Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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June 29, 2020  

Nate Fish- The King of Jewish Baseball

June 29, 2020
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Today we have on The King of Jewish Baseball Nate Fish. 
We go over what he has learned in playing and coaching in 20 plus countries. He also has experience in the world baseball classic, in Cape Cod and starting the national baseball program in Israel. And one of the coolest things about Nate is his experience coaching from little league, to coaching in the minor leagues with the Dodgers. 
Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto 
  • Fast pitch softball can clean your swing up because the reaction time is less than in baseball.
  • In practices you want high energy and fun experiences.
  • When you’re having fun is where learning happens.
  • When you’re working with fear, the result is not good.
  • Within a stretch routine it may be the only time of the day where everyone on the team is together.
  • When you are stretching you can add in a clap after a stretch.
  • This is similar to football.
  • “You can’t be scared to be a little bit stupid.”
  • “You want to build a program around a shared vision.”
  • When building relationships with players the trust comes first and the love comes second.
  • “Player development is just human development.”
  • People often just need support and understand what their role is so they can do it well.
  • What you know isn’t going to be the difference in player development, it’s the relationship piece.
  • Allow your players to tell stories in the stretch to make a fun environment.
  • The batting cage is where relationships really grow.
  • When coaching in the summer leagues allow your players to find out their routines and processes.
  • It’s like a Professional format.
  • Players can find out a lot of career changing things during that summer.
  • Teach your players to stay rational. Baseball will bring out a ton of mental stress.
  • Don’t dive into telling your hitters to swing one way.
  • Work on them feeling specific movements in the swing and finding out solutions in their own way.
  • Players have to be on time and have a stabilized movement throughout the swing.
  • Commonalities are athleticism, timing, and having the ability to stabilize the pelvis, and staying through your legs.
  • “Get on time for a heater.”
  • Use objectives for your players to do when they are hitting.
  • This allows them to self organize and work on the feels they are searching for.
  • Every athlete’s movements will be unique and different.
  • Technology has allowed for external cues to be the way.
  • Visualization is important to do if you’re in a pandemic, injured, or before you are hitting.
  • It helps build confidence and a plan.
  • Before practice have your players step into the box and have them feel comfortable in the box.
  • Allow them to get set up.
  • As a coach be the pitcher (show a righty or lefty).
  • Have them see the ball out of the hand.
  • Have them visualize taking pitcher.
  • Have them visualize taking swings on pitches.
  • You want them to feel comfortable in the box and feel that they are in control and not the pitcher.
  • “This is hard to quantify.”
  • With that being said it can help prepare the players to have success and put the pressure on the pitcher.
  • When building a culture discuss what’s important, model it, discuss it every day, and explain the importance of everything.
  • “Stars make kids want to do things.”
  • Players are influenced by baseball players who are role models.
  • When introducing baseball to someone, have them go to camps and find those role models.
  • Practice design is super important.
  • Practice design has a lot of variables.
  • You have to factor in age group, amount of teams, amount of time.
  • You need to make sure players are being healthy with their arms.
  • “Any defense is about playing catch.”
  • Spend less time on bunt plays and 1st and 3rd play.
  • You want your players to hit a lot and work on game speed practices.
  • Play the game as much as possible.
  • Do game like situations and live batting practice.
  • “Culture is a by product of your values.”
  • So how you do everything is a showing of how you value things.
  • State what you are about and model it to your players.
  • How you do things is super important with a culture.
  • Don’t teach hands behind the ball. Teach barrel in between your hands and your body instead.
  • Players enjoy energy, enthusiasm, and good BP out of a coach.
  • As a coach a goal of ours is to not over coach.
  • “It’s okay to agree or disagree on things as coaches.” You can learn and grow from each other.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. You learn from failure.
  • “If we haven’t failed lately then we haven’t put ourselves out there.”
  • “The game itself is the best teacher.”