I’m just gonna go out and say it!
I’m tired of baseball coaches that coach for the wrong reasons. The politics and sense of authority.
Ego driven baseball coaches have never sat well with me and vice versa. With that being said, I have had the opportunuty to interact with some highly effective baseball coaches who have been able to develope players who could:
- Reach their true potential
- Compete under pressure
- and do it on a daily basis
Look players in the eye
Ever heard of the “intangibles”? The little things that go unnoticed but have a huge impact. Have you ever thought about the influence the eyes have when communicating?
Baseball is a game of adjustments. Agreed?
No matter how talented a player is, he will need help. Though the challenge is that most players will refuse it. Which is why they need guidance that is sincere, genuine, and honest.
When you look at a player in the eye and you tell him what he needs to do in order to achieve a certain level of success, there is an unknown part of him that will recognize your true intentions as a baseball coach.
His insticnts will tell him you mean what you say, and you’re not talking because you like the sound of your voice.
He trusts this…and then is able to make that adjustment.
Don’t play the political game
You’ve seen it before. Ask any high performing coach competing at higher levels of baseball. They never deal with parents unless it deals with the welfare, education, or health of a player. There really is no relationship between a parent and coach and more importantly, playing time is NEVER discussed.
A baseball coach doesn’t nessasaryily have to run a baseball club with a “cloak and dagger” to make sure parents know their place, transparency is helpful, but a line is always drawn.
A baseball coach is to make sure two things are always happening.
- The baseball players are in an environment that promotes learning and development.
- The team is being given the best opportunity to be successfull.
What does that mean exactly? It means that each player knows his role.
There isn’t anything left in the dark and no leaf unturned. This mean when it truly counts, the best 9 players on the team are the ones on the field. Period.
Communicate expectations to each player
Communicating is important within a baseball program because it fosters trust and mutual respect. A baseball player can never learn from a baseball coach that he doesn’t like or respect.
How does an “Highly Effective” baseball coach accomplish this? Well there are a number of ways to do this but he can start with taking each player aside and laying down what he believes their role to be. If it’s a role that they don’t agree with, that is perfectly fine. Nothing is ever set in stone and the opportunity to prove oneself will come in time. Making sure a player is ready when the opportuity comes however is the responsibility of the player.
The coach’s role is to make sure they know this and to make sure they are committed to these concepts.
Communicating expectations begins with trusts and ends with responsibility.
Don’t focus on results
It’s so easy to coach a baseball team and to get caught up in wins and losses, batting averages and e.r.a’s.
It’s harder to focus on the “intangibles” because it’s harder to measure.
Here is one thing all GREAT baseball coaches know.
- A baseball season is a marathon not a sprint.
- Winning a war is always better than winning a battle.
- When a team is focused on shared goals instead of individual ones but still knows each’s individual roles, the team is always more effective.
When a coach is focused on PROCESS he has the emotional stamina and poise to make the right decisions which has a direct impact on wins and losses.
Promote fun and teach passion
In many ways a baseball coach is an “authority figure”. Players look up to the coach for guidance and positive reinforcement.
When a player get’s discrated and is unable to play at their true potential, they are getting away from their center. Reminding a player why they play the game, making it fun again allows the player’s talent to shine through. All coaches know this on some level.
A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means
– William Hazlitt
Are you a baseball coach?
What’s your teaching philosophy?
What do you think is missing in baseball development?
Share your thoughts below!