Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Coaching the modern player

October 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching

St. Louis Cardinal manager Mike Matheny once said that when he was growing up, he was told that “the coach is right even when they are wrong.”  Although I was not told that quote, I learned the same principle growing up as well.  You respect authority because, well … just because.  The “modern day player” that old school coaches can’t stand doesn’t always see it that way.  Of course, as many of you coaches already know, this presents challenges for us all the time.

Pirates 3rd base coach Nick Leyva was asked at a coaching clinic about Clint Hurdle, his Pirate manager.  Leyva said that Hurdle has a great feel for the modern player.  He went on to list the three things all coaches must do now before they can reach the modern day athlete.  Here they are.

  1. Earn their trust.
  2. Prove to them that you can make them a better player.
  3. Show them you care about them as a person

Coaches from yesteryear might scoff at that list.  They never had to earn anyone’s trust.  They got it as soon as “coach” was placed next to their name.  They also never felt the need to prove anything to anyone.  And when it came to showing someone they cared, a swift kick to the rear end (literally) is all it took.

Like it or not, times are changing.  The modern athlete is changing so coaching must change as well.  Start putting more emphasis on those three things listed above and you’ll be on your way to better relations with today’s baseball players.

Tomorrow’s post:  Improve your defense near a batting cage

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