Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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June 1, 2020  

Andy Barkett- 2018 World Series Champion Assistant MLB Hitting Coach, Boston Red Sox

June 1, 2020

This episode is brought to you by Marvbands. Use code AOTC for 10% off of team sets!





Today we have on 2018 World Series champion, Andy Barkett. Andy was an assistant MLB hitting coach with the Boston Red Sox in 2018-2019. On the show, we talk about how to earn trust with our players, why learning their routines is important, we discuss game-planning, approach and why Andy thinks that hitting coaches are basically part time psychologists. You’re gonna love this episode with Andy Barkett!



Foundations of Coaching Professional Hitters


Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

  • Players will always remember what you did for them.
  • Those individuals will be their influences in life.
  • There is people along the way to help their players in life and in the field.
  • The best teams put their egos to the side.
  • They also learn, grow, and work together
  • Playing everyone’s playlist during batting practice helps build conversations amongst the players.
  • When the players are comfortable together they will coach each other.
  • When in the cage the preparation needs to be based on who you’re facing.
  • It will also be about guys focusing on zoning in on their damage zones.
  • “Pass the baton.”
  • This means everyone doing their job in the offense to keep the inning going.
  • These are unselfish at bats.
  • Every team is different every year.
  • When you have a team mentality, the chance for pressure to take away your at bat goes away.
  • The hardest part is getting everyone to put their egos to the side.
  • It’s a process that has to happen every year.
  • To establish trust with all of the players: be authentic, transparent, and show that you don’t know all the answers.
  • Ask the players for answers.
  • This shows you value their input.
  • Ask the players about how their life and families are going and doing.
  • If the players thoughts aren’t focused then the results of the athlete will be sporadic.
  • Find out what’s going on, talk to them, and get them focused.
  • Players want coaches who are invested in their careers.
  • “When you see the players singing each other’s songs, you’ll know they are focused and comfortable around each other.”
  • What separates players is the work ethic, lack of complacency, and search for greatness.
  • Example: JD Martinez practices bad at bats and simulated them after the game to realize how to adjust.
  • The best players have their own process and are always working.
  • They trust their process as well.
  • The hitting coach needs to especially be an offensive coordinator.
  • There should be a constant stream of information between the hitters and hitting coach.
  • Players want to know what exactly they need to know to have success.
  • They need to know where to attack each pitcher.
  • Example: anything low stay off, anything high smash it.
  • You need to be able to verbalize the plan based off of the language of the player.
  • It’s important for the coach to talk to the players about their processes.
  • The athlete must have a why behind everything they do.
  • As coaches we need to learn the processes of each player.
  • You want to serve the players as best as you can.
  • Players and coaches need to speak ideas freely because it’s about helping the team as a whole.
  • Don’t waste time. Have a plan and stick to it.
  • Players appreciate this.
  • You want a barbershop mentality.
  • This means you accommodate for all of the processes of the player and as they come in the cage will he set up for the individual hitter
  • To gain the trust of everyone it comes down to communication
  • Players need to know you’re there to help the player better.
  • “You need to remember you’re serving the players.”
  • When players are struggling they want their coaches to be positive and tell stories and advice to relate to them.
  • “The biggest opponent in baseball is self doubt.”
  • A plan in a game will stay the same, but the approach can be adjustable.
  • “The game is the best teacher.”
  • This will help the athlete learn their feels and where to adjust and work.
  • In the middle of the game, talk to your players about what you see and have the players discuss about the adjustment being made.
  • For competition have game like at bats with the machine.
  • Keep points within the game like at bats.
  • This creates competition and game like experiences for players to create feels.
  • “Find time every day to improve yourself as a coach and as a person.”