Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar header image 1
May 4, 2020  

Hugh Quattlebaum- MiLB Hitting Coordinator, Seattle Mariners

May 4, 2020

Coaches vs. Covid


Today we have on Hugh Quattelbaum, hitting coordinator for the Seattle Mariners. Q has such an awesome background from his playing career, to being a screenwriter and then becoming a coordinator. On the show, we talk about the rewards and challenges of coaching coaches, we talk about how to execute organizational principles, we talk plan/approach and mindset and how to simplify these to help the player focus. You’re gonna love this conversation and here is Hugh Quattelbaum!

The way of baseball
Inner game of tennis
Obstacle is the way

Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

  • Hire people who know can do a good job, no matter their background. 
  • You want to hire people who have a growth mindset. 
  • Progress starts with relationships. 
  • You can’t get people to trust you, until you prove to them to trust them. 
  • When your team is struggling look at the stats and come up with conclusions while staying in the program’s umbrella to ensure success for the team. 
  • As a coach you have to be a salesperson for the culture you want to create. 
  • You can do this too by modeling the behaviors you want. 
  • Make individualization a piece of player development. 
  • “Coach your players up but let them do their thing.” 
  • “Everyone be in charge of their 20 square feet.” 
  • Everyone has a big role. 
  • “All roles are important in their 20 square feet.” 
  • Give people space to be themselves and to dominate their 20 square feet. 
  • There is always common ground. 
  • If you develop the relationship, then the common ground can be made. 
  • “Almost every idea you come up with you will realize someone else will have a similar idea.” 
  • Everyone is trying to drive towards the same thing. 
  • The key is executing the most. 
  • Execution comes from simplifying everything in your program for execution to occur. 
  • Wisdom comes from cutting out the noise and doing what is best for everyone to execute the task. 
  • “Provide the player map but don’t give them the directions.”
  • This allows the athlete to find ways to achieve a task. 
  • Provide the environment and allow them to find out how to get to the desired result. 
  • Once you’ve developed the relationship aspect is to ask questions. 
  • Example: you have a player who is struggling, the staff has decided to help the player by sitting down and asking where you think the player can improve. 
  • You can help the player find answers by having the player answer your questions. 
  • “The data doesn’t lie.” 
  • Data allows to set goals that are validated and clear. 
  • If you give untruthful feedback to your players then you will lose trust with them. 
  • “You can never go wrong with confidence.” 
  • It’s unrealistic to help a player get to a 9-10 on the confidence level. 
  • The best thing you can do is to reassure them that they got this. To slow the situation down and focus on executing their process. 
  • You don’t want them to focus on mechanics and to focus on visualization. 
  • Start with feel (movement preparation) drills before BP. 
  • Example: Work on side bend in the swing. 
  • You’re working on weaknesses as well. 
  • Continue a daily pattern of working on strengths. 
  • After this you go into Batting Practice and working on your process in preparation for the game. 
  • “Don’t forget about what you do well.” 
  • If you go into visualization for 10 minutes before going into bed focus on takes and quality hits. 
  • “There is no substitute for mix BP.” 
  • You can use a machine or thrown BP and mix pitches and speeds. 
  • You can do the three plate drill for decision training in BP. 
  • Put a medium sized cone at the bottom of the zone.
  • If the cone starts at the bottom of the cone you lay off, if it’s at the top you take a swing. 
  • “Simple wins and helps us focus on what is important.” 
  • You have to practice your approach and swing decisions. 
  • Have your players declare what they are doing so there is a goal with each swing they take. 
  • During BP, focus on an external target to hit when you’re taking swings to reaffirm the approach. 
  • You want guys to look for pitches in the damage zone (the middle of the zone). 
  • The commitment box is where you want to hit any pitch. 
  • “Stay with your strengths as much as you can until you can’t.” 
  • “Pitchers make mistakes.”
  • Don’t give pitchers too much credit. 
  • As much as you are working, you’re opponents are working too. 
  • Keep striving for excellence. 
  • Set up velo machine drill and create two teams and compete. 
  • Have players through short range BP to get game like reps and competition. 
  • Have players compete by hitting targets to compete. 
  • Whatever you track will create a competition for your players. 
  • Example: Tracking Quality at Bats.
  • “You track it and they pay attention to it.” 
  • Ask your players, when you’re at your best what are you thinking? 
  • When you’re in-game players need to work on vision and process goals rather then mechanics. 
  • If players are talking about mechanics in-game then they are not setting themselves up for success. 
  • The biggest problem players will have is confidence. 
  • “Get guys time expect the expected.” 
  • At some point an 0 for 15 is going to happen. So have your players prepare for this so this event isn’t so shocking. 
  • Keep them focusing on controlling what they can control. 
  • “You don’t want them to think it’s the end of the world.” 
  • Have simple systems they value what we value the most. 
  • Target BP is fun for players to play where they hit targets in the game and compete. 
  • Answers are found in the middle of both sides of two arguments.