Down 1 in the last inning, two outs, bases loaded, 3-0 count. Many of you are screaming inside for your batter to take a pitch. Maybe some of you are actually screaming out loud. The best choice is for your player to have a green light.
Even I might be secretly hoping the batter takes the next pitch. It’s selfish, but these are the types of selfish desires that a coach is best to keep inside to himself.
At the very most, the kid should be aware of the situation, and know that taking a pitch might be a good choice. Hopefully by the time the player reaches higher levels, they understand the benefit of taking on 3-0, especially in such a crucial situation as listed.
But what moment in youth sports is that important that you take the bat out of the kids’ hands. The kids are there to hit, they’re there to have fun, and hitting is fun.
You might be taking the bat out of his hands on the prettiest, fattest pitch he’s seen all year. Taking might mean missing out on a great hit, possibly a game-winning hit. Would the kid really get the same satisfaction from drawing a game-tying walk?
In youth baseball, we must remember it’s a game. The players are there to have fun and learn. Taking the bat out of a players’ hands is detrimental to the root of youth baseball.
Taking is a tactic used when a coach is playing to win now, and not playing for full development. It’s not like taking a pitch at age 10 will teach them how to take a pitch at age 18. They’re better off swinging away for a hit.