When a player of mine made a mistake on the field, I frequently would ask the following question when he came off the field.
“Do you know what you did wrong?“
For my older players and even some of my little league players, very often the answers were along these lines:
- “Yeah, I was late getting the bag on the throw and was off-balance.”
- “Yeah, I tried to jack that 2-0 pitch and my swing got too loopy.”
- “Yeah, I slowed my arm down on that change-up.”
That’s because these players knew how the proper mechanics and procedures uniquely feel to them. When their body did not perform them, they knew it immediately. They didn’t need me to tell them and they certainly didn’t need me to yell at them. They knew what went wrong before the play even ended.
No coach will know what it feels like when your body performs something on the field. The coach may have played a lot himself but he has never seen the game through your eyes nor has he experienced it with your body. Only you have. Your body is unique to you. It’s another reason why I rarely talk about universals in baseball when it comes to technique and mechanics. What feels right to one player may not feel right to another.
Pay close attention to what your body is telling you during workouts and games. A new technique or mechanic you are trying will naturally feel awkward for a while until it becomes second nature. However, if you have given a new movement adequate time and it still a) doesn’t produce results, and b) still doesn’t feel right, it’s probably time for an adjustment.
A coach is monitoring the needs of all the players on the team. Only you are uniquely qualified to monitor yourself 24/7.
Do so and you could potentially be the best coach you ever had.