Focus is the center interest of any activity, and you can’t get it until you know everything that must be done. Coaches can always find stuff to do, but we can also be masters of wasting time. There are only seven things that my hitters are ever developing:
It takes 3,000 reps to build a habit, which means there are seven things to work on. That’s 21,000 reps.
Each part of the swing needs 1-2 simple drills to execute in order to develop a habit. There are no more than 3,000 reps required to develop your habit.
When coaches aren’t focused, they have their hitters taking swings at random, hoping that they get better under the overly used mantra, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
But you can coach your coach with this question: What parts of the swing are we focusing on this winter, and how many reps will it take to build the habit I need to meet your expectations this spring?
Patience is to wait without anger. As a coach, I find myself losing patience with my hitters when I want them to get better faster. My vision for their development must be met with patience or they will get frustrated and the development stops.
I also struggle with patience when I don’t trust my hitters are putting in the work to get good. There is no way a player will get 21,000 reps in my presence.
In order to regain my patience, I must trust my hitters adhere to the 75-20-5 Rule:
- 75 percent of a hitter’s development must happen alone and outside of the presence of a coach, parent or anyone
- 20 percent of a hitter’s development must happen in the presence of a coach
- 5 percent of a hitter’s development must happen in games where he tests what’s being worked on at practice
Commitment and discipline are two keys to success that leads to patience:
- Commitment – making and keeping a promise to yourself
- Discipline – doing the things that need to be done especially when you don’t want to do them
Coach your coach with this question: What hitting drills should I be doing at home that will prepare me for an effective practice with you and how will you hold me accountable for doing the drills Coach?
Good communication is clear, concise and consistent. Good communication is often a challenge for us for three reasons:
- We often like to hear ourselves talk.
- We often initially talk too much to buy ourselves time to figure out what we’re talking about.
- We often don’t realize there are three major learning styles.
I firmly believe that there are three major learning styles for baseball, schooling, etc. They include: kinesthetic, visual and auditory. Here’s the breakdown that I also believe exists among players at the collegiate and professional levels:
- 50 percent kinesthetic – Learn best by doing
- 40 percent visual – Learn best by seeing
- 10 percent auditory – Learn best by hearing
The most damage is done when coaches don’t understand all three of these learning styles. When a coach doesn’t understand all three, he defaults to communicate based on the way he learns.
Coach your coach with this question: What’s your dominate learning style and what do you assess that mine is?
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, CJ 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.