LPD Plus Chad Longworth

Don't be a Victim of a Fixed Mindset

Sadly, I have seen this kid.  I think anyone who has coached for any amount of time has seen this kid. The outstanding youth player that ends up quitting or getting passed by other players.

He gets told throughout his youth years "You are going to be great one day".  So he sits around and waits to be great, and then he gets passed up.

His thinking becomes "If I am not the best, then I must not be good at this anymore" then he quits.  This is the definition of a fixed mindset and it's not totally a young player's fault.  Influential people told him how great he was going to be someday, and he believed them.  Fixed minded players believe their skills just are, and quite frankly for those exceptional young players, they don't have to put much time into having success.  They don't have to "grow" their skills.  When their skills are no longer exceptional for the level they are playing on, they do not believe that they can be further developed.

What we fail to define often in youth sports is biological vs chronological age.  Kids grow at different rates.  It's entirely possible for a 10 year chronological age kid to have the biological bone and muscle structure of an average 13-year-old.  It is also possible for a 10-year-old chronological age kid to have the same bone and muscle structures as an 8-year-old kid.   Yet, they are playing and competing on the same field because they were born in the same year and meet the age deadline. (You can read more about chronological and biological age HERE)

Everybody understands that if you put an actual 13-year-old in a 10-year-old game they would dominate when in reality, sometimes, there is zero difference in that 10-year-old and that 13-year- old biologically other than what year they were born in.

On-field success and box scores can be a misleading measurement for the reasons outlined above.  A player can be just more biologically mature than the players he is playing against and there is nothing anyone can do about that. 

Using data, we hold all players to the same standard of development because the biological age eventually evens out.  That player will someday have to compete against everyone who is the same biological age as him. 

If he has been held to a standard of "if you work, you can improve" and the process data (bat speed, exit velocity, throwing velocity, throwing accuracy, etc) shows you have improved, then he is more likely to understand that he will need to continue to work to improve his process.  It's the process that produces the outcome.  If you arent happy with the outcome then 

With this growth mindset and outlook, the on-field success and box scores come as a result of the process of measured improvement. 

First Principles Coaching

There is so much garbage on the internet to process.

Who's right?  Who's wrong? Which guru knows what they are talking about?  $79.95 for a four-pack of lessons where the guru puts a ball on a tee and sells you "It's a process" so you will re-up again for another 4 pack.

First-principles are what we know to be absolutely true.  What can we measure and show as a fact?

In hitting, you have to answer two questions.  Will this make me hit the ball harder?  Will this make me hit the ball off the ground more than on the ground?  Those are the first principles.  Build from there.

Build the Engine

If your peak exit velocity is 80 mph then you will mishit the ball at 72 mph which isn't good.

If you hit the ball 95 mph then you will mishit the ball at 88 mph which plays much better.

One of our dad's said to me "(insert son's name) now mishits the ball harder than he used to square it up just a few months ago" and this is a good thing

You will mishit the ball.  Hitting is hard.  Develop speed to maximize your window of success is bigger that just your "A swing" when you square it up perfectly.  Now your b, c, d, e, and f swing can play because they are hit hard enough to play.


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