To be elite and successful in baseball, you need to possess the physical tools required of the game. Having the ability to run, throw, hit and catch are all important traits as a player. However, it’s also important to be able to learn and take instruction.
Being coachable is valuable on the baseball diamond for multiple reasons. Not only can it showcase a willingness to progress, it can also illustrate your commitment to your team. Discover the importance of being coachable with these baseball tips from professional players and coaches.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE COACHABLE?
At its most simplistic form, being coachable boils down to your ability to take criticism and instruction. Despite your physical gifts on the baseball diamond, your performance might look different to other players and coaches. Oftentimes, those differing viewpoints come with suggestions and critique. How you handle that can be a key factor in how others interpret your character.
Professional pitcher Tim Melville says being un-coachable can be a black mark on a player’s profile. The inability to take critique from coaches or teammates can look bad on an athlete’s persona. “A lot of the times, the people around you see things that you might not see, so it’s always important to have your eyes and ears open to your coaches and to your catchers and your other players,” he says. “All they’re trying to do is allow you to become a better ballplayer.”
A CAREER’S WORTH OF LEARNING
It’s important to understand how to be coachable because your abilities on the field will change over time. As you progress in leagues, the game will evolve. If you’re unable to take instruction from colleagues trying to better your skill set, you could fall behind.
Former professional baseball player Jordan Pacheco credits being coachable to his growth throughout his career. “There’s so many different parts of this game that have come in since I started playing that you have to be open, you have to be coachable. You have to have the ability to try things,” he says.
Understanding how to be coachable early on in your playing career can help you evolve in the future. If you grasp that notion early, it can be easier to adjust to tougher competition down the road. Baseball is a team sport. If you’re unwilling to work together with coaches and teammates, your performance on the field could become limited.
WILLING TO GROW
Being coachable can also be a quality trait in the eyes of coaches. Understanding how to be coachable can show your coaches that you’re willing to learn. This can prove to be a huge asset to a roster, especially when times of adversity present themselves.
Professional hitting coach Jimmy Johnson says he often tries to seek out players with this trait. This can make things easier for coaches, as opposed to an athlete who thinks they have everything figured out already. “I keep looking for that boy that’s paying attention and then he comes up to me afterward and asks questions,” he says.
Being open to critique can benefit everyone on a roster and can help you lay the groundwork for future growth. If you evolve your game, then you can share the success with your teammates. “And by the time you’re done, you’ll have a really good base of what your knowledge is, and you can stay in the game of baseball forever,” Pacheco says.
A player’s ability to be coached won’t be found in a stat line, but it can be one of the most important factors of their game. With these Pro Tips, make sure you’re able to follow instruction and watch your performance grow for the better.
Want to get a head start on being coachable? Show your desire to learn and use these tips from professional coaches and players to develop your on-deck routine.