Recently I was watching my son bat in baseball and observed his mannerisms. He steps into the batters box and immediately raises his hand to signal the umpire for time out as he wants time to get set. He then sets himself up to bat very precisely.
What makes me pause is realizing that neither I ( or any other coach) has instructed him to do this. David Ortiz has. David is his TV teacher. We
This makes me realize that kids primarily learn in two ways and, one of them is definitely not listening. I love the line from the Cat Steven's song Father and Son . Steven's
Kids learn by seeing and doing. The listening part will come much later and must be in smaller doses. Too much talking becomes like the Charlie Brown cartoons. All they hear is blah-blah-blah.
This ties into the importance of having a passion for the sport. You want your kid to not only want to play their sports but, to also watch them. A kid would be much better off watching David Ortiz and imitating what he sees than listening to dad ramble on about the proper way to hit.
Whether we like it or not, our kids are highly visual and that is only going to increase. We have always learned through a simple “watch and do” process. In fact, my first lifting lessons came from watching older guys at the Y.
I'm a big fan of the old army quote “lead, follow, or get out of the way”. In a lot of our youth instruction, I'd advise you to demo what you want and let the kids try it. Learning is visual and experiential . Let them see and do. Resist the urges to over-teach, over-correct and over-talk. Good demos and lots of reps are the roads to success with kids.