Daily Archives: September 16, 2009

Team-supplied lessons

Had an interesting email discussion today with Coach Mike. It revolved around a local team that “supplies” its players with hitting lessons. The basics are that they charge each person in the organization an additional (non-optional) fee, then contract with a hitting instructor to provide lessons to everyone in the organization.

The free market advocate in me tends not to like that arrangement. I think parents should be free to take their kids anywhere they want to get lessons. I doubt as an instructor myself that I would be totally comfortable with an entire program being directed to me either. 

But I can also see the other side. At least this program is sure that its players are receiving regular lessons throughout the year. Assuming the instructor they contract with is qualified (and I have no reason to think otherwise), it could certainly present an advantage. Of course, with any private instruction situation success or failure is 90 percent the player and 10 percent the coach. Still, receiving regular instruction versus sitting around watching TV or texting incessantly ought to produce some results.

I’d be interested in feedback from others as to how common a practice it is for teams or programs to hire out a single instructor on any aspect of the game for the entire program. If you are or have been in that situation, how did you feel? Did you have the option of opting out and working with your own coach, and if so was the fee refunded to you?

The most pressing question to me, though, is if you were in an organization that did that and suddenly they said “here’s that part of the fee back; use it to hire your own private coach” do you think families who didn’t already have a coach seek one out? Or would they just pocket the money and forget about lessons?

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