The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Horton | Jun 18, 2012 6:15:00 PM

How a Baseball Summer Camp Can Improve Your Season - Part 2

In Part 2 of this series on how a baseball summer camp can improve your season (Part 1 was on throwing accuracy), we talk about the value of sportsmanship and team play and how a summer camp can help with these skills. (And YES, they are skills)

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Topics: baseball philosophy, baseball camp, summer camp

Mike McCarthy | Dec 21, 2011 5:30:00 AM

Is Your Baseball Coach In It For You? Or For Themselves?

Over the years I have seen and played for a lot of different coaches spanning various sports.  Most of us have.  And they can be categorized in many different ways – a yeller versus a quiet, thoughtful approach; more technical versus motivational; organized versus “winging it”; and so on.  I submit to the readers now a new category – coaches that work for you versus working for themselves.

What I mean by this category is the following – does the coach ramble on and on with no apparent organization to their sermon, or do they come across as having a clear and concise goal for that particular session? The human mind – as powerful as it is – has a very difficult time being consciously aware of more than one new concept at a time. So is the coach focusing their efforts on a singular, EFFECTIVE goal or are they taking every opportunity to just spew information, whether germane to the overall intentions or not, just to show how knowledgeable they are to the masses? Is it truly about you? Or them?

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Topics: baseball coaching, baseball philosophy

Mike McCarthy | Sep 25, 2011 10:11:00 PM

It is Time For a New Baseball Coaching Paradigm

Time for the dinosaurs to move over

It is sad. Very sad. But we have been conditioned to believe that we, the human race, the most unbelievable machine in the history of the world is very, very mediocre. We believe that we are so dreadfully incapable of doing things for ourselves that we need experts to help us do just about everything. We need experts to tell us how to cook, how to dress, how to talk, how to network, how to be married, how to parent….and how to play baseball.  

The current paradigm goes like this:

You are lacking in something. Perhaps many things. You come to the expert to be filled with knowledge. Like a gas station. You get filled up and you are now pure. You are ready. You are complete.

Unfortunately, like the gas station, you will run out of what you were filled up with sooner than later and have to go back for a refill. Of the same thing. Because without it…you are incomplete. Because that is what you have been conditioned to think.  

Now how about a new paradigm that goes like this:

You are incredible. You are a human being. You are a machine that already knows how to do incredible things. Let’s figure out what is blocking those things from happening on a consistent, repeatable basis.

Doesn’t that sound better?  

The Latin meaning of educate is “to draw out”. Really. Not to fill up, as it has somehow become in Western society. But to draw out. The underlying assumption here is that you ALREADY POSSESS incredible abilities. Let’s draw them out!

There are already shifts in this direction in other sports like tennis and golf led by Tim Gallwey and Fred Shoemaker among others, as well as locally by people like Jon Roy and Jeff Overholt from the Golf Association of Ontario.

There are shifts in the business world as well, with industry and education lagging behind. Legendary business author and blogger, Seth Godin, wrote a 30,000 word manifesto called "Stop Stealing Dreams" about an outdated school system, in cahoots with big industry (How about the Education-Industrial Complex?? Borrowing liberally from Eisenhower!), designed 150 years ago to produce all sorts of ordinary, regular workers to be compliant and reliant upon the industrialzed system...just to make the system work! A system outdated and on life support as evidenced by the 70% turnover in Fortune 500 companies over the past 10 years! An unprecedented turnover.

It is over there. And it is over in baseball. It is time that baseball jumped on board and shifted away from the dinosaurs of thought.

Do I expect everyone to agree? Of course not!

I know that this may cause the industry to go into a tizzy: “Hey you dummy don’t let them in on this! They need us! They need us to show them how.”  Well for those who believe the old paradigm, I would say that the opposite is true - YOU need THEM. But these people don’t need you. They need you like they needed walking coaches as babies. What walking coach did you go to? "First Steps 4 U"? "The Academy of Walking Arts & Sciences"? "The Walking Zone"? Oh yes, that is right. You didn’t go to one! You just figured it out with a little deliberate practice and mastery techniques without even knowing it!

This is the new paradigm and this is where the best coaches will reside. We believe in you. We KNOW you can do incredible things. What we will do is coach you through the interference that is keeping your performance lower than your potential and over time close that gap so that your performance DOES equal your potential.

So jump on board, find yourself an ego-free, athlete-centric coach and get ready to find out how amazing you already are!

Mike McCarthy, Co-Founder - The Baseball Zone

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Image courtesy of realdinosaurpictures.com

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Topics: baseball instruction, baseball coaching, baseball philosophy

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