The Hitting ChronicleĀ 

Check out my weekly newsletter 

6 mistakes I've made as a coach

Dec 19, 2023

Read time3 minutes

New Patrick Jones Baseball Podcast is out:

Michael Cuddyer, a retired Major League Baseball player with 15 years of experience, two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger Award winner, NL batting champion, and inductee in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame, is the guest in this week's episode.


The episode focuses on Cuddyer's approach to hitting, making adjustments, and his perspective on statistics for game planning against pitchers.




In today's newsletter, I will tell you about all the mistakes I've made as a hitting coach so you don't have to repeat the same mistakes as me! 

1. Players suffer in silence. 

I am an introvert and am quiet in a group setting. So, when I see quiet players, I tend to leave them alone. I figured they were like me and were content with being left alone, doing their own thing. 


Turns out I was wrong. 


When I was coaching in a team setting, a player reached out to me once and asked why I didn't engage with them as much as some of the other players. 


This was a quiet player.


I would say hi to them, but I ASSUMED that since they were quiet, I should let them do their own thing. 


His reaching out made me realize that even if I have a quiet player, I should still actively engage with them, even if they don't say much back. 


This is important in a team setting, especially when lineup changes happen, playing time fluctuates, and players will always assume the worst. We need to be there to assure them. 



2. My hitting truth would help everyone.  


I think that every hitter has a defining moment. 


It's the aha moment when you finally realize who you are as a hitter and what you believe in. 


That's great, as a player. 


However, when you transition to a coach, that doesn't matter much anymore. 


My second mistake as a coach was assuming what clicked for me as a hitter would automatically click for the players I worked with when I started to coach. 



3. Didn't talk enough


"Let the environment speak for you." 


"Wait for the players to come to you."


These things are true at the higher levels of the game, especially at the big-league level. 


However, the situation might indicate that you can't wait for them to come to you. 


You need to go to them. 


So, when I first started coaching, that's what I did. I knew players were making mistakes but waited too long to tell them.



4. Shiny object syndrome 


Keep the main thing, the main thing.


I love technology, and I love learning. 


There are pros and cons to both of those.  


A question I ask myself now is:


"Will this new gadget help our hitters get better this year?"


If not, I put it off to the side. 


Audit your time. 



5. Didn't have a system. 


We're human beings. 


Human beings have emotions. 


Emotions affect memory and judgment at times. 


Having a system in place allows you not to think when daily life happens. 


I thought having a system for hitters would mean it wasn't individualized. 


That's completely wrong. 


If anything, it allows for more individualization. 


Set up your program like a business. 


What are the systems and processes: 


- Evaluation 

- Off-season 

- In-season 


Build a system, but build it in a way that allows for variability within it.  



6. Assumed hitters knew what to do.


I made this mistake several times. 


If I were working with a hitter who had success at a high level, I sometimes wouldn't even mention simple things that I thought they would already know. 




Several times after the fact, I realized that they didn't know what I thought was obvious and assumed they would know because of how good they were or the program they came from. 




Whenever you're ready, there's 1 way I can help you:

In-Person Training: Work with me in Cincinnati, Ohio. Personalized training program to help you reach your goals.