are going to be times that your son is NOT going to want to put in the work.
This happened to me and my siblings on MANY occasions.
As a parent, you HAVE to know what your son’s long term goals are. If you KNOW they want to play college and professional baseball, sometimes you will have to force them to work out.
I can tell you there were many arguments around our house because we didn’t want to work out on a particular day.
Looking back now, I am VERY thankful that my parents pushed me.
As a parent, you understand and can see a much bigger picture than a teenager. It may be tough, it may cause fights, but it WILL be worth it!
Finally, take ownership of your son’s career.
I am not saying force an issue if he truly doesn’t want it.
However, if you know that this is their goal, make it part of your goal to help him achieve his dream.
Playing college and professional baseball is definitely a process that requires a lot of work and sacrifice (both time and financially) for both parents and players.
If you are not in his corner, it will be 100% harder for him to reach his goal!