One of the questions I get asked by parents a lot at Sports DoctoR: When is a good age to start private lessons or Is my son/daughter too young for lessons?
My answer, I think you should start lessons as soon as possible because receiving individualized attention will benefit them in more ways than one.
Every student/athlete should receive personal attention in school, family time, sports, any activity where there is learning and development. In the classroom, students sometimes don’t retain everything in a group setting and fall behind in sharpening their knowledge. When an athlete plays a team sport, there are various examples where they don’t get personal attention for their understanding and development. Team practices are usually focused on team growth not individual attention. In some cases, team practices might have 1-2 coaches per 10 athletes. Therefore, many athletes don’t get individual attention and athletes lose focus.
An athlete can sharpen an area of the game they really love or want to learn more about by receiving specialized instruction. Pitching is a great example that most young players 8-10 want to play or at least try. This is a crucial age for developing fundamentals and proper mechanics. Bad mechanics can cause injuries and also the ability to excel their particular skill.
Some parents have chosen private lessons for their son/daughter because they aren’t able to receive enough input at team practice, most often parents aren’t able to work with them enough, or their kids won’t listen to them.
If an athlete wants to do more…let them and find a way. Receiving more repetitions with guidance, motivation, and instruction will enhance their confidence and skill level.
There are countless times that an athlete will lose focus in a group setting and receiving private lessons only improves their development and better understanding. Some students/athletes just need to know someone is paying attention to just them.
Learning the game:
When an athlete is taught about a skill, a situation, a pitch, when to tag, when to hit the outside pitch, how to read a grip, etc., they become a student of the game and not just an athlete. In my years of evaluating athletes, I have noticed the best athletes are great “problem solvers.” They acknowledge there is a challenge and are persistent to figuring out how to succeed. Those athletes consistently want to learn about the “whys.”
Hard Work/Home Work:
Parents, teachers, mentors, coaches always give speeches about “how hard work pays off.” Receiving private lessons doesn’t always make your athlete a super star or all of sudden the best athlete on the team. But lessons will teach your son/daughter about giving a commitment to doing their best to succeed. Putting time into something will always help them feel prepared, feel important, and improve their confidence in all situations, including everyday living.
- Most students perform better when a teacher spends time with just them.
- Many students perform better when there is a challenge.
- Most often students perform better when they are prepared for the game/test.
Sports DoctoR…Keeping Your Dreams Alive