Interference Doesn’t Just Happen On the Field
Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog
So it’s Saturday morning, the one day I really get to sleep in. I’ve just finished enjoying a leisurely breakfast and have decided to check my phone for messages. Sure enough, there’s a text message. Not just any message, but a four-partner from the mom of one of my students.
It seems her daughter’s team was at a facility for indoor practice. The girls were spread out across a few cages, and another of my students was in one working on her pitching. So far so good.
But then one of the instructors from this facility, apparently a rookie, decides she’s going to jump into the cage and “teach” my student how to pitch. Never mind that the kid was throwing pretty darned well. This instructor is trying to build a clientele and so feels she can just go in wherever she wants and start offering her advice.
She was asked to leave by the girl’s mom, told the position of pitching coach has already been filled, but she won’t get out. After an hour of this, the kid is in tears because this person won’t leave her alone and is messing her up, the mom is angry, and now I’m angry too because this is about as big a breach in protocol as an instructor can make.
No matter what you think of what’s going on somewhere, if nobody asks for your help you stay the (heck) out of it. It’s none of your business. You have no idea where the kid started, what she’s working on or how she’s trying to get there. Jumping in on anyone uninvited is just wrong. Jumping in when you’ve clearly been told you’re not wanted is more than wrong. It’s hubris.
Believe me, I’ve seen and heard plenty of things in practice facilities over the years that have made me cringe. Some of it is just bad advice (such as get your back elbow up to hitters), while other things are just patently incorrect (such as squish the bug).
But do I jump in and offer my two cents when I hear it? No. Why? Because nobody asked for my opinion.
Hey, I just saw it tonight. I was up getting ready to give some pitching lessons and saw a girl diligently practicing some really awful form. It was like someone had taught her a little bit, but not enough, or she didn’t remember enough, to really develop into a pitcher.
A part of me wanted to go over and offer my two cents while I was waiting for my lesson to show up. But I didn’t, because nobody freakin’ asked me. I figure my name is up on the wall as an instructor, and the folks up front know I’m there. If anyone was interested in a consultation I’d know. But no one was, so I stayed out.
In the case of my student(s), eventually someone went and go the team’s coach, and she let that instructor have it. Of course, that instructor tried to defend her actions, saying she was just trying to help and all that. But it was an indefensible position.
Even if she was right – which she wasn’t because I asked my student what she was telling her to do, and it was the kind of stuff that would get her skewered on the Discuss Fastpitch Forum – you just don’t jump in uninvited.
Remember, if someone wants your opinion, you can be sure they’ll ask for it. If not, leave the kid alone. Everyone will be the happier for it.
Anyway, that’s the way I see it.