Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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June 14, 2020  

Andy Haines- MLB Hitting Coach, Milwaukee Brewers

June 14, 2020
This episode is brought to you by Marvbands. Use code AOTC for 10% off of team sets!
Today we have on Andy Haines, MLB hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Andy is in his his second season in the Brewers organization. Prior to joining the Brewers, spent one season as assistant hitting coach with the Chicago Cubs...Under Haines (and hitting coach Chili Davis), the Cubs led the National League in batting average and ranked second in on-base percentage in 2018...Served Chicago as minor league hitting coordinator from 2016-17... Spent eight seasons with the Miami Marlins, where he joined the organization in 2008 as Rookie GCLMarlins hitting coach. On the show we discuss the differences in working with big leaguers and minor leaguers and amateurs, we go over gameplanning, pre game routines and it all ties back into gaining trust with players. You’re going to love this episode with Andy Haines
Intangibles- Joan Ryan
Its your ship- Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
Obstacle is the way- Ryan Holiday
Show notes from Zach Casto
  • The best coaches are good teachers.
  • You will grow along with your players.
  • The more an athlete plays, the game will teach the athlete about himself.
  • The player will understand himself well the longer he plays.
  • “The problems the players has when younger are the same ones he will have when he’s older.”
  • You need to strengthen the weaknesses and maintain the strengths.
  • This is difficult so it requires patience.
  • Ask for the players to want to get better each day and be willing to be coachable.
  • One of the best things you can do for an athlete who is struggling is to ask them about experiences other than baseball.
  • This shows that you aren’t worried.
  • Think about on a daily basis on ways to improve each of your group of players every day.
  • “The teacher will show up when the student is ready.”
  • Understand your players when they are at their best and worst.
  • This helps you ready their body language and actions.
  • If you don’t have an answer to a question, tell the athlete you aren’t sure but tomorrow I will be.
  • Be authentic with players and honest.
  • You want to show confidence.
  • Allow the players to provide answers and their opinion on things in order to help them become their own best coach.
  • Players want an impactful coach and someone who is in there with them.
  • Great leaders are great communicators (verbal and nonverbal).
  • Great leaders are also authentic.
  • Be willing to tell your players that you don’t know and you’ll find out.
  • Follow through with finding out and give the answer.
  • Players will trust you more if you do this.
  • Test your players by asking them questions to gain their input.
  • This shows that you’re invested.
  • The hardest guy to help is the athlete who is an elite player.
  • Data tells you what direction to go, but it does not tell you what to do.
  • Data will tell you where the player is at and where he needs to go. But we need to realize what to do next to help the player go in the right direction.
  • You can improve a player based off of player comparison.
  • Example: Show the top 10 players in one area and compare it to the player you’re with and ask them why they are struggling in that area.
  • We also have to have a lot of content knowledge in order to give a prescription and piece of advice that is going to help the player.
  • As coaches it is our job to keep pushing our players to be their best as consistently as possible.
  • Understand that hitting is reactionary so it’ll be different for each player.
  • Technology tells a story and which direction to go.
  • Find the most consistent mistakes based off of data and work on that.
  • Players need to find ways to solve problems that the game presents.
  • Find out the area of where the hitter hits the ball the hardest.
  • If there is data on a hitter’s weakness then the pitching staff will pitch to the weakness and not mess around.
  • On the other hand, understand the pitch profile of the pitcher and work on that in the cage to work it off of the machine.
  • Players have two choices, hit to his strengths or fight based off of how the hitter will be attacked.
  • Ensure that one on one discussions have intent and helpful.
  • Players need to have conviction, sticking with that, and also letting the last pitch go and have a plan to go for the next pitch.
  • Hitters and always turn around a two strike count into a hitter’s count.
  • “When guys are going well challenge them. When guys are not going well coddle them more.”
  • Players need to focus on their timing, rhythm, and pitch selection when struggling rather than their swing.
  • “You can’t let the results dictate everything.”
  • Don’t back off on them either. Always keep the energy.
  • Hitting the ball in the air is prevalent due to shifts.
  • Try to hit line drives over the infielders heads and into the outfield. Trying to hit the outfield grass on a line.
  • Watch how the defense is playing you. This can tell you how you’ll be pitched and how to keep the inning going to get a hit.
  • “Getting on base is king.”
  • Find a way to get on base no matter how it is.
  • On base percentage is super important.
  • Hits go up when hitters aren’t shifted on.
  • Players need to be invested in their process and routines.
  • Have the players show you the routine and process.
  • Let them perform their routine until they struggle. When they struggle go in and adjust their routine to help them.
  • “Have clarity every day regardless of the results.”
  • Don’t overwork to create problems that aren’t there.
  • Be available for your players and let them know your hours so that they can come in and get extra work in.
  • It takes everyone to develop a hitter.
  • Be holistic about it.
  • Find out the best way for each hitter.
  • Each body is different than the others.
  • Stay current but also make sure the new ideas used are clearly understood.
  • You can’t underestimate the importance we hold with our athletes.
  • “Treat a person as they should be and watch who they become.”