Player's Guide to Dealing With Coaches

Part of organized sports is having a coach. Chances are, when it's all said and done, you'll have crossed paths with dozens of them.

It's not discussed much, but trust me: it's in your best interest as a player to know how to deal with them.

Just like a snowflake, every coach is different. They all have different methods, techniques, and styles. And just about all of them think they're way is the right way. It's your job to play anyway, not coach.

Many Coaches, One Player

The question is, how do you process the (often conflicting) information of different coaches, while at the same time play "your" game, while at the same time remain "coachable?"

Tough question. It's a razor's edge you're going to have to walk. You don't want to be the guy who talks back and has all the answers.

You want to be the guy who plays hard and listens. That being said, you have to know yourself and know when to stick to your guns.

The Secret to Being Coachable

So here's my suggestion. Listen respectfully with open ears to the coach...and keep your trap shut.

Maybe he does have a point. Honestly try what he wants in practice. Give it time.  Ask yourself if his technique is making you a better or worse athlete. After a while, evaluate and adjust.

The fact is, you're never gonna find success if you're flip flopping techniques all the time anyway.

Just as seed will never mature if you keep digging it up to see if it's growing. You've got to commit to a direction and honestly evaluate if you're getting better or worse after a while.

For you, nothing will speak louder than improvement and success - regardless of how you got there. And trust me, no coach is going to mess with success.


Brent Mayne is a 15-year veteran of the Major Leagues. He ranks 75th in the history of baseball with 1,143 pro games caught, and his .993 career fielding percentage is 4th all-time. Brent is the author of the book "The Art of Catching"--a comprehensive guide to teaching and building defensive catching skills.

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