Baseball Magazine

Matching the Technique to the Player

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Let’s say you are a self-defense instructor who needs to teach a class how to get up off the ground fast with their hands in front of their face to protect against another hit.  You explain to the class that they have to get up without using their hands (the hands never touch the ground) so that the hands stay in

If this kid hits BB's, do you really care what his stance looks like?

If this kid hits BB’s, do you really care what his stance looks like?

front of the face.  Note: if you’ve never done this, give it a try.  It’s not so easy, especially if you are not in good shape.  Now let’s say a very large, out of shape guy with a bad knee comes up to you and says “I can’t get up that way.  My body won’t allow me to.”  Are you going to say “Get in shape and come back in six months.”?  I hope not.  That’s because the guy might get attacked tomorrow and has to do something that will allow him to get up.  The point is … a good instructor needs to sometimes tailor the technique to meet the needs of the student.

Now let’s relate this to baseball.  How many coaches force all their players to hit, bunt, pitch, hold a change-up, etc. the same way?  What happens when a players says “Coach, the way you want me to hold the change-up just doesn’t work in my hand.”  Are you going to say “Keep practicing until you get it right.“?  The kid may indeed need more practice but I hope that’s not all you’d say.  

Hopefully, you have several variations of techniques so that if the kid needs to bunt, throw a change-up, etc. in the very near future that he can find a way to be adequate before that time comes.

Good coaching involves sometimes changing the technique to meet the needs of the player.  Forcing every player to do it the same way no matter what the results tends to be counter productive.  

And besides … if he consistently gets the bunt down in the proper spot, do you really care how he does it?

Tomorrow’s post: Step by step to smooth


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