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The Best Coach You’ll Ever Have

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Coaches are absolutely great. They teach you the right way to play the game. They help you discover new skills and abilities. They help guide you to become a better hitter, pitcher, fielder, and baserunner. They discipline you, hold you accountable, and give you confidence when you need it.

But the best coach on the field isn’t labeled as a coach. The best coach on the field is in fact a player. The best coach on the field is you!

No one knows you like you do. No one has gone through all of your experiences but you. No one has been present for every single swing you’ve taken in your life but you. No one has witnessed every single throw, pitch, and groundball you’ve taken but you. You were always there.

And not only were you always there, you have a deeper understanding of yourself than any coach possibly could. Your coach can see your swing and the result. But that’s only half the picture. They can’t feel that swing. They don’t know what your thought process was going into that swing. They don’t know the small differences you felt that made that swing better or worse than the last.

But you do. You know everything about yourself. Your experiences have molded you. You remember what you were like when you were at your best. You know what you were like when you were at your worst. You have the full picture. The connection between your mind and your body that no other coach can have.

You want to be great? You have to continue to become a better coach to yourself.

Recently, I had a conversation with a college hitter I coach. I haven’t known this hitter for too long, so one of the things I like to do is ask questions. Somewhere along the line he starts talking about how he used to be a great hitter.

I was confused. “You used to be a great hitter? You aren’t now?”

He said, “Well, this year I hit .250, which is alright, but before this season I just knew I was going to go up there and hit a ball hard. This year I didn’t feel that.”

He kept going. “My hitting coach this year was big on a middle-opp approach and hitting groundballs. I never got comfortable with that approach.”

I asked him what his approach was before.

He answered, “Just to hit the ball hard.”

I asked him if it ever occurred to him that he should go back to that approach.

“Well, not until now.”

This player is a great kid. Extremely coachable, which as a coach, I really really appreciate. But it can also be detrimental. He stuck with something uncomfortable for so long that he forgot what he was like when he was at his best.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try things and take your coaches advice. He has experiences that you can use to your advantage. He might have something that works extremely well for you and can take your game to the next level. But a real coach will understand that he’s just a guide to help you discover your own greatness. YOU are the real coach. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re getting better or worse on a daily basis. You have the full picture. The coach only has half.

A good coach or instructor will understand this. They’ll work with you. They’ll implement things to help you make the full picture that you have crystal clear. They’ll guide you to get the most out of your OWN UNIQUE abilities.

I coach another hitter who loves the middle-opp approach and feels like he’s at his best when he’s thinking opposite field. He says when he tries to hit the ball hard he ends up pulling off the ball and rolling over. That’s great! Stick with the middle-opp approach and make small tweaks around it to enhance it. That works for him and he discovered that through his personal experiences. No coach should force him into the “hit it hard” approach when he’s already tried and failed with it.

Not everything is going to work for everyone. It doesn’t make you uncoachable to choose a swing or approach that you know works best for you. It’s not selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s selfish to know that you can perform better and help your team, but knowingly do something that doesn’t work as well.

As a coach, I’m totally fine with a player dialoguing with me about what works for him and what doesn’t. Why? Because I know everything that worked for me isn’t necessarily the ticket to his success.

The ticket to his success is helping him discover what works best for him. This takes some trial and error and some growing pains. But it’s also the most rewarding as both a player and coach.

The bottom line is, in order to be a great player, you need to understand the importance of knowing yourself. You know what works for you and what doesn’t. You know your thoughts. You know your feels. You know all of your experiences.

You are the best coach you’ll ever have.

 

I discuss the process of self-discovery and becoming your own best coach in my eBook, The No-Nonsense Baseball Players Guide To Peak Performance. Enter your email below and I’ll send it to you for FREE!

 

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About Brian Hamm

My name is Brian Hamm and I am all about "Baseball Development". Through my journey as a high school and college player, I always felt that a competitive advantage eluded me. I constantly researched and discovered new resources, ideas, and theories that have shaped how I coach today. It’s my goal to work relentlessly in order to give my players, clients, and coaches the biggest competitive advantage that will allow them to reach their full potential. My mission is to spread my knowledge to baseball players around the world and help change the developmental process forever.

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