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Know where you stand!


JoshuaPerich Bio-2

Spring… the season where we once again need to prove our worth as baseball players.  We will be timed... gunned... evaluated... scrutinized... and if deemed worthy, will win a spot on the team.  It may come as a surprise, but at least 80% of the team gets determined after the first day of tryouts.  Coaches always tend to choose the players with the best tools first, and that takes a very short amount of time to determine.  

In a tryout for a team which will have 15 total players on the roster, 12 spots will be determined after the first day.  The worst part is that the last three spots are probably only between 5 of the remaining players.  That means if there were 40 kids trying out, 23 players were already written off after the first day.  Though it may be obvious, the key is simply to be one of the 12 players who make the team after the first day and not one of the 23 who don’t.  


Far too often I hear coaches utter a saying which makes my skin crawl and it usually starts with “You can’t teach...” and is followed by speed, power, arm strength, etc.  It drives me crazy because all skills can be improved… Maybe not from a below average level to an elite level, but improved.  I do agree with the coach however, in that he will not be able to do it... not while trying to coach a team through a season.  Improving your skills is not your coach’s responsibility… it is YOURS… and it takes A LOT OF WORK!  

Too many players and parents have a terrible misunderstanding of what a coach is looking for when picking a team.  Having a great tryout is not just hitting every ball in batting practice, stopping every ground ball, and catching every fly ball.  Though not making any mistakes in a tryout is good, it is a very small part of your evaluation and is often one of the last things a coach looks for, not the first.  You see…baseball is a failure sport; so when a player makes a mistake, although a coach may be displeased, he does accept that it happens to even the best players.  In order to make a team, you don’t have to go through your tryout without making a mistake; you have to make your coach believe that throughout the entire season you will be the player that will make the least mistakes.  

I hear from parents all the time that their son didn’t get a fair shake and that the tryout process was “political”... Now I am not saying that sometimes the tryout process isn’t a complete sham, or that coaches never pick players simply because they like their parents...  I am saying that more often than parents would like to believe, their son just flat out wasn’t at the level he needed to be athletically to compete.  I know that may be a tough pill to swallow, but believe it or not, I am on your side.  

I decided a long time ago that I would work with every player that wanted my help.  As an instructor it is very tempting to only work with the extremely talented kids, and I have worked with quite a few players who moved on to play college and even Major League baseball.  Now, it may be perceived that since I worked with them… and since they went on to have much success… I must be a good instructor.  The truth is those were the players that were the easiest to help.  For every player I have worked with that moved on to play at higher levels, there are many others who busted their tails for me year after year to simply go from kids who no one ever wanted on their little league teams to become starters on their high school team.

The first step in trying to achieve your goals is to get an evaluation and simply know where you currently stand.  This is a lot harder than it may sound because for some reason in this day and age, coaches do not provide honest feedback to players (especially the ones they just cut from their team).  Often any feedback they provide is sugarcoated to let a player down lightly and to also avoid overly protective parents who tend to go ballistic if anyone doesn’t think their son is as wonderful as they do.  

The online baseball evaluation on this website doesn’t care about your feelings.  It is going to compare your talents to everyone else out there who is your age and it is going to give you an honest rating as to where you stand.  It isn’t your friend, but it definitely is not your enemy. It is an unbiased scale where you can measure yourself against your peers. I will be the first to tell you that it does not predict success... it just evaluates you the same way a coach who knows nothing about you would evaluate you... by your tools! 
Whatever your goal may be… whether it be making your high school team, playing in college, or to get drafted, it helps to know what the coaches ands scouts at each of those levels are first looking for.