The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 6


Why Some Coaches Struggle

Trying to be the "Jack-of-all-trades"

Trying to be a "Jack-of-all-trades..."

Definition of a Coach from the Websters Dictionary:

"A person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team and

makes decisions about how the team plays during games"

I was reading a book several years back about John D. Rockefeller. He made a statement that didn't really hit me until a little while later. He basically said that he didn't know everything. His response came from the question how he became so successful at finding oil. He stated the reason he became so successful was the fact that he surrounds himself with people who are specialists. He hired the best geologists, drillers, riggers etc. He let them do their job specialty while he managed the overall project - HE MANAGED.

Most managers by nature are leaders and outgoing so it's tough to relinquish control. Some managers feel they have to take all control and make all decisions. When I myself realized I was trying to run and control every little thing and stopped - my teams became more successful. I became a true manager.

Quick example. My strenght is hitting. I know enough about pitching to help but knew I didn't know enough. So I found a pitching coach who pitched in AAA professional baseball. I listened and learn from him but allowed him to make pitching decisions. Sure I put my "two cents" in but when it came down to what needed to be done from the pitching - I let my specialist make 98% of the

decisions. I let my Assistant Manager do the

job I brought him in to do - coach pitching.

Just this past spring and summer I saw a few managers not let their assistant coaches actually coach. This includes high school and college. I don't mean they didn't let them teach - they didn't let them coach (see definition above). If you choose them to be on your staff then you have to trust your specialist to do their job. You as a manager do what your title says - MANAGE.

Yes, sometimes you have to overrule them but very few times. There are too many things going on during a game that need attention. If you try and do everything yourself you will miss things. This is why we have assistant coaches - to assist in the management of the team on and off the field

The Baseball Observer - February 2015