Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hitting Coach Awareness

Recruiting trips always offer the opportunity to watch other coaches work. Some third base coaches shuffle their feet, cross their arms and put their head down most of the time. Some are more boisterous and engaging, jumping, clapping, shouting, running. Every coach has his own 'style.'

I appreciate the "silent assassin coach" as much as the "energetic jumping bean coach."

I'm all for uniqueness, so long as that uniqueness isn't getting in the way of a hitter's confidence, short-circuiting his focus or sapping his energy.

How do you coach your hitters?

Do you show them what to do mechanically between pitches? Do you tell them what they did wrong with their last swing? Do you yell at them, "Knock this run in!"?

These are confusing, deflating comments to hitters. When a hitter reaches the batter's box, it is all about energy, commitment, trust and adjustment from pitch to pitch.

These are skills that we are responsible for teaching them...before they cross the white lines. Telling your hitters what to do during their at bat merely shows that you don't trust them. How, then, could they trust themselves?

These problems typically stem from insecurities in the coach themselves. Caring more about winning, or perhaps a bottom line, coaches put pressure on everyone around them.

Think deeply, how do you coach your hitters?

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