Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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January 30, 2020  

Michael Schlact- MiLB Pitching Coach, Milwaukee Brewers

January 30, 2020

During this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I interviewed Michael Schlact, MiLB Pitching Coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Michael Schlact talks about ways to properly communicate with players on your team, the importance of learning how to lose, how he approaches data, and why pitchers needing to learn how their fastball works. 


Episode Highlights: 

  • How did Michael Schlact get involved in baseball and as a coach?   
  • What are some different changes he is making from last year?  
  • What has been Michael’s process to become better at incorporating data?  
  • How does Michael Schlact communicate with a large range of diverse players? 
  • What should a pitcher’s off-season look like? 
  • What are we missing at the amateur that at the major league level they need to know? 
  • What does Michael look for when viewing a player video?
  • How does workload management factor into working with players? 
  • What are some different ways to address player development from a pitching standpoint? 
  • How do you address a player who needs to be convinced to use a better pitch?
  • What is something that Michael is excited about learning and applying? 
  • What are things his players get excited about doing during practice?   
  • Is there anything that Michael Schlact believes that other coaches might disagree with?
  • Strive to make your players better people. 


3 Key Points:

  1. Learn who your players are first, and then help them second.  
  2. Be vulnerable enough to prove to your players that you are there for them when they are playing well and when they are making mistakes as well. 
  3. Pitchers need to understand how their fastball works, what does it do, and how they can play it into your benefit.  


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “I want to continue to learn what makes a player better, and specifically for me being a pitching coach, what is it that I can use that allows the pitchers to get better.” – Michael Schlact  (05:22)
  • “For me, it is what is most important and how can I communicate that to a player without overwhelming him?” – Michael Schlact  (06:04)
  • “Understand the player’s background that you are coaching. You have to know them as people. You have to know where they came from. You have to know what their learning styles are. There are so many different learning styles.” – Michael Schlact  (07:56)
  • “There is something really rich about a player asking you a question and you saying, ‘You know what, I don’t know. But let me find that out for you.’” – Michael Schlact  (12:54)
  • “If you don’t understand your fastball and the profile that it has, you’ll never truly understand the best pitches for you to work off of that.” – Michael Schlact  (17:44)
  • “If you don’t learn how to lose, you will never really win.” – Michael Schlact  (19:08)
  • “Pick out something each time. Don’t feel like you have to just watch that video, that one setting for 10 minutes, and never go back to it.” – Michael Schlact  (22:27)
  • “Everyone wants to be told the truth. People don’t like to hear the truth all the time. But everyone wants it.” – Michael Schlact  (37:52)

Resources Mentioned: