Today's topic will be on the 13 to 17 years-of-age range. This could also go over into your 18th year, too, though.
First things first (and this I can not say it enough): good school habits and study habits are a must! Do not miss too much school time, whether it be for practice or not, as it can affect grades adversely. Students cannot play baseball at their school if grades slip below around a 2.5 GPA (usually).
The player also needs to eat right (getting the salads at McDonalds is not healthy, either) and get a long, quality sleep every night. This is for both school and baseball, as the body and the mind work together to produce results. Without one, the other is doomed!
Now is the time that the players in the teen age group will begin to notice the pitch-out play, and if the player is a pitcher than he or she will need to work on the pitch-out to the bases. The players will learn the dos and don'ts of base stealing around this age.
If the player started when he or she was around twelve or younger, then much of (if not all) of this will come easily. However, if you did not work on it at twelve or below, it will be harder for that player to play at that level.
Probably the hardest thing to do as a coach in this age range is to get all of the teens to practice. So with that, I would like to say, "Go to all of your practices, and if you cannot do that, then do not sign up and take a spot away from another teen who can."
I see a lot of kids out there that like to, and want to, play this great sport, yet they might not be as good as you. You may feel that you are secure in your position because of how good you play, but keep in mind that as a coach, I preferred a player who was out there every day to one who was good but did not always show up. It hurts the team as a whole, and ends up showing in the games as E's: errors. The last thing a team needs are E's.
As a good rule of thumb, I would say that two to three misses in a season is understandable (though there are quite a few coaches who would disagree). It helps to have a good reason for it, too.
Remember, like I said in the last post, be sure to check all of your equipment before practices and games.
WINNER of the QUIZ "Playing at the next level" was Sloppybroom. The answer was, The year 1935 .