Let’s face it, no one can have a coach around all the time. That would be great…almost like carrying a little man in your pocket all day. That doesn’t happen nor is it necessary.
How to be your own coach is something I hear all the time from both parents who are trying to coach their own children and players who want to improve their skills continuously. Good coaching means you give your players the information and then show them how to use it themselves. This is one coaching philosophy that I follow when I coach.
I have had major league players under me for the past 26+ years. Many Gold Glovers and some Hall of Famers! I consider myself blessed, and at the same time, I earned it also. My guys know that when we go to work, I give them the info to use themselves. The ability to make adjustments in-game is a tremendous help, and very critical at the time. I have had guys make a mistake in the game and come in and tell me what they did wrong. I just nod, pat them on the back and keep things positive. That’s when I know that I have gotten through to the player.It is for every player, even the major league players
So let’s take a look at how it is done. We will assume that the player is a willing learner and dedicated to improving himself. If either of those things is not met then we will be wasting our time.
First, learn to take notes and use them in practices.
I have had players that were going to different teams and I would have them write down a series of check points for when specific struggles start to creep in. I would tell them to go into their locker and bring out that piece of paper and look over the things we worked on and put them into practice again to get back on the right track. Almost like going to school.
It is like going to school, but only takes a few minutes of time. The ball keeps hitting off the heel of my glove must not be putting my glove down with the proper angle. Great, done deal. Next time that will not happen. I keep hitting the ball in the air instead of line drives must be dipping my shoulders and getting under the ball. Grab that piece of paper, look at it, and remember to keep front shoulder down and level off my swing. Great, done deal. That is how it should work.
For little league baseball, help the kids develop the habit when they are young. It is so hard to find good coaches that are willing to donate their time for the kids. So when you find a good one, you better take advantage of it and take some notes. I mean that!
Limit your rough times
The second key to being your own successful coach and producing player is limiting your rough times. Keep the slumps to a minimum. Keep your defensive lapses shorter. Keep your base running mistake to a fraction. That is what makes the player consistent. Consistency is the name of the game. Being able to reach into your bag of tricks when needed and pull out the answers on the spot, that is what it is all about.
Trust me, when you have that kind of feel, your confidence soars. You start playing the game more relaxed and focused. The end results become better and more frequent. That is when you really start to have fun.
So how to become a better player in baseball? Learn to be your own coach. Get started! Grab that note pad and start jotting down those key points your coach has given you. Put them in your memory. Start feeling good about the coach that is inside you!!