With high intent bullpens/pitch design sessions underway at FullReps and unofficial H.S practices in full force - I wanted to elaborate on the important topic of "player development" and help you make the best informed decision when answering the most common question that athletes and parents constantly ask our FullReps staff this time of the year.
"We know the training is more beneficial and my son has seen huge improvements, but my son needs to attend his unofficial H.S practices so his coach can see him. What should we do!? "
This time of the year is always tough for athletes, coaches, trainers & parents who are all trying to do best by the athlete.
The H.S Coach wants their athletes at every "unofficial" practice in the winter for the following reasons.....
1.) To see and evaluate these athletes as much as they can since this is their part time job and they only get to spend so much time with their athletes
2.) They want to build team culture and team chemistry as again they only have so much time together
3.) They want to WIN and the best shot of winning is to build a winning team culture. (who doesn't want to win? Can you blame them?)
The Trainer wants their athletes to keep attending their training sessions for the following reasons.....
1.) If the programming is good and has produced results, the trainer feels confident that their athletes will continue to make gains and reach both their short & long term goals.
2.) Results Matter! The trainer feels like they know their athletes better and no one else has the athletes best interest in mind like they do given the fact that this is their full time job and they spend more time with the athlete than any H.S coach. (In most cases, this is probably true)
3.) Most training is "Paid for" and business is business. The trainer doesn't want to lose a client.
This leaves us with the Parent who is completely torn and just wants to do what is best for their son! The Athlete typically knows what is going to benefit them the most but still has an extremely difficult time deciding on which route to take because they don't want to disappoint their parents, coaches or trainers.
SO WHAT'S THE RIGHT ANSWER?
There are only so many hours in a day and academic demands will always take precedent over baseball demands. No matter how much the parent/athlete believes that training and player development is what they truly need, this same question of whether or not they should compromise the results they are seeing with their training program to attend unofficial H.S practices is always looming over their head leaving them in a state of panic.
This is especially the case for underclassmen who are trying to make a name for themselves and impress their H.S coaches in an effort to make the team in the spring. Can you blame them!? As adults, we all have at one point or another in our lives felt like we needed to impress someone else.... Whether it be our mother/father in law, a teacher, your boss at work etc.. Feeling like we need to impress others is a natural stage that all human beings pass through before achieving the self respect needed to make the best informed decisions for THEM!
At this point, if you're still reading, you are probably waiting for that magical answer from us "professionals" to resolve this issue. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you but we do not have that perfect, fairy tale ending answer for you. In fact, there is no Right or Wrong answer here. This is an open ended question that has more to do with with the athletes goals and desires rather than what any coach, parent or trainer thinks is right or wrong.
For starters…..If your ultimate end goal is to make the H.S team and you feel like you have enough skills to do so, then get your ass to the damn practices! If your end goal is to play college baseball, It’s going to take some more digging. Rarely can an athlete whose ultimate goal is to play College ball (but doesn't quite have the measurables needed to even get a look) give up their training protocol that has produced results just to hang out with friends at open gyms, take some bp and throw a 15 pitch flat ground.. Elite athletes do Elite shit and playing college baseball is nothing short of ELITE. As much as Mom, Dad, Coach or Trainer think they know what's best for the athlete, there is no one who can put into action and execute a plan better than the athlete himself.
Our job as trainers is simply to assess, prescribe, oversee and educate all of our athletes to help them make the best informed decisions about their development plan. But at the end of the day, our FullReps staff leaves this decision entirely up to the athletes and we support their decision entirely. If they decide to temporarily leave their training for unofficial H.S practices, we simply do our job by educating them on the pros and cons of their decision based on our research in the fields of motor learning, exercise science, physical therapy, recovery, anatomy, stress response cycles, workload etc. For the athletes in our program, we do not demand that they train with us and you won't hear us say "Hey if you don't show up when expected, were going to kick you out of the program". Our athletes have the freedom of choice when it comes to this and we don't want to manipulate their decision or pursued them to one side or the other.
We do however provide them with honest performance feedback and real information (otherwise known as FACTS).
COLD HARD FACTS:
High School Pitchers: According to statistics provided by the NCAA, just over 6 out of every 100 high school players (about 6.1%) will be advanced to the collegiate level…So where does this leave You? The remaining 93.9% of all high school pitchers don’t get the opportunity to play at the next level. But if they’re honest with themselves, they know EXACTLY what they need to do in order to defy the odds & play at the next level. IT CAN BE DONE! But I promise you it won't be done by neglecting your training to attend unofficial H.S practices in a gym
Okay fine, we might be a little biased when it comes to this topic but it isn't an accident that today we are considered the best motor learning & data driven player development program in the Northeast.
It's also no accident that we have trained over 150 college and professional athletes and are currently overseeing player development for 2 NCAA collegiate baseball programs. In addition, we are currently training over 35 H.S athletes who have received scholarships and have signed to play college baseball (7 of whom that have signed to schools in the POWERHOUSE SEC)
LAST AND FINAL NOTES:
If your end goal is to play college ball, you either need to Chase Development or Chase Exposure! If you choose to go to your unofficial H.S Practices, there is a 99% chance that you will find neither development or exposure. (No Scouts, Little to no competition, disorganized rounds of 12-15 swing BP.
At the end of the day, we applaud the high school coaches for taking initiative and getting their teams together early. But just ask yourself this one question "Does your unofficial H.S practice provide you with the right map to help you unleash your inner strength and be the best athlete you can be!?" Because no matter how hard you try, no matter how good your attitude & efforts are, if you have the wrong map, you will only be led to the wrong place faster!
Lastly.......If you ask your H.S coach if you can split time between "unofficial" practices with the team and training at your training facility (where you have made gains during the off season) and his answer is “NO”....
RUN AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE!
Thanks again for being along for the ride and for your commitment to our FR process! For more information on our programming please be sure to visit our website @www.fullrepstraining.com or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
And as always…...don't forget to follow us on us Instagram @fullrepstraingcenter. and subscribe to our free monthly newsletter! That's the place where you can find me most active and completely unfiltered!
Founder, Director of Player Development
FullReps Training Center