Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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September 15, 2020  

David Jeans- Head Baseball Coach, De La Salle HS (CA)

September 15, 2020

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Today we have on David Jeans, head baseball coach for De La Salle HS. David is an industrial engineer by trade and after pursing that for several years, started coaching a 6th grade basketball team. This led him to coaching football at De La Salle during the Bob Ladouceur era, which is one of the most successful dynasties in HS football history. He worked his way up the ranks and became the head baseball coach in 2012. And Since 2012- De La Salle Baseball has reached title game every year, won in 12,14,16,17,18,19.
So on the show we discuss how being a football coach has helped Under coach Lad helped him to establish a “development first” program. We discuss how being an engineer has helped with with practice plan design in limited space. And we dive deep into what being Spartan looks like on a daily basis.
Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

David Jeans: Head Baseball Coach De La Salle HS

  • Being a teacher is helpful with coaching.
  • It helps you with observing your players and finding out how they learn best.
  • Being a teacher helps you have a format on helping your players to solve problems that baseball brings.
  • In high school sports it’s all about development.
  • It’s about developing the person, student, and player.
  • Focus on developing every single player in your program.
  • When coaching and teaching focus on building the person while teaching them.
  • Relationships are crucial for development of the player.
  • Have mixed practice.
  • The varsity comes on and stretches, catch play, individual defense, team defense, and then the JV comes and has BP.
  • When the JV takes BP, the Varsity takes game speed defense.
  • The goal is to not have a lot of standing around.
  • Work on getting quality reps.
  • Having a whole team practice allows for the JV players to understand the expectations of the Varsity team.
  • This also creates competition within the team.
  • Tell your players they you are preparing your athletes to be a college player.
  • Tell all of your players this.
  • Have practices that will be next level speed and a lot like a college practice.
  • Point out expectations of college programs to prepare the players.
  • More often than not the mental piece is what is lacking in underclassmen.
  • The playing piece is there but it’s the mental game that holds them back.
  • It often takes 2-3 years for the underclassmen player to be mentally prepared for the Varsity team.
  • As you’re preparing your players as coaches you are giving players tools for their toolkit to solve problems that baseball gives them.
  • Example: working on push bunts.
  • The philosophy of the team stays the same but the skill set can be changing every single year depending on the makeup of your team.
  • Tell the players on the importance of their decisions. Their decisions should be a good reflection upon the team in order to be successful on and off the field.
  • The weight room is where successful team habits start to be taught and occur.
  • Teach your underclassmen the importance of lifting, how to lift, how to play baseball, and how to take care of what they have.
  • When the players are upperclassmen then they will already be doing those habits they were taught.
  • You want your players to be empathetic, good listeners, look you in the eye, and are reliable.
  • Expect to win, play hard, and do things the right way.
  • Remind your players about how to represent the school program the right way all the time.
  • Even if you’re playing in a different program.
  • “It’s always a learning experience in sports.”
  • “The ultimate goal is to have good husbands, fathers, and family members.”
  • Have commitment cards with your players.
  • Weekly students will stand up and commit to their teammates about what they plan on doing this week.
  • Example: I’m going to run hard out of the box.
  • The hard part is being held accountable by the team.
  • The following week you’ll have to stand up and say if you did it or not.
  • This teaches accountability.
  • You need to expect your players to be able to consistently do a skill in order to have success.
  • “They are on the pursuit of mastery.”
  • You want your players to narrow down their focus in order to have success.
  • You want your players to be able to adapt within different situations in the game.
  • You need to be able to beat high velocity and good offspeed, low velocity and spin, etc.
  • Work on defeating multiple kinds of pitchers and teams.
  • It is the saying of adapt or die.
  • When you decide to adapt, it has to be a well informed decision.
  • Have competition days in practice.
  • Saturday’s are competition days.
  • Have an intersquad scrimmage on Saturday so that everyone gets their game like reps in.
  • On opponents go and scout them.
  • “Having information is huge.”
  • Having advanced knowledge on opponents gives you a better chance to win.
  • Example: 52% opportunity to win can go up to 62% due to quality preparation.
  • Face the probable pitcher on the pitching machine so that the hitters will adapt to the pitch.
  • Try to take away the pitchers number one pitch.
  • You want your players to be their own best coach and understand what they need to do to be adaptable for success.
  • You want the players to be accountable, learn from their failures, and to be adaptable.
  • Teach things as simple as possible and then allow the players to see and experience what was taught so that they can be adaptable.
  • Take away what the opponent does best. If you do that then you have an advantage.
  • Do the little things over and over so that the players are confident with their fundamentals.
  • Winning is the outcome of preparation.
  • Develop skill sets that cause successful results.
  • Example: move up on a dirt ball read.
  • List out all of the things they players need to know in the program.
  • Start when they are freshmen.
  • “It’s a continuous four year journey.”
  • Experience comes in your career.
  • It takes doing things over and over to get better.
  • Experience also allows you to pull from the past to help the present.
  • You want your players to talk to each other and communicate to learn from each other.
  • Three ideal team players are humble, hungry, and smart.
  • Have your players self assess and and their teammates assess their teammate.
  • We need to understand the importance of coaching on our players.
  • We could change their lives within four years.