by Ken Krause
I know I see that in action all the time. Walking through a facility or along a field I will see teams diligently running drills or working on techniques that essentially have them practicing to lose. Even though they may have best of intentions.
I see it with hitting a lot. I like hitting stations as much as the next coach, but they can do as much harm as good if they're not set up or supervised properly.
Now, if you have older players whom you've worked with for awhile you can probably have them work the stations without someone being with them every minute. But for younger players it often doesn't work as well.
I will see young players putting no effort into hitting off a tee because they think it's for babies. So they just sort of knock the ball off instead of working on elements of their swings.
Soft toss is another one that can be problematic. Players will toss arcing balls to one another, which creates all sorts of problems in the swing that will have to corrected later.
But it's not just hitting. You can see it in throwing, when players just push or lob the ball to one another while chattering away. You see it in the way they catch or field, just going through the motions instead of working on technique. They figure as long as they get the ball, or get it to wherever it needs to go next, they've done their jobs. But then, when they really need the better skills, those skills aren't there — because they haven't developed them.