Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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August 22, 2019  

Michael Earley- Hitting Coach, Arizona State University

August 22, 2019

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During this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I interviewed Michael Earley, Assistant Coach and Hitting Coach for the Arizona State University. Coach Earley shares his typical training drills, how he approaches batting practices, how he handles players of various skill levels and, the types of tech that he finds useful. Michael Earley also discusses decision training as well as self-scouting. 

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • How did Michael Earley get involved in baseball coaching?   
  • What does a typical week of training look like? 
  • What do you decide to work on during training with the smaller groups of players?  
  • Coach Earley provides a review of working with first-year players and laying down the groundwork for them.  
  • Are their training drills that all players can do every day?
  • What types of angle tosses do they do? 
  • What kind of culture does Coach Earley work to build and how do they do it? 
  • What is Michael looking for when they start training in the fall? 
  • How does he work with players to prepare them for harder game situations without overwhelming them? 
  • How does he go about ‘decision training’ for his players to make better swinging choices at the moment? 
  • What are qualities that he sees in elite players that he tries to recreate in his team? 
  • What types of tech is beneficial to players? 
  • How does Coach Earley approach self-scouting? 
  • How does he set up batting practice for his players? 
  • Is there something that Michael has learned lately that has him really excited?  
  • What is something that his players do in training that they love? 
  • What is something that Coach Earley believes that other coaches may disagree with?
  • Is there anything about Michael’s training that would stand out to people?  
  • What are some of Michael Earley’s favorite books and resources that have benefited his coaching? 

3 Key Points:

  1. Coaches need to know when to listen to players, when to dictate instructions to them, and when to hold them accountable.  
  2. Build a baseball team’s culture starts with recruiting. 
  3. Have a plan before you step into the game instead of relying on other people’s reports. 

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “We do it a little different I think, just because we have the weather and we have two fields. So, we are always able to hit on the field. We hit outside every day. We start in the cage, but we are always outside hitting.” – Michael Earley (02:40)
  • “I can’t coach 15 guys at once. So, when I can get them down to groups of 3 or 4, it makes it more personal, you learn the guys more.” – Michael Earley (03:22)
  • “You lay down the foundation of the daily stuff, and you’ve got to be willing to make adjustments. You’ve got to be willing to listen to them and you‘ve got to be willing to tell them to be quiet, this is the way it’s going to be.” – Michael Earley (06:58)
  • “We bring in guys that live and die baseball. If you come to Arizona State you are going to get a great education. But if you come here, you love to play baseball.” – Michael Earley (15:48)
  • “I think that the best way to train is to train as close to game-like as possible. I think there is room for the easy stuff because that stuff makes you feel good, and confidence in hitting is everything.” – Michael Earley (20:24)
  • “I think as a coach, you have to be willing to sacrifice some of your life and your time just to make them better.” – Michael Earley (21:45)
  • “My biggest thing that I look for in every guy is how their back leg works.” – Michael Earley (33:39)
  • “I want to say quote-unquote we are data-driven, it’s more of like data-supported.” – Michael Earley (39:00)

Resources Mentioned: