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What Should I Do if my Coach Tells me Something Different Than what I Learned Online?

catching coach Jan 31, 2024

In the world of sports, especially in baseball, receiving varied coaching advice is not uncommon.

What do you do when your coach's guidance seems to conflict with that of what you are learning online?

This is a common dilemma many young athletes and their parents face.

Here’s a case in point: a parent of a catcher recently reached out to me about their son being advised against adopting the triple threat position in his pre-pitch.

Instead, his coach wanted him to keep his glove up the whole time, contrary to what they've learned from me.

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Understanding the Coach’s Perspective

First and foremost, it’s crucial to acknowledge that your coach, who writes the lineup, has their own perspective and you should ultimately do what they say while you are playing from them.

Their approach and strategies are typically aligned with the team's overall goals.

However, understanding their rationale is equally important.

Here’s how you might approach it with an open dialogue:

Politely ask the coach to explain their reasoning. A question like, “Can you help me understand what makes it better for me to keep my target up the whole time?” opens up a constructive conversation for you to understand their perspective more.

Common Concerns from Coaches

Often, the coach’s advice stems from certain concerns.

The coach's worries are usually to help you play your best.

From the example above of keeping the target up, some of those concerns may include:

  1. Glove Movement: They might believe that too much movement leads to missing the ball.
  2. Good Target: The assumption could be that without a visible target, pitchers who are already struggling might find it more challenging to throw strikes.
  3. Focus on Catching: The coach might prioritize catching the ball effectively over receiving it back to the zone.

The better you can understand the coach’s concerns, the better conversation you can have.

“So What Do I Do?” - Balancing Different Perspectives

In situations like these, it’s a balancing act:

  • Practice Both Techniques: Continue practicing the technique they don’t agree with, but you believe to be right at home. This keeps you versatile and adaptable.
  • Follow the Coach’s Advice in Games: During official practice sessions and games, adhere to what your team's coach prefers. This shows respect to your coach and will help you get in the lineup.
  • Talk to the Coach about the Differences: Continue to have an open dialogue with the coach and ask if you can send ideas back and forth about it. In this case, you can send them some of my videos!

Next Steps for Young Athletes

Navigating through different coaching styles and techniques can be challenging but also an opportunity for growth.

But remember, your coach wants you to perform well in the game. If only because they want to win.

So try to get on your coach’s side rather than combatting them or saying “my coach is dumb.”

Get in the mindset where you can work together on figuring out the best way to improve.

Remember, the goal is not just to follow instructions but to understand the "why" behind different techniques.

This understanding will enable you to make the best decisions on the field and contribute effectively to your team’s success.

If you’re a catcher who wants to get better, you need to check out CatchCORE - a 4 week catching transformation program.

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