Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the importance of coaches being diligent, making and keeping promises, and giving players space to learn. I will cover the remaining two points in my next blog.
The “diligence coach” was a Frenchman’s main public conveyance. It was equivalent to its English counterpart, the stage coach. Falling into the category of a traveling coach, the solidly built coach pulled by four or more horses was used in the 1700s and 1800s to travel long distances throughout continental Europe.
- Diligence – Careful and persistent work or effort
- Persistence – Continuing in spite of difficulty or opposition
- Conveyance – The process of transporting someone or something from one place to another
- Coach – A horse-drawn carriage; a means of transportation
Before the word coach was used in sports, it was only used as a means of transportation. There was a horse and a coachman to stir the horse. The coach was where the passengers rested until they arrived at their destination.
No matter what, a good coach must be:
- Make and keep promises
- Give space to learn
No. 1 — Diligence
Diligence is the careful and persistent work or effort. Persistence is continuing in spite of difficulty or opposition. In order for our players to develop the skills and habit they need to succeed, coaches must be diligent.
What gets measured, gets done. Diligent coaches set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the team and for the season:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
An example of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal would be what leads to a win.
- S – In the game, all pitchers combined will walk less than four batters and the defense will commit four errors or less.
- M – The aforementioned lists how you will measure what needs to be done to win the game. It also helps focus coaches on how to spend their time in practice.
- A – It is an attainable in-game goal if you are diligent about working on it practice without being distracted by other goals.
- R – It is a realistic in-game goal if you are diligent about working on it practice without being distracted by other goals.
- T – With a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date, the purpose is to create urgency. This is important, because as a coach, until he or she can properly assess their players’ talent and habits and organize their practices to a point where they can be specific about the outcomes they are striving for that leads to a win, do not expect to win.
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Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.
C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.