The Questionable Baseball Guru
For those out there who want to be known as a baseball guru, without really being one, do some or all of the things listed below, and I am sure some people will believe you.
First, I try not to act like one of those people who believe they know more than others do. Most baseball coaches, as me, are just out to help kids, with some trying to make a living at it, so to criticize their and my livelihood is not fair or my intention. However, occasionally I laugh about some coaches who teach the game of baseball. So with tongue somewhat in cheek, following are coaching practices that annoy me, but not to the point where admiration for those type coaches still does not exist.
Baseball Guru Secret # 1
Tell everyone you know, especially prospective clients, that you work with so and so, who is tearing it up, but never mention the probably more clients who struggle. I don’t care how good a coach is; the game of baseball is not easy and many fail even with the best of instruction. Just notice the struggles of major league players, and they have instructors who have made a lifetime of coaching. Coaches should be careful of giving the impression they help everyone, as no one does or can. One can show players how to hit, but coaches cannot make them hit, or hit for them, so guaranteeing success is false advertising. If a coach only speaks of how well all of his players are doing, do not believe him or her.
Baseball Guru Secret #2
Take credit for the great players you worked with even though no one could screw them up and even if you did not help them at the time. We are all guilty of riding on others coattails, but coaches should be careful of getting a big head over the great players, as they would be great no matter what. Along the same line, going out and recruiting the best players available, winning most of the time and acting like one is a great coach does not fool anyone, the best talent usually wins, no matter the coach. That is not meant to take away from those who have earned the right to coach the best.
Baseball Guru Secret #3
Use terms no one else does – This is my favorite baseball guru-coaching device. It always cracks me up to hear coaches use new terms for the same things that have been taught for a hundred years in order to sound more intelligent. So if you want to sound like a sure fire baseball guru, instead of using words for body parts and mechanics that kids understand, use alternate words for basic things that make one sound super knowledgeable, though not very effective.
Baseball Guru Secret #4
Pretend to know things others do not – even though the game has been around for a long, long time, having secret formulas for running throwing, and hitting makes one sound super intelligent, so be sure and whisper them, and make people pay for them. Once again, I am all for people trying to make a living, and for sharing the knowledge one has, but not by acting as if they have reinvented the wheel, because there is only one wheel inventor; I believe. Others are teaching the same things, just without calling them secrets.
Baseball Guru Secret #5
Talk old school/new school – “They or I use to teach that, but not any more” is always a good line for the baseball guru and makes them seem up to date. Of course, that is just another way of saying you have the latest secrets. The problem is that the instruction of yesterday may have been as good as or better than the way things are now. Looking at the state of the highest levels of the game today, with lower batting averages, more strike out hitters, and the numerous arm injuries in today’s game, makes one wonder if the teachings of yesteryear may not have been better.
Baseball Guru Secret #6
Tell them how good you were when you played – establishing one’s background and success in the game is often necessary, but not to the point of bragging to the degree that players feel you are saying it is easy to do. If simply being great at something made one a great coach, all hall of fame players would be coaching. Baseball is the most difficult game that exists, and those who portend it is easy or believe just because they could do it means they can teach it should not be trusted.
Finally, the true baseball guru, if such a person exists, knows that there are no secrets or short cuts to success, along with the fact that there is always more to learn, and more than one way to coach it.