Over the last couple weeks at CBC we have had an influx of new clientele in a way that we really haven’t seen before. Being a business owner this is always something that we dream of, up to our eyeballs in new clients coming through the door! As amazing as this is for us it also adds a little bit of difficulty dealing with so many new clients from day to day. With every new client, we like to gather as much information as possible before we make any major changes. Some of the data includes: exit velocity, max distance, average distance, on time percentage, BLAST data, and video. However, one area that often gets overlooked is information on the person. We like to get a feel for how the athlete learns, reacts to failure, strengths, weaknesses and personality. Being a hitting coach you would probably guess the first couple data points would be best for me to examine. However valid, getting to know the clients on another level besides how they are on the field yields so much information about them which better helps us understand how they learn, attain information, get motivated, and how much to push them.
When a new client comes in I like to let them know that this isn’t going to be a session where everything they have ever done is going to be scrapped. They are not going to leave after one session where everything about their swing is going to be brand new. Most of the time they leave with no swing changes at all, and if they do it’s a minor adjustment that is more “feel” based and they do not have to think about it as much. When I first took this approach, I thought it could be counterintuitive, but what I have seen is this has actually made our path to helping hitters more efficient. There is now less time spent on trying 3 or 4 different things and seeing what works, we now have a more concentrated focus on what we are trying to do with each athlete, and the results have been amazing. I haven’t seen so many guys come in and break record after record. “Success leaves clues,” is something that I like to remember and this approach has yielded great results.
With gathering as much data and video as possible about each hitter this gives us a snapshot of where they are compared to their peer group, where we think they should be, and how we can develop a roadmap and connect the dots. Probably the greatest thing about the evaluation is seeing the hitter’s numbers go up in distance and velocity by just providing them with direct feedback of where they are at currently. So many hitters have no idea where they are at, once they find out they begin to push themselves harder than they have before and more times than not they find out they can hit the ball harder and farther than they originally thought. Providing an environment that helps athletes push themselves is so valuable because they are the ones that are navigating their own success, they are learning valuable lessons on their own. Those learned on their own always have a lasting effect vs. always coming from a coach. If we can help hitters improve during the first session without making any swing changes it starts to create a sense of trust between athlete and coach. Trust that lets the athlete know that we are not rushing to make him a clone of the guy before him, but we are carefully crafting a roadmap that we believe will lead to better things.
In the past, I will admit that I have been guilty of trying to do too much in the first session that it sometimes led to more headaches down the road. But I have learned that it is more beneficial to take a step back and take a look at what is in front of you and take your time coming up with a plan. In the end, this works better for all parties involved.
Start with the foundation in mind.
Chapman Baseball Compound
Chapman Baseball Compound is a 3,000 square foot facility where we specialize in baseball development specifically in the areas of: hitting, pitching, catching, and mental training.