Parents and players I work with are finding that a great deal of technical skill training is falling through the cracks with the more expensive baseball operations. I work one on one or small groups of players where parents have spent tons of money, and their players still have major gaps in hitting, fielding, and throwing techniques. I can help and want to help because I was one of those $1,500 and more a season parents. I and my sons have lived the gaps, so I learned how to fill them correctly - AND I DON'T CHARGE $1,000 TO DO IT! I build from the ground up, one fundamental at a time. I have been told by a number of coaches, in the college and minor league ranks, to keep teaching the way I teach young athletes because older players are losing careers over something they either learned wrong or did not learn at all when they were young. Now, even at those levels, I am told they can't break bad habits. Proper technical, mechanical, psychological, and muscle memory aspects of the game are a crucial aspect to a correct growth pattern. I can almost gaurantee that, with even some of the best travel team players, I will find something crucial they should have already learned for what you have paid.That is my experience as a parent and coach. And it does not matter that someone played college or even pro baseball. Trust me on this - THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY KNOW HOW TO TEACH YOUNG PLAYERS! I have lived it, and paid it, more than once.
Seeing the lights come on when players and parents realize just how good they can be with the proper mentality and techniques, and it was there all the time. It had just not been told or shown to them. You still paid, though.
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I Was a 1st time user of the Lessons.com website looking for instruction for my 8 yr old son. Luckily I got a message back from Coach Russ. First thing I noticed is his love for coaching. He is very knowledgeable about techniques that teaches kids the right way. He is very patient and encouraging to my son, and I have seen the results right away. My son loves to go to lessons from him, and we still use coach Russ. I would 100% recommend him for any age. I promise you that you won’t regret it.
Russ Hortman has an unique characteristic about himself that I believe every child should get a glimpse of themselves. He is a man that is very caring for the success of community and youth that are going through a hard time on the baseball field and beyond. I played baseball with his son. We had a very talented team and we went on to have numerous accolades that season that I’m still proud of till this day. I played catcher for my team, but I lost my confidence mid-season when trying to throw runners out. I feared I was a weak link on my team, and as a catcher you never want to believe that. You are an unspoken leader and I feared I was letting my team down by failing at my task. Mr. Hortman came to me and asked if he could work with me. I didn’t hesitate to accept the offer. I loved competing and I always want to the best at every craft I pick up in life. All it took was a few hours in a church gym and I learned so much about character, and how to conquer that fear to gain my confidence back. I ended the season with all-district acknowledgement. I believe that would have never happened without the help of Mr. Hortman, and I still thank him to this day. For the last out of baseball I played, I caught a runner trying to steal second to retire the side. That bittersweet moment was thanks to him. He has so much knowledge that can be transferred, on and off the field, and the mentality he taught me that night in the church gym is something I continue to use in my life today. Clark Mangun-Liberty
My name is Matthew Williams and my son Andrew has been playing baseball for many years under the direction of numerous coaches. He is currently a junior at Liberty High School playing on the varsity team doing duties primarily as pitcher and outfielder. Over the years he has played most positions and has a great set of skills. For at least 2 years during his junior high years Andrew had the opportunity to be coached by Russ Hortman. “Coach Russ” is one of the best coaches that he has ever had. Coach Russ was able to teach the skills both basic and advanced that have lead him to be the ball player he is today. Russ has the ability to assess and explain the skills in a way that any player can understand. He focuses on the fundamentals of throwing and hitting that many other coaches seem to gloss over. I have seen him take a player that was struggling and after a few minutes of intense review and teaching, correct issues that had been limiting their performance. Often he would identify actions that the player was doing, and had been doing for years, that were so obvious that they should have been corrected years before. He would then give them straight forward instructions as to how to correct and improve. On several occasions I saw players improve so much that they or their parent would ask him for further instruction at a later date. Russ is not the first baseball coach that Andrew has had, but if you were to ask him to name the single most important coach he has ever played for, I am sure it would be Coach Russ.
Finding their strengths to build on, and fears/weaknesses to address while turning those very weaknesses into powerful aspects of a player's game. If a catcher, for example, is scared of having to throw to second every time a runner is on first (because of lack of that specific skill), it will change the way he/she thinks and reacts to each routine pitch. This causes undo stress and needless errors with simple elements (simply blocking a pitch in the dirt, for instance) because of worry. If, on the other hand, the player masters throwing to second, they will be excited to see someone try to steal. Now they are free mentally to perform all tasks at a higher level.
I have coached two son's teams at every age level from 7 yo to 14 yo. I have developed techniques that have made them and other players successful. At the same time I have researched, watched, and picked the brains of other coaches. I study to improve myself and the players.
I have just always helped wherever I could and never asked for anything. Now I am moving in to the arena of coaching for a living and am asking $50 per session. Those sessions can be however long it takes to get a concept through to the point a player can go home and practice and develop elevated work habits.
My oldest was at an 11U Select tourney and struck out 4 times against a pitcher he should have hit, and easily. It occurred to me that he did not have a mental outlook and physical system to adequately take on any type pf pitcher he may come up against. I vowed then to study to help that not happen again. He turned out to be a switch hitting/All District/Team Leading hitter through years of travel team and high school ball. He would have played at the collegiate level, but chose a different path. (He was a two-time State Choir member and is at Sam Houston on a music scholarship) But he can still hit with the best of them, for power and average, as can his little brother.
Boys teams from all ages have forced me to relate to every type of player.
When my oldest finished his All-District high school career as a switch hitting almost .500 hitter.
Find a coach seeking to make you the best you can be as a player with your skill set, not a coach looking to make themselves the center piece of the experience. The focus is on the player, leave it there.
What are my goals, and what price, physically and mentally, am I willing to pay. In other words, how hard do I want to work and apply myself toward goals I and my parents have developed together.