Archive for February, 2013

Last nights conversation

Dad: “Bret, I’ve never seen [SON’S NAME] work this hard.”

Bret: “Great!”

Dad: “You don’t understand. In [HOME TOWN], he’s the best player in the league. When he comes here and sees all these other talented boys working just as hard as him, it really motivates him. He wouldn’t be working this hard without GoWags.”

Bret: “Thank you.”

Dad: “I can’t wait to see this crop of boys in about 4-6 years. Awesome.”

Full Reps


Big-fish–little-pond effect (BFLPE) is a term introduced by Herbert W. Marsh, and popularised by Matthew Gardner, which hypothesizes that the self-concept of students is negatively correlated with the ability of their peers in school: Thus, academic self-concepts depend not only on one’s academic accomplishments but also the accomplishments of those in the school that a student attends.

An implication of this effect is that low- or medium-ability students might prefer to attend a low-ability school instead of a high-ability school, as this would be better for their self-concept. These pupils can receive additional motivation from low- or medium-ability pupils in their class because their own achievements appear more significant. They feel more honored and may be motivated to keep their edge over the other pupils. This is especially true for pupils with a lack of self-confidence. Some parents send their children, with the explicit recommendation of psychologists, to schools that are known for a moderate level of proficiency.

An opposite effect is the reflected glory effect (or assimilation effect), which describes the stimulation a pupil may receive from a school with a high level of proficiency.



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The Fine Line

Do you know someone who is “gifted” with the lack of self awareness? You know who I’m talking about. The person who has no filter. Literally says whatever is on his/her mind. I used to struggle with this person, finding them very offensive. Now, I’m in awe of them. I wish I had their “gift”. I think.

As a business owner, instructor, coach, father, mentor, friend, and brother I find myself wearing many different hats at GW. This time of year, I can’t play the role of father (at GW) nearly as much as I like. There’s simply too much demand for instructor and coach. It’s OK. This time of year makes me realize I rarely cross over those “fine lines” that I seemingly cross over all the time with my son.

My son is not a client. He can’t choose to take his business elsewhere (that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to sometimes). I tell him whatever is on my mind. No different than the countless other fathers and sons in GW on any given night. It’s actually quite comical when I think about it. If frustration was combustible, GW would go up in flames just about every night between the hours of 6-8. I choose to take it as a good sign. No progress without struggle right? Everyone would be happy, happy, happy if dad would just flip meatballs. Nope. GW is about deliberate practice. And that means struggle.

But when I’m instructing and/or coaching the filter seems to appear. I find myself very aware of trying to say the right things so I don’t offend Mom, Dad, or son. I struggle with this. I really do pride myself on treating every client as if he were my son. I know that sounds corny but it’s the truth. I ask myself all the time, “what would I do with Cole?”. Here’s where the dichotomy comes in. I might do the same thing, but I certainly don’t say the same thing. Why? Because I don’t have time to ask the more important questions.

There are exceptions of course. Actually, lots of exceptions.

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Choosing the right bat

It’s a question we often get asked. “Is this the right bat for my son?”

And like any difficult question with multiple variables. The answer is always, “it depends”.

3 important variables are at play:
1. Bat Speed – How fast can your son swing the bat? This is primarily a function of strength and ground forces created during the swing.
2. Bat Weight – In ounces.
3. COR (Coefficient of Restitution) – If your reading this blog, you are probably familiar with the acronym BBCOR. It actually stands for “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution”. The current maximum allowable BBCOR is .5. But that doesn’t mean your son will produce a .5 when he actually makes contact with the ball. If he isn’t making contact in a nice strong position or he isn’t strong enough to overcome the balls momentum, chances are is COR will more likely be around a .3 or .4.

So, with that in mind, here’s a nice Excel Spreadsheet that you can use to determine the right bat for your son or daughter. Feel free to change the variables in red and watch the chart change with your new Ball Exit Speed.

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Do not trust us

I worry about raising kids that are taught to trust authority. It sounds like the right thing to do. Why wouldn’t I want my kids to trust what their teachers, coaches, and anyone in a leadership position might say? Because not all  authority figures are created equal! I’m reminded of what George Will said,

There is nothing so vulgar in the human experience for which we can not fly in some professor from somewhere to justify it.

As much as we hope and pray that all of the adults and people of influence that our kids come in contact with will have a positive impact, chances are someone with good intentions will try and steer them in the wrong direction. It doesn’t feel like the wrong direction. It doesn’t look like the wrong direction. And, if this person who has all these “titles” or “awards” or “accomplishments” in front of his/her name, is telling me it’s true, then it must be true. That’s how the internal dialogue might sound.

But, as I approach my 40th birthday, I am more convinced than ever that there are two types of people in this world. Those that think. And those that repeat. I want to raise thinkers. Thinkers find the truth. And, at the risk of sounding cliche, “the truth shall set you free”! Free from what? Free from doubt. Ever try to get to the finish line when you don’t know where you’re going? It’s impossible. Time and time again we talk to high school aged baseball players who are hearing conflicting advice from their high school coach. They are told to “stay balanced”. They are told to “finish in a fielding position”. They are told to “hold on to the bat with two hands”. The list goes on and on and on. What are they to do?

I’ll tell you what my son is going to do. He’s going to be RESPECTFUL. He’s going to listen. He’s going to nod. And he’s going to politely ignore everything he hears that isn’t the truth. Because his dad is a thinker and has taught him to be a thinker. Don’t tell me to “stay balanced” when I can see for myself that ground forces are king. Don’t tell me to “finish in a fielding position” when I have studied how momentum and momentum transfer create velocity and movement.

So…The next time Billy says “does that make sense?” give it some thought. Does it?

Full Reps!

To give truth to him who loves it not is to only give more multiplied reasons for misinterpretation

-George MacDonald

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