Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

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

May 29, 2015
1,202
113
I think a group session can have its time and place with an instructor who has designed it for a group. Providing a lesson designed for individuals to a group is not very worthwhile. If you are introducing basic concepts and testing the waters for player interest, I think it can be beneficial. As a coach, you can learn a lot just by watching the players — how they pay attention, how the interact in a group dynamic, etc.

Back when I ran a Rec league, we brought in an instructor for a series of group lessons and allowed each team to send X number of players. The lessons were VERY basic and introductory and were meant to plant the seeds for the players (and coaches and parents!) to build off of.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,223
113
We did group lessons with 4 girls and one pitching instructor. Worked great, with us (2) coaches helping and reinforcing.

As they went from beginners to intermediate pitchers, we did 2 groups of 2 girls each. Also, very effective use of time.

Now that my daughter is a pretty good pitcher, individual is the way to go for her.

Group lessons can certainly work. Depends on the skill level, the kids, the coach. Look at tennis, for example. Group lessons are very common and effective. Practically the norm.
 
Aug 2, 2019
183
43
Depends on the level. I have seen big improvements with group lessons of 5-6 girls in rec, but some of these girls were really inexperienced. My DD was the only one that could hit a ball at all prior to the lessons, and she saw a marked improvement. After a couple lessons the instructor suggestion she look into TB, and here we are.

Tonight DD's club has a clinic with a guest instructor. This will be the first time she's done a group hitting lesson with experienced players. But because the club is putting it on it is inexpensive enough it's not a big deal if it's a flop. At least we get out of the house for a bit and DD gets to see some of her friends she hasn't seen in 2 months.
 
Jul 14, 2018
422
63
I think the general question about the effectiveness of a group lesson is very much dependent on the age and skill level, as others have said. At 8U and 10U, there are going to be some basic fundamentals that a group lesson could correct -- low-hanging fruit. But once you're past that, no instructor is going to be able to tweak the swings of 10 kids in an hour and keep it all straight in their head.

That's not to say that there's no value. Here in the northeast, all practice has moved indoors. If you can drop 10 bucks to get an hour of swings or pitches in, that's worth it, even if they're only getting reps or working on something they've discussed with a private coach.

DD is attending a Wasserman clinic in two weeks, I'm certainly hoping that he is able to improve her throwing in a group situation. She's 13, and mature enough to follow what he tells her and try to put it into practice,
 
Aug 2, 2019
183
43
Depends on the level. I have seen big improvements with group lessons of 5-6 girls in rec, but some of these girls were really inexperienced. My DD was the only one that could hit a ball at all prior to the lessons, and she saw a marked improvement. After a couple lessons the instructor suggestion she look into TB, and here we are.

Tonight DD's club has a clinic with a guest instructor. This will be the first time she's done a group hitting lesson with experienced players. But because the club is putting it on it is inexpensive enough it's not a big deal if it's a flop. At least we get out of the house for a bit and DD gets to see some of her friends she hasn't seen in 2 months.
Well, the group lesson wasn't great, wasn't terrible. The two girls from DDs team that were going to attend both were sick, so no friends attended. She said they basically set them all up with their own tee and had them take swings the whole time while the instructor walked around looking at swings trying to make corrections. Her words to DD, "your swing looks good, I'm not going to mess with anything." DD plays on the lowest level team in the org, so I'm not sure how much help it was to anyone. She said she only really worked with a couple girls as far as making changes go. DD was bored by the end of it just hitting off the tee, even though the instructor seemed quite engaging.

But, as Rick M just said, $10 to get an hour worth of swings in when it's 20 degrees out was worth it. DD has confidence problems as well, and underrates her skills, so I've gained a little ammo to help her with that in that the guest instructor couldn't help her because she is too advanced. If I can use the experience to bump her confidence up a level it's worth 10x what I paid.
 

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
88
18
Thanks for all the input and opinions.

In a group lesson held by a team I feel you need a competent instructor and effectively planned class that will allow the teams coaches to reinforce the techniques which are taught going forward or it is a waste of time.
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,082
63
You never know when you might get a valuable tip from an instructor. Sometimes the ones who see you every day don't notice something.
 
Aug 2, 2019
183
43
You never know when you might get a valuable tip from an instructor. Sometimes the ones who see you every day don't notice something.
Or is sick of telling a student the same thing. Some people need to hear it from another source before they really believe it.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,515
63
Mundelein, IL
I've done group hitting and pitching clinics before but it's not my preferred way of teaching. I disagree with whoever said the only person that benefits is the instructor because a good instructor will want to feel like he/she is delivering benefits and it's tough to do in that format. There may be a couple of kids who come out of it ahead, but if you have a group of 10 that means 8 did not, and those are the ones you'll remember as a committed instructor.

The group thing can work if you're going to do it over a number of weeks and everyone is agreeable to progress being slow at best. It can establish some fundamentals, although if you stop and the coaches weren't paying attention to carry it forward it's likely all the progress that was made will be lost.

Starting in January I will be working with a 10U team on pitching. I worked with their pitchers last year (different group than this year except for one, and that one is doing private lessons with me) and it did make a difference in terms of bringing most to a basic level of competence. Those are the expectations for this year as well - take kids with zero clue and give them a set of fundamentals to build on. The rest is up to them.

I also turned down an opportunity to do hitting clinics with an entire 12U team, however. I told the parent who asked about it that I just didn't think I could deliver value in that format. I would rather do a "train the coaches" session or two and have them work with the girls on a regular basis for a couple of reasons:

  • When you impose a coach on a group of players about the most you can expect is compliance; you're also likely to get attitude
  • Some might have their own hitting coach, or their dad or mom is their coach, and they're teaching something different
  • People learn different ways and at different rates; all it takes is one who doesn't get it as quickly as the others and she's going to suck up the bulk of the time
Overall, as an instructor, I much prefer individual lessons. We can focus 100% of the time on what that player needs and build a relationship of trust. As a result, we can progress a lot faster to ensure the player is ready for the season.
 
Top