Instincts simply are the ability to get things done without thought. And coaches coach it out of players everyday.
Instincts can come by way of knowledge and experience. Experience is so key, because failure leads to success when the bridge is the ability to make adjustments.
I have a premise about baseball that can and should be argued. Here’s how it goes:
“Baseball ain’t that hard. It gets hard for players when we as coaches talk too much, do too little and believe too much.”
Baseball ain’t like flying an airplane, performing open heart surgery or rebuilding the engine of a car. Coaches, I know it stings, but we aren’t as important as we claim to be.
Here are three ways we can coach instincts out of our players:
No. 1 – Talking too much
Talking and teaching aren’t the same thing. Teaching requires a consideration of what the end goal is, because what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done. Coaches like to talk, and often are uncomfortable with being held accountable for doing what we say we can and will do.
Teaching demands we lay out all of the stuff to learn and put it in the proper sequence to be learned. Our rambling is like gambling – success is based on luck.
No. 2 – Doing too little
Even when coaches are able to effectively teach, we often hurt our players by doing too little. Ignorance is bliss until it isn’t.
I teach that there are seven parts of the swing in sequence, and that it takes 3,000 reps per part to develop a habit:
That’s 21,000 reps. Do all of your favorite drills coach – just get the right amount done at the right time, so that you aren’t doing too little.
No. 3 – Believing too much
Belief is a powerful thing when it’s supported by teaching and doing enough.
I work out four days per week, eat healthy five days per week and get at least eight hours of sleep six days per week. Therefore, I believe I can live a long life, barring God deciding otherwise. My belief is based on my actions.
- “I believe that we are going to hit well this season.”
- “I believe that we are going to win the national championship.”
- “I believe that our players are on the right development track.”
Coaches, parents and players, what actions are you making that supports your beliefs about the upcoming baseball season?
Here are five things players can do to prevent coaches from coaching instincts out of them:
- Have a good attitude
- Be aware of your failure
- Make adjustments
- Demonstrate aptitude (ability to learn and apply)
- When all else fails, be athletic
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, 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.