Dad, This is What Private Coaching Taught Me

My son has recently turned fifteen. He has been training with various teams at different levels from club to state to country over the last few years. It has been just over a year since he last received one-on-one training from a private coach. I decided to ask him about his experience and if private coaching had offered a real benefit to his game.

Without hesitation he replied, “yes!” He said it was more than a singular benefit; it was the best and most practical training he had ever received. 

He went onto explain the reasons why the private coaching was necessary for his skill development and the attitude he needed to have towards the coaching.

How private coaching helped my young athlete develop

At times, he went out for the hour of private coaching, sharing the time and cost with another friend of similar ability. I thought this would‘ve been more encouraging and effective. I found out later it was only more helpful to my hip pocket. He said he preferred the coach being totally devoted to him. He wasn’t being selfish or inconsiderate; it’s just that he gained little knowledge from hearing the input for his friend whom had different issues to work on.

He liked the idea that the private coach was focused completely on him and every movement he made. The coach didn’t have an agenda to get through a certain amount of knowledge in that hour, but he could adapt and devote however long on a particular weakness. Yes, the coach wanted him to get to a certain skill level in a particular time frame, but it wasn’t about the coach’s time frame. It was about my son grasping and developing the correct technique.

I once witnessed this same coach attempting to train four kids in an hour. (I get it; it was much cheaper. And if the coach was as good as what others said, then he should be able to focus on different kids’ weaknesses.) All the players were at different levels and ages. They wanted to hit on the field and not in the batting cages. Therefore, each child got about fifteen minutes of his time. And most of that time was picking up balls in the outfield.

What else? I asked my son. What else have you grasped from private coaching? He said it shouldn’t matter if the coach is demanding or gentle; whether he smiles or not …

The coach has his style, and if I’m there to learn, I should be able to accept whatever style or tone, and how the coach delivers his message.

Choosing the right coach is important, but so is the athlete’s attitude

He said his batting coach spoke with a softer tone and was more encouraging. He said his fielding coach was demanding and tough and pushed him hard until he got it right. My son appreciated both, because, as he said, he was there to learn. He was hungry to learn. It didn’t matter how the message was delivered. He said (now you may disagree with him here) that, “if you’re worried how the coach is talking to you then, you’re not ready for one-on-one coaching yet. I’m there to learn a skill, not there to critique how soft or tough I need the coach to be. If I’m not listening, it is my problem, not the coaches.”

Trying to relate to my son with what he just told me, I told him the age-old quote, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. He looked a bit baffled at that one. But I think he gets it now.

About the attitude he needs to take into a one-on-one session, he harped on not needing to impress his private coach.  Rather, he needs to let the coach see him ‘warts and all’ (my words not his) and not feel like he’s got to be perfect. He is not trying to prove anything to the coach, but trying to learn everything he can. If he’s worried about what the coach thinks, he won’t be focused on soaking up the knowledge.

I believe one of the biggest benefits my son has received from private coaching is he has learned to know his body.  

He said actually, ‘feel his body’, and though it made sense to him it didn’t make sense to me. So I changed the concept to “know his body” here.

Private coaching helped my athlete grow as a player and a person

Each time a weakness has become exposed in his batting, pitching or fielding technique, the coach was able to focus on the fundamental root of the problem.  And moreover, the coach was able to get my son to always relax and quickly identify the problem himself in game or training situations.

Private coaching has taught him to think.

It has taught him to identify problems and fix them himself.

Private coaching has given him confidence to believe in himself. 

The most obvious way I saw private coaching working for my son was noticing him immediately put into practice what he’d learned that week. He may have tried and failed at it during the game, but he went out on his own into the park or in the garage and worked on the technique. Because he did this, I believe private coaching for him was no waste of money and no waste of time.


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One Response

  1. Private Coaching has built our son’s confidence tremendously over the last 5 months. His confidence has shown on the field during Camps and Combines but also at school both in the classroom and on the field.

    Private Coaching has given our son a good mentor to get solid information from to help in High School, prepare for College and life.

    I have asked our son several occasions as his paid sessions are about to run out if wants to still work with Coach Courtney and each time with no hesitation the answer is, yes!

    Coach has even allowed us to bounce some things off him as we prepare our son for college. Kobe will occasionally even say, I like our plan but let’s bounce 😏 it off Coach.👏🏾😅

    We had other options of things to prepare our son for improvement at the High Sclevel for football and preparation for College but there is no doubt in our minds, this Private Coaching was the right move!

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