Dear BioForce Faithful,
Do you ever sit on a bench at the mall and watch people go by? How about when you are waiting for a plane at the airport? Do you people watch?
I suppose you are like me and everyone else… we create assessments of people as they go by. “Gee, that person looks like they are in a good mood.” “That person looks like a lawyer.” “That person probably shouldn’t be eating those French fries.” Am I the only one that does this?
I doubt it.
What about your coach….or if you are the coach? What about you?
I’d like to share a couple of stories about my two boys during their baseball careers.
First, my oldest son Bryce, was pretty good during high school. After a great first game on JV as a freshman, the head coach pulled him up to varsity to pitch. This was at a large high school that actually made the playoffs that year, so it wasn’t a slouch team. Bryce was only 14 at the time. I didn’t think about the social ramifications of him playing with some 18 year olds. Oh well, he seems to be ok now.
What does this have to do with assessments? You can imagine a young, physically immature 14 year old playing with 18 year olds. He was small, ran slower, and didn’t have the power at bat like some of the other kids. But he could play.
What happened over the next couple of years was very interesting. His sophomore year, the coach let him hit a little, but not a ton. The coach pinch ran for him when he had the opportunity. But was it justified? I don’t think so, but I’m the dad and have my own filters. But does a .375 batting average sound too bad? That summer, Bryce got pulled in a tournament game as he was 6 for 10 in the previous 3 games with 9 RBI’s. At that point, the team scored a total of 11 or 12 runs. Yes, he had the bulk of the teams RBI’s.
Why was he pulled? I believe it was the coach’s filters toward him. His perspective of Bryce was that he was slow and didn’t hit well. He even told Bryce that after the series that he pulled him to put in a stronger hitter. The team was batting about .150 that series by the way.
The next year, his junior year, Bryce led the team in doubles and was one off for the home runs lead if my memory serves me. About half way through the season, Bryce asked the coach if he could steal him more. He told him he was too slow. After having enough of that, Bryce called him on the foot speed.
Bryce asked for a foot race with the team. So, after all the guys ran, he ended up being the second or third fastest on the team. What do you think happened? Bryce started stealing a lot more bases.
Do I fault the coach? Is he a bad coach? No. It’s just what happens. We all have filters about other people. It takes a lot to change the coach’s filter of you.
Another example is my younger son Craig. His freshman year in college went very well. Hi ERA was .150 I believe. Among the best of the returning pitchers. His strike out to walk ratio was very good too. The opponent’s batting average against him was very low as well. And he wasn’t given the garbage innings either.
Fast forward to the fall of his sophomore year. He fully expected to participate in a sophomore showcase to help players move on to larger colleges the next year. But when it came time for the showcase, he was the only sophomore pitcher to not be on the roster. He was crushed. He had been looking forward to that for a year. He was wondering why.
I encouraged him to talk with the head coach about his concerns and he eventually did. What was the coach’s response? He told Craig that his numbers last year weren’t very good. We all thought his numbers were excellent and looking at the year-end totals, they were very good. I asked him if he talked to the coach about his numbers, and he did not.
What was it then? Well, Craig isn’t the hardest thrower on the team. But he is one of the better pitchers on the team. Again, I think a coach’s filter may have been a factor in the decision to not put him on the roster. We’ll never know, but a lesson learned.
I encouraged him to go over his numbers last year with the coach to help change the filter. He is reluctant to do that. He wants to just come out this spring on fire like he did last year and try and “re-filter” the coach. It could take a long time to change the coach’s filter though without sitting down and talking about it.
If this is you, then I think that’s what you need to do though is “re-filter.”
It’s tough to change a coach’s perspective and opinion of you, but it can be done.
You do need to talk with the coach. Keep communicating with him. Make sure he is involved in your learning and progress.
And for you coaches that might be reading this… challenge your status-quo. Work hard to remove your filters.
Like President Reagan to Gorbechev, “Tear down this wall!”
Coaches, work on tearing down your filters. We all have them. You’ll be a better coach for it.
Please write to me and share your experiences with filters.
Until next time…
Train like a champion today!
Coach Bill Mooney
P.S. Look for a special Christmas and Holiday special for our BioForce Online Academy video analysis. It’ll be an offer you can’t refuse.