Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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June 8, 2020  

Anthony Iapoce- MLB Hitting Coach, Chicago Cubs

June 8, 2020

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

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Today we have on the Chicago cubs major league hitting coach, Anthony Iapoce. Anthony was named the Cubs major league hitting coach in October, 2018 after three seasons as the hitting coach with the Texas Rangers ... prior to joining Texas, he spent the previous three years in the Cubs organization as a Special Assistant to the GM while overseeing the club's minor league hitting program from 2013-15 ... Has been in a coaching/player development capacity since the 2006 season. On the show we talk about working with some of the best players in the world and how we can be an advocate for them. We talk about daily routines, which includes game planning and preparation and we get into how we can best serve all of our players. This episode is so good with Anthony Iapoce!
 
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Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto
 
  • As a coach be able to talk and help out everyone in the program that you work with.
  • Be preparedness and patience will create trust from the players.
  • You don’t want to change a swing at first.
  • Listen and watch.
  • “Players will tell you about how they want to be coached.”
  • Be patient enough for when players ask you for help, then you have a plethora of resources to help them.
  • You can learn through the honest conversations that you have with the players that they will tell you how they want to be coached.
  • This helps the athlete become their own best coach.
  • When players talk to you, you want them to be completely honest.
  • When things go well, congratulate the player.
  • Players need to trust their process and not focus completely on mechanics.
  • It’s a one pitch at a time approach with adjustments.
  • Before, after, and during the the game have a stream of communication from the whole team.
  • “Don’t underestimate that players know how to practice and can manage their thoughts.”
  • “The drill doesn’t help the player, it’s the thought process during the drill.”
  • It can be a thought process or a target on the field.
  • In practice help the player think properly.
  • Don’t ever assume that your players have heard what you’ve said constantly. Go in every day expecting that they know nothing.
  • “The more accountable a player is the quicker they will improve.”
  • What a player feels is the most important thing for them.
  • You manage this by a certain set of drills.
  • Again, the focus is the thought behind the drill.
  • Players need to practice getting hits when they aren’t on time.
  • This is possible.
  • What your thoughts are and what they are actually doing are two different things.
  • Celebrate the little victories such as a good take, a walk, a good swing.
  • Baseball beats up the player enough.
  • The hardest thing a player goes through is letting the team and themselves down.
  • Have the player focus on helping the team win and being selfless.
  • Get back to when the player feels the most confident. Get back to that place and start a connection there. So the player can feel that great feeling.
  • Preach to players to buy into a team concept of hitting.
  • Example: teach the importance of selfless at bats. Such as hitting the ball the opposite field.
  • The routine starts as soon as you get to the field.
  • What they eat, what they do, and how they prepare for the game has to be set for the player to feel confident and comfortable.
  • Each player has their set routine.
  • In the cage with a tee, Cubs player would hit off of a high tee first to get prepared for the mass amounts of high fastballs that they will see in a game.
  • Being thrown BP, work on low in the zone and working your way back up in the zone.
  • Depending on preference, players will use a set of resources to get prepared for who they are facing.
  • Example: some players will use a high velocity pitching machine, do a short bat drill, tosses.
  • You want cage flow and a set of drills so that everyone isn’t just standing around.
  • Players will appreciate organization and preparedness.
  • All great conversations happen by players talking to each other.
  • This builds an understanding between players and coaches.
  • Get to know the players:
  • Give them an assignment of using Google Earth and take a picture of the town or city the player was from. The player will talk about the town he was in.
  • Respect everyone’s cage time because everyone has a tight schedule and wants to get better that day.
  • The next best thing for coaching is really good people who can coach in everything.
  • You have to be a hybrid coach and be able to do everything.
  • Learn from experiences and formulate how you want to coach.