Figure it out, meat!
This is probably the best phrase that exists in MADE Baseball. We love to use this one after we have created a solid relationship with our player. It is not something we will come out and say aggressively from the beginning of meeting a player, in fact, it is a huge sign of respect if you hear a coach say to you, “Figure it out, meat!” It means the coach believes in you and that he knows he doesn’t have to give you every little detail of instruction for you to discover how to do something on your own.
DON’T BE ANNOYING
We will lovingly say “Figure it out, meat” after we have done some coaching and made sure that our player understands what we are asking them to do. We know that if we keep repeating ourselves over and over that it is not going to help the player and will probably just serve to annoy them. I mean, ask yourself, “When my boss tells me to do the same thing over and over again, does he think I am an idiot? He already told me what to do, I just need a minute to figure it out.” This is exactly the same thing when it comes to learning certain aspects of the game of baseball.
When we put our trust in someone and stay patient, whether they are a child, a peer, a friend, a colleague, a player…we will often find that they take more ownership to what they are doing and they connect to a deeper motivation to show you that they can and will get it done. If we don’t trust them and instead overwhelm them with verbalizing our coaching and pressing them, they will often coil up and either be discouraged or just bothered.
PUMP THE BRAKES ON THE OVER-COACHING
I’ve experienced this many times because for many years I have over coached my players, or at least I feel like maybe I have. I really only have one gear a private baseball coach and it can be challenging to pump the brakes. I love helping my players and I want to give them everything I have to give, but sometimes, most of the time, they don’t need everything. They just needs bits and pieces, especially when they are really young. And in reality, they just need to be having fun. If we are over coaching and focusing too much on details when they are young, then they will most definitely be discouraged. Instead, we need to set our clear expectations from the beginning in order to be clear, we need to circle back to those expectations often so that things stay consistent, and we need to trust that our player can do it.
Share this post with a dad you know that gets fired up with his seven year old and can’t stop telling him to get his elbow up when he throws, share this with him so he can get a different perspective and possibly see that most of the time more is less and less is more.