These kids are growing up watching 8 hours of YouTube a day.
Well, you’re looking at an all-star coach. Yup, I’m pretty much a big deal.
Joking aside, I think there was really one major reason why we did so well this year (aside from the fact that I’m a talent scouting legend).
I made it a point this baseball season to simplify. Every single thing we did, we found a way to make it more simple.
See, last year, when we tried to teach a bunch of 8 year olds how to play baseball, most of them looked like lost little puppies, confused about why someone was hitting a ball at them.
I realized they knew more about the rules of Fortnite, than the rules of America’s pastime and that we were actually going to need to start from square one. These kids are growing up watching 8 hours of YouTube a day, not Sportscenter like all of us old farts did.
I started our first practice with the intention of getting back to basics. The first question I asked was, “What’s the point of baseball?”
Most said something skittishly like, “Have fun?” Every baseball coach from yesteryear is probably rolling in their grave.
“The point is to score more runs than the other team,” I said. Pretty simple, right?
It gave us jumping off point that allowed us to slowly go step by step through how we could score more runs than our opponents. We would need to hit the ball, make smart base running choices and ultimately score runs. We’d also need to play defense. We’d need to throw strikes, know where the play was, and get outs.
Having that simple understanding of the objective of the game gave us the ability to go deep into what we needed to do to accomplish our objective.
We succeeded. With a 10-1-3 record, we pulled of a pretty great season. (Yes, 3 ties. The rules of the league are interesting.) I don’t think we’d have been able to pull that of without simplifying the game the way we did.
I’ve started to attribute the same idea into my golf game.
I’ve noticed that I tend to get caught up in each little aspect of trying to make a perfect golf swing, and forget the most important part. You’ve got to hit the back of the ball.
Without solid contact, that ball isn’t going anywhere. None of the rest of it means anything if you don’t hit the ball.
Simplify, and get the basics correct, then you can go deeper.