Are you grooming “A” players?
We all want our programs to develop great players. We want them to learn the game and be able to apply what they’ve learned in game situations. We’d also love to have our players get an opportunity to play beyond the high school or even the college level.
Knowing that …
- How well is your program doing in terms of player development?
- What kind of players are you developing?
- How successful are your players when they leave your program and play at the next level?
Quite often, coaches (as well as outsiders) judge a program’s success by how well their teams do at their particular level. Some programs routinely perform very well in terms of wins, losses, and championships but don’t seem to pass many players on to the next level. Other programs, without all the championships, seem to consistently get players into the next level who perform very well.
An analogy involves how schools are rated. We all know that high school grades and GPA can be misleading depending on where the student went to school. Some schools have a much more rigorous curriculum than others. What is more revealing would be how well does one high school’s graduates do in college compared to another high school’s graduates? In other words, which high school prepared their kids better for the next level? Of course, this same principle can apply to sports as well. Wins, losses, and championships only go so far in determining the success of a program in terms of how well they develop players.
If we rate players like we do students, an “A” player, in my opinion, is one that hits the ground running every time they step on the field. They think for themselves and require very little coaching once the games begin. They not only have talent but they have the smarts, instincts, and “baseball IQ” to go along with their talent. They know where to be, they see things the average player misses, and they have a working understanding of the finer points of the game and can apply it when needed on their own. B and C players have talent. Sometimes just as much (sometimes even more!) than the A players. What they don’t generally have is the same ability to think for themselves. These players can be exhausting for coaches because they require constant coaching every step of the way and never seem to grasp the game within the game.
So ask yourself these questions:
- Do you seem to be more tired/exhausted after games than your players?
- Are you constantly frustrated about a lack of player understanding of the game?
- Do you complain that there just isn’t enough time to teach everything your players need to know?
If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, you may be inadvertently developing B/C players. There are many ways to start changing that in order to develop A players. In the near future, I will be adding a seminar which will give some tips on how to get this done to develop “A” players.