I was asked recently if there was a difference between coaching a pitcher and training a pitcher.
The answer to that question is yes, there is a difference, a big difference.
Being coached as a pitcher has to do with what’s to be done after you get the ball in your hands.
Being trained as a pitcher as to do with what’s to be done before getting the ball in your hands.
Most amateur baseball deals with coaching, not training. At the college level however, this experience can take a dramatic turn. Training itineraries, both speculative and operative, can be a tough act to follow for those without discipline and dedication. It can be a rude awakening for some.
The main focus however is not so much the stress and pressure to perform, the higher you go, but to know what to do and how to deal with all the situations that encompass highly competitive play. These situations are just as much off the field happenstance as they are on the field.
Basically, a coaching staff is looking for more competency out of you at the higher levels. Ideally, your self control, game knowledge, self awareness, and skills command leaves less to others steering you and more to you steering yourself.
So, if you plan on being that type of performer that accepts this environment, start looking for training not just coaching, and here’s just one example of why: when you take the mound at all levels of this game, you’ll be holding 60%-70% of the defensive effort in your hand. In a “pure coaching” environment, you have all that responsibility - but none of the authority to use your judgement and skills to take hold of those percentages. When you’re in a training environment, your accepting the knowledge and the what-for-ever to use that knowledge to take full responsibility of those percentages. In short, less and less of the game plan actually comes from the bench and more and more comes from you.
It does take a bit getting use to.