I have enjoyed reading some of the comments and experiences of people who are following this blog. I do understand that not everyone agrees with my opinion, and that is all I am actually offering...opinions. I do think that they are relatively educated opinions, because I ask many questions to the people who do this baseball thing for a living, and feel that our collective ideas may help some of you. With that being said, I will try to answer some of the questions that have been coming into this site. As a disclaimer, I by no means claim to be the "youth sports guru." But, you asked, so here you go.
What about lefties playing all positions?
I believe that this is an easy answer for the early developmental years. Once again, I am going to bang everyone over the head with this question...What is the end game anyhow? I hope that the answer is to teach these kids a love for sport and competition, and to help develop them in positive ways that go way beyond the baselines. If you agree with that statement, then why wouldn't you let every kid play every position on the field? If your model is trying to turn Johnny Jr. into a college recruit by the time he reaches puberty, then you may want to stop reading now, because you won't like what you are going to hear. This is not about winning games at the earliest levels. Who cares if you have a left handed catcher or shortstop? Is it fun for the kids? Then let them play wherever they want to play.
The challenge comes into the equation as the kids get older and into their teens, and they have shown that they have the ability and desire to continue playing at higher levels. Now, I may have just opened Pandora's box, because I am asking parents to determine whether or not their child has ability and desire. I hope that you will have a good sit down with your child before we go any further and make sure that it is THEIR desire, and I would encourage you to get a non biased evaluator to help evaluate the ability level of your child. If both of these boxes are checked, then I believe it is a good idea to start focusing on a couple different positions, and this would be the time for left handed players to migrate to first base, outfield and the pitchers mound. There are plenty of left handed odds-beaters who have played the other positions, but the deck is stacked against them at the higher levels. If your son or daughter just loves to play but you are realistic that their talent level is not going to take them to the next level, great, find a recreational level team and league and let the lefties keep playing all over the field until they are in their 80's.
A successful baseball career does not have to include a scholarship or a signing bonus. It does have to include having fun.