Kinetically Speaking

Another important part of this kinetic teaching process is getting the kids to evaluate, not only themselves, but their peers. It’s part of the picture that Stockton tries to paint, a picture that’s incomplete if it’s only muscle memory.

“We’re teaching that 7, 8 or 9 year old to diagnose, evaluate and synthesize change,” says Stockton. “They gotta learn why. That’s a huge word. Why do I do this? Everything I teach has a cause-and-effect relationship, and we work really hard to paint that kinetic picture in their mind. We show pictures of major league players, we get into those body positions and do a lot of simulating.”

Stockton even employs some remedial fitness training if it’s needed because he’s finding more kids who are used to the sedate lifestyle offered by Nintendo and television.

“We try to get them stronger and more coordinated with the jump rope, rollie and different types of movement patterns that increase strength and coordination,” says Stockton. “You have to do that or otherwise they can’t execute the skills.”

Stockton’s Skills and Drills School of Baseball is certainly not your typical sports camp, and it was born of a certain frustration in the formative years of his baseball life. He deviated from the typical sports camp model out of what he felt was necessity — a necessity to hone lifelong habits and skills.

“When I was a little guy I used to hang out with the Dallas Eagles of the old Texas League, and I would ask these guys what I had to do to get better,” recalls Stockton. “They’d look at me and watch me do it, and they’d say, ‘Well, if you get your timing down you’re gonna be okay.’ I’d say, ‘What’s timing?’ Then they’d look at me and say, ‘I don’t know, but when you get it you’ll know it.’ I got tired of that stuff, even in pro ball when I played a little with the Colt .45s I couldn’t get anybody to answer any questions legitimately.”

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Related posts:

  1. Skills & Drills
  2. Interactive Recruiting
  3. The Game Plan
  4. R&R
  5. The Horse Whisperer Connection

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