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Friday, February 11, 2011

Baseball Batting Coaching Conceptions: How To Connect With Your Players

Baseball Batting Coaching Conceptions: How To Connect With Your Players
By John McDuffy

I want you to think about all the coaches you have ever experienced in your lifetime. What do all the best coaches have in common? Is their overwhelming knowledge of the game, their ability to deal with adversity, or are they just simply the best communicators? I am going to go with the latter. In my experience, the best coaches are always the best communicators. I don't care how knowledgeable you are, if you cannot connect with another human being and help them to understand how to get better, then you are back to square one. If you are like most of us out there, we need a lot of work on our communication skills which is why I wanted to share 7 sure fire communication techniques that will help you become a better communicator in your next batting practice session.

#1: Play the why game. You remember this game as a kid. You ask your parents a question, they answer, and then you ask why? This may be annoying for parents, but asking a lot of questions goes a long way in your baseball batting sessions. The more questions you ask, the more you learn about your players. The more you learn about your players, the easier it is to understand what hurdles are holding them back. What do you feel you need work on? How did that swing differ from the previous one? These are just two powerful questions that you can use to help educate your player on what will take his batting skills to the next level. If you find yourself talking at your player, revert back to more questions.

The second baseball batting coaching strategy revolves around emotion and temper. Player emotions will always run high; it is in their nature. Performance feels very personal and when you?fail? it can be very embarrassing and self-deflating. This is exactly why your relaxed confident nature must never change. If you get frustrated and raise your tone you are only going to add pressure to the situation and fuel the fire. One of the main responsibilities of a batting coach is to ease player tension and get them back to a relaxed state so they can perform at a high level. Keep in mind that your frustration is a result of your lack of ability to help your player make the batting adjustments necessary. If you remain relaxed and positive, so will he.

#3: Change what you say. I was once told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If this is your fifth baseball batting training session and your player is still struggling to understand what you are teaching, change the words that come out of your mouth. It?s ridiculous to think that repeating yourself over and over again is eventually going to work. If you truly believe that, tape record yourself and play it back every time you meet because it will save you the trouble of talking! Be creative in your approach and find what connects with your player. Every player learns differently. If you find the sayings that connect with him, then you find the key to creating a better swing.

Batting Training Communication Technique #4: Give your players permission to fail. That's right, I said it! To many coaches and players believe that failure isn't an option. To that I say,'Good Luck!' Not only is failure an option, it's going to happen 7 out of every 10 times at the plate. Have fun trying not to fail! The real problem lies in the term failure which is why I want to give you a great quote from Thomas Edison. Yes, the guy who invented the light bulb.?I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.? Get the idea! Every baseball swing, good or bad, is a learning experience. Every failure just gives you a better idea of what not to do and gets you one step closer on what to do. Unfortunately, most people take failure personally instead of using it as a learning experience.

Batting Training Communication Technique #5: It's a two way street. You can improve your coaching by receiving feedback from your players. If you are going to dish it out, you have to be able to take it. Ask you players what you could do better to help them achieve their goals. If you go in with an open mind and take good notes, players will let you know what hurdles they are facing. By exposing any issues that are on the table, you can work together fix any issues. Working together towards a common goal creates a stronger bond and builds trust.

Batting Training Communication Technique #6: Be lavish in your praise, and short to criticize. This is an old sales technique. People like to know that they are making progress and are doing a good job. On the flip side, players hate to be criticized and will resent you for it. It has nothing do with you, it's just the way of the world. If you want to get your players to work harder, be lavish in your praise. Reward your players for the smallest accomplishments in your baseball batting training sessions and they will work twice as hard to get better.

Batting Training Communication Technique #7: Baseball is fun, make a joke or two. A lot of comedic things happen the baseball field. Let your players know that it is okay to laugh when something is funny. I have played for too many coaches who take the game to serious. Players play their best baseball when they are relaxed and enjoy the game. If you find things are getting a bit too tense, add some humor to the situation. After all, the reason you start playing the game is because it is fun.

The best baseball coaches are teachers of the game and learn just as much from their players, as their players learn from them. By using the techniques you have learned here today, you will not only become a better communicator, but will have a more rewarding coaching experience. Bridging the gap of communication will allow you build a much stronger bond with the players around you. If you want to take your players talent to the next level, take your communication to the next level.

Get more effective batting lessons from our blog! When you want to improve your baseball batting skills, you can get the complete information you need today!

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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