Episode 3 – Working With Hitting Coaches
Today we are going to talk about hitting, and how we can work with athletes who are also seeing a hitting coach in addition to being coached by you. How do you ensure that your athlete is getting everything they can out of your coaching and having a private hitting coach at the same time.
You can have a positive effect on how your athletes bring what they learn from a private hitting coach into your game. The easiest way to help your player is to attend at least one or two sessions that they have with their hitting coach. You might contact the hitting coach in advance to let them know you will be there. Introduce yourself and let them know that the athlete they are working with is on your team and you are there to gather information of what they are learning, so that you can help to maximize their hitting during games. You are not there to criticize their coaching or to judge what they are doing. You are only gathering information.
After you have observed and can see what is being taught, you can then compare it to your hitting philosophy and see if there are any differences which there likely will be. The important thing to remember however is that your player is the one that needs to execute her swing effectively so you need to focus on her performance and not how you think it should be done. If the mechanics that she is learning are different from yours, first ask yourself how the player is doing at the plate and then you can ask the player or the hitting coach why they use those mechanics and try to find out if maybe there is a scientific or biomechanical reason they are using that “style”.
If you can establish a working relationship with your athlete’s hitting coach, then you can help to either reinforce what they are learning, or you can discuss what you might need to clarify with them. Become an enabler of her success at the plate. This will only help her, AND your team.
Sometimes coaches have difficulty though because they feel like they can do the job themselves and that hitting coaches just mess up the athletes swing. The truth is that it’s very difficult for coaches to have enough time to work with everyone with the same amount of time so it can be a good thing for your players to seek additional help. Encourage them to keep you informed so that everyone is on the same path and you can reinforce her success and confidence and her contribution to the teams offense.