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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Coach and Player Relationship in Baseball - It Can Make All the Difference

Joe Mauer Quick Swing Training Machine

By John Peter Pero

This weekend I played in a celebrity golf tournament with a Big League infielder with whom I did not know prior to the outing.

Truth be told, I was penciled in and looking forward to playing with a young 2-time All Star catcher but was switched and ended up spending the day golfing with another player, one who may possibly have more career behind than in front of him. What a break for me.

I first saw him as a young Big Leaguer and kind of figured him to be a career utility guy, a 25th man. He could swing it a little but probably was not seen as a long-term solution on anybody's Big League roster.

So here he is, as likeable and casual a fellow as you could hope to play golf with, and now a better than ever ballplayer.enough so that he recently signed a healthy free agent contract.

Without meaning to pry or step over any unspoken social boundaries, I was more than curious as to what made this kind of career difference ..the kind of difference that separates having a real job from having a dream job.a starting infielder for a contending National League ballclub!

I got two answers.

1. The first was from this fine young man himself when he soberly stated the difference was working out with his new hitting coach (after being traded from the team he grew up with - the team he subsequently left for a life-changing contract that would provide for his young family). It was this hitting coach whose teachings rebuilt a swing.and a career!

2. The second was when I placed a phone call to my mentor, a retired National League scouting director. His comments were brought up from the dusty memory vaults that long time scouts all seem to have.

Without missing a beat, this old scout pulled up his mental file of the when's and where's he first saw this player, his strengths and weaknesses at that young age.comparing those with his more recent if he were laying one over the other and putting them up to the light to check for differences.

He spoke about the mind and the mindset of this ballplayer; how hard he played, how he would grind it out, giving all he had to help his team win.night after night.

And the point is... Players need to find that coach who makes sense to them. Coaches need to constantly look for ways to get through to ballplayers.helping them to develop repeatable swings, throws and catches. I favor videos (now DVDs) to help me coach, and most video titles generally describe the content.

Whether it is the mind or the body we are working to improve, a connection between coach and player is paramount to success!

Skill alone will only take you so far. Remember, every pitcher throws 90 in the Show. Every Big League hitter has a certain amount of batspeed.but you need more than that to be the best you can be at all levels of play!

Without help.and without a plan.luck is what you have. And luck is nothing to bank on!

As my buddy Steve Springer says. "If this game wasn't mental, then every 1st rounder should play 10 years in the Big Leagues. But they don't. Somebody tell me why David Eckstein (a 19th rounder) was the MVP of the 2006 World Series? No, let me tell's because he's one of the top 10 competitors in baseball!"

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Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick