The PCA Blog - New England

What Do MLB Players Want From A Coach?

by Chris Fay

01.23.2018

MLB Players want coaches that care.

Carlos Delgado, Pat Hentgen, and Paul Quantrill were teammates at the Toronto Blue Jays, and while they didn’t agree on every question thrown at them, they agreed on their favorite coaches at the January 2018 World Baseball Coaches Convention at Mohegan Sun. Speaking to hundreds of coaches from around the country as part of a panel talking all things baseball, the three former Major Leaguers gave a shout out to Jays’ pitching coach Galen Cisco.

Delgado, Hentgen, and others sit on a panel at the convention. Delgado, Hentgen, and others sit on a panel at the convention.

“Without question, Galen Cisco. He didn’t care if you were a star or a guy fighting for a roster spot. You remember those types of people. He took an interest in developing you as a person more so than even what you were doing on the field.”

He truly cared about you,” added Delgado, who even acknowledged what a huge influence Cisco had on his career even though he wasn’t a pitcher. “He was my favorite because you could talk to him about anything, and he helped me a lot coming through the Blue Jays system. He treated us like individuals and knew we all had different personalities. He knew when to push us and when to back off.”

Paul Quantrill was given the choice of choosing anyone he wanted to introduce him when he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He chose his high school coach; a coach as he put it, “didn’t really know baseball too well but is someone that had the biggest impact on my baseball life. . . . . He was a great role model and father figure for many.”

The three-day event featured college and professional coaches presenting on topics related to running effective practices, analyzing a hitter’s swing, teaching the mental game, and recruiting at the college level among other challenges coaches face. Positive Coaching Alliance attended all three days of the convention and presented two workshops:

  • Double-Goal Coach: Winning & Life Lessons
  • Double-Goal Coach: Culture, Practices, and Games

In this 2nd workshop, the conversation shifted to the decline of participation in youth baseball which affects every level of the game. In fact, there are over 800,000 fewer youth baseball players playing the game today than just 10 years ago according to the Aspen Institute.

The group of college, high school, and youth coaches all agreed that there are many factors for the reasons on why there is a decline in participation, one of the biggest reasons: coaching.

“It really does come back to having quality coaches for the players,” said Skip Sherman, the manager of Genesee College. “At the youth level the focus needs to be on development, and too often, this is not the case.”

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Chris Fay joined Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in August 2016 as the Partnership Manager of its New England Chapter with the hopes of expanding its mission throughout the region of changing the culture of youth sports.

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