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The primary objective for this age group is to ensure each player develops a love and passion for practicing baseball, understands and begins to manage the emotional aspect of the game, and can begin to successfully execute the skills listed below.
This level is both competitive and instructional, with admittedly more emphasis on the competitive aspects of the game than the younger level. Coaches must typically field a competitive team providing them with a fun learning experience. Players must focus on refining their skill sets with a very strong emphasis on consistency. The difference between an average player and a good player is the ability to consistently execute fundamental baseball skills.
The biggest and most difficult jump in baseball is the successful transition to the bigger field. It can be the difference in staying and not staying.
A baseball player’s career is on the line at age 13 & 14 years old, and we know that 75% of kids stop playing sports by age 14. Many ball players do pretty well at age 12, but disappear from the baseball world by age 13 & 14. Players and parents must be aware of the fun, the rewards, and the difficulties of playing baseball on the bigger diamonds after 12yrs old.
High School Coaches at respective schools must put the most competitive team on the field possible. Poor mechanics players execute at tryouts are because of improper techniques that have gone uncorrected for years at lower levels of play.
Typically when selecting players HS Coaches look at:
Throwing is probably the number one reason players end up being cut from programs. First day of tryouts they watch warm up and immediately a red flag goes up on some players. These players stand out because of poor throwing mechanics, which generally result in poor arm strength and lack of velocity.
HS Tryouts typically consist testing of:
Outfielders - Looking for ability to judge fly balls, arm strength and accuracy
Infielders - Coaches looking for ability to field ground balls, athleticism, arm strength and accuracy.
Catchers - Glove to glove stopwatch time on throws to second base. They also judge their ability to handle a pitching staff and receive pitches
Pitchers - Looking for arm action, consistency, secondary pitches and velocity.
Hitters - Watch swing mechanics. Do their swing mechanics show that they have the ability to be a potential hitter
The LTADM plan is a culmination of evidence-based information from the principal contributor group and input from a leadership group consisting of experts from the medical safety industry, MLB league and club executives, and an advisory group inclusive of leaders from across the amateur baseball spectrum.
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