February 2016 - Tip of the Month
"REPS ARE NOTHING WITHOUT PURPOSE"
This person was under the impression that our camps were just like all the others and would be a good opportunity for their catcher to get a good amount of reps in before their tryouts. The problem, however, is that our program is not like all the others and reps are aren't our first priority over the course of a weekend 6-hour camp.
Picture this...you're 5 years old and your parents spend an hour a day during the Summer months teaching you how to tie your own shoes. However, instead of explaining the process and breaking down why one way might work better than the next, all they do is hand you pair after pair of shoes with shoelaces untied every time you tie one into a knot. Each day this routine goes on and on. Then day one of kindergarten rolls around and your parents wish you well, tie your shoes for you one last time and send you on your way. In the middle of the day, your shoes come untied, and instead of knowing exactly how to fix the problem, you proceed to tie your shoes into a knot once again. This time, though, there's nobody there to help you. Sure a teacher could come by and do it for you, but in this analogy, there is nobody to help you in the middle of an inning out on the field. Parents, coaches and catchers, let me be explicitly clear about this. Understanding the process is more important than reps which build bad muscle memory. Without that understanding, you will not be able to fix the problem in the middle of a game. Reps are extremely important, there's no doubt about it. However, only purposeful reps with an intent to develop the skill will actually be of any benefit to you. If you are under the impression that a camp should be some set number of reps without any basis for the execution of the skill or an explanation why one way is mechanically more efficient, our camp will not be the right place for you. We are not going to teach catchers how to do better what they already do. We are going to explain either why what they do is either giving them an advantage or the changes necessary to do so. Then we will explain the process behind what we teach and why we teach it. Only then, once we are sure that the information has been presented in a way that the student will retain it after we leave, will we introduce a ball or reps into the equation. Reps are great, but only if there is a purpose behind them. To be honest, it's the reason why we look forward to our Summer Camp program every year. We have an entire 16-hour timeframe to work through the entire process behind each skill AND THEN work through plenty of reps to refine those skills and provide immediate feedback. Catchers, have a purpose behind everything that you do. The game gets to be a lot of fun when the work you put in has a great deal of intent behind it. Work on improving the process, and the skills will improve over time as well.
Thanks for reading this month's "Tip of the Month"!