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What Is Your Players Learning Method?

How a player accepts and responds to coaching commands will impact the rate at which he develops. In baseball, there are roughly three ways of communicating with players based on their personalities. They are easily remembered as Joke, Stroke, and Poke. Coaches can sometimes get stuck in their own “coaching style” which may work for players that speak that language but for those that don’t, they’re left behind. Coaches, please take the time to try all three approaches and see what works best with your players. Sometimes a combo package works best for those hard-headed rascals.

Joke
– Needs to stay loose while performing.
– Struggles can easily be forgotten and focus regained by maintaining the “shake it off” attitude.
– Learns well in a conversation, not just by commands.
– Constantly let them know their potential when they stay focused.
– Coaches can make leaders out of these players because they naturally draw attention and will work hard to keep that role.

Stroke
– Quiet demeanor and listens very well.
– Takes everything to heart and wants to lead by example.
– Coaches and parents, try to compliment then instruct, and compliment again.
– Struggles can easily be forgotten if they are not magnified or criticized too greatly.
– Adjustments will happen quickly with approval of effort and results.
– Coaches commonly refer to these kids to show other kids how to do something.
– These players pay a lot of attention to detail.

Poke
– Requires some motivation to reach a goal.
– Often the most naturally talented player
– Relies on his athleticism to become a better player
– Can adjust very quickly, then needs a reason to repeat it.
– Can get frustrated by focusing on results and just expecting things to go his way.
– Coaches, push him to accomplish small goals with simple game plans.
– Dont let up and always expect more from this player.

At some point in a players career they will run the spectrum of these three approaches. Coaches, be patient and speak the players language when necessary, also make them understand yours. Players, every coach you have in your career CAN make you a better player. Respect their coaching style! Last but not least…….Parents, give the coach and player a break. Make your son learn and respect the coaches approach. By making your son respect the coaches philosophy to coaching, he will become more coachable in the coaches eye. Keep your opinion of how the coach communicates to you separate from how he communicates with your son. How many times as a parent have you thought to yourself or told the coach, “he won’t listen to me anymore about baseball?” It is most likely that you’re demanding your son to learn under your coaching style rather speaking to him in his learning style. Learn his and keep it simple.

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