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Group lessons....effective or not? (sorry, long)

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
88
18
I happened to be at a TB winter facility today talking to a U18 coach when on the other side of the divider the first year U12 coach calls his team together and says that the hitting instructor arrived for the first group (10 players, 5 parents and 3 coaches) lesson. I asked the U18 coach who this was and he did not know. So we kind of peered around the divider and neither of us knew who it was. He was introduced as a former college coach. No schools or accomplishments are given other then 15 years of coaching.

So we watch the lesson which starts with a 10 minute speech that about 3 kids paid any attention to. It then progresses to the point where kids are swinging bats in a circle and he walks around spending about 2-3 minutes with each player correcting things and moving on to the next kid. 3 swings later each kid who had their technique changed was back to what they have always been. I'm not going to comment on the suggested changes because that's not the point of this thread.

They move to tees where following the suggested changes the same reverting back to their old style occurs. We are now 45 minutes into this lesson. They go to soft toss (can't move fast enough I guess, I say to the U18 coach). Now I know that you have to make these lessons interesting or you lose the kids attention, but this seemed a bit rushed to me
After an hour the lesson is done. The instructor hands some papers (examples of proper swing mechanics) to the coaches and parents talks to the players says I'll see you next week and he leaves

Later today I found out through the U18 coach that these group (min 4 players) lessons are $50 for a set of 5 and if you want individual lessons those are $30 each for 60 minutes.

I know that one hour one week is not going to improve these kids techniques, but it seems like group lessons for first year U12's are just a waste of time and seemingly a "come to my private lessons" if you want real coaching lure to the parents.

Please share opinions and experiences with group lessons.
 
Feb 18, 2014
261
18
If you have the skill to teach a player a proper swing as well as access to a facility, it's a waste. Group lessons can be effective with an appropriate number of players and an instructor that knows what they are doing and knows how to work with kids. The number of this group is excessive, at least for around here, we are typically 3-4 players at 20-25 an hour for an hour lesson.
 
Oct 19, 2019
58
18
My kid pitched for a little while.

Couple 3 or 4 years maybe.

I took her to a lesson or 2 with a couple of instructors. Nothing too steady.

I took her to one of them twice. On the 2nd time with her she asked if we would be alright having a lesson with another kid next time.

I said "so,,, 2 hours long instead of 1 hour?"

No. Only 1 hour still.

"Ok,,, so only $25.00 then instead of $50.00?"

No. $50.00 still.

So yeah, we didn't schedule another lesson with her.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,430
113
Florida
Of course a group lesson can be effective... I mean that is the same as 'practice' right - a large group of players looking to learn and get better with coaches/instructors.

The lesson in the original post. Well, not so much and certainly not with the cost.
 
Sep 17, 2009
1,442
63
It's an interesting topic. I've been invited in to help teams with hitting sessions. It's better than them having no guidance, which is too often the case. At 12U, I agree it's all too often teach something they forget it and in a group there's not enough reinforcement time to make a real difference. The key at 12U might be a train-the-trainer mentality, ie, help the coaches to upgrade THEIR knowledge so they can run better hitting sessions and help their hitters.

At older ages, the danger is the same thing if the kids aren't engaged and willing to talk hitting. If they are open to it, I think even group sessions can be useful for such older kids -- talking hitting and exchanging swing thoughts and trying out new things and seeing results at that age can be helpful if the players are open to it. The additional challenge is most are likely to have their own hitting coaches as well. The opportunity at older levels I think is to set up a training progression and allow them to try to accomplish it with their current mechanics. If they can't do it -- then you can talk about how more optimized mechanics might help them accomplish a task: hitting oppo off soft toss, hitting the low tee position for a line drive, consistently hitting machine speed, having something left to hit a change up with, etc. etc. More of a challenge, fail, talk-about-fix approach. And then if they see success where before there was failure they may think about their swing in a new way and pick up something they can use.

That's my two cents on group 'lessons' -- that and at young ages it can be an affordable way, with a good instructor, to expose them to the basics of mechanics, drills and tools (how to use a tee, etc).
 
Apr 20, 2018
1,072
83
SoCal
Waste of time and money.

If the TB coaches watched Justin Stone video and had the 12 year old practice that drill and then watch the first minute of this video on the big screen tv and talk about and get the girls to understand this approach they would be miles ahead and have more money in their pockets too.

 
Sep 29, 2014
2,188
83
The only thing I think it would be good for is if you were trying to see if you wanted to go to this coach for private lessons. If you were looking for an instructor not a terrible idea to get 4-5 kids split the cost then if the person has a clue go back for private lesson....but yeah as a long term strategy to get better....not worth it
 
Apr 28, 2014
1,282
63
We did pitching lessons for a few years in a group setting. Never worked out. Group sessions only benefit the instructor.
 

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