View Full Version : Baseball is the most over-coached sport in the world
03-04-2006, 04:25 PM
I started to reply to someone's post by stating that our game was over-coached and then it dawned on me that this might make a good topic.
I love this game and I have been analyzing it for alot of years. Like most people, I have changed the way I coach and the things that I coach several times. Someone always finds a better way to teach or a better or more efficient way of doing things.
I keep having this nagging thought that maybe it's too much. Sometimes I think that the coaches need to display his knowledge gets in the way of smart coaching. Have you ever seen two major league players do things the same?
Do we overdo it?
03-04-2006, 04:55 PM
Unfortunately ,that's too much of a broad question to give a simple answer to. Obviously it depends on the specific situation and the people involved.
03-04-2006, 06:39 PM
Hey Dog (Had to do my little Randy Jackson) -
I think this specific (over-coaching) topic can easily get rolled into a much larger American social change topic.
With the large dollars that are now paid to professional athletes any child with any kind of talent can plan on getting pushed by parents or coaches. Partly because they want their little piece of the potential success. With this comes the search for unique methods of teaching that allow coaches to seperate themselves from others. In the forty years I have been associated with the game I wish I had a nickle for every "revolutionary" method that was developed.
If it makes you feel any better.... The same thing (problem?) exists in other sports. In our town, twenty or so years ago when my oldest started playing soccer there was no such thing as a soccer camp any where around us. Now we must have a dozen, with instructors coming in from Europe.
03-04-2006, 07:52 PM
. . .twenty or so years ago when my oldest started playing soccer there was no such thing as a soccer camp any where around us. Now we must have a dozen, with instructors coming in from Europe.
Much Euro coaching needed to learn to roll on the ground and writhe in agony while holding your leg because some other running skull got within a couple of feet of you.
For all that is annoying about the game, at SOME level I admire the athletecism (seriously) required to create that rarest of all soccer events - seems to happen once or twice a season - a GOAL. (Unfortunately, this almost always happens when I'm in the bathroom - prostate, I suppose.)
Frankly, I think that they ought to have a shootout, and at the end of the shootout, IF there is still a tie, relunctantly agree to play a game.
But hey, I'm an American jingoist who thinks that sporting contests ending 1-0 is a nice change of pace (as opposed to an outome to be legislated for and insured at all costs).
Jingoism aside, when I see an American football, basketball, or hockey player take a dive and act like his leg is snapped because some defender was within breathing range, I do express my derision and scorn. I don't start a drunken brawl in the stands. I don't participate in an orchestrated pub chanting cheer involving 60,000 people (although I understand that if there is ABSOLUTELY nothing else to do or watch. . . ). I don't storm the moat around the field (LOL) or overload one section of the stands until they collapse.
I do boo. And might even encourage the diving player to grow a pair. Call me an Ugly American.
(Speaking of which, the best part of a soccer game - for me - is when they build one of those walls between the guy taking a direct free kick and the goal. There is NO OTHER "SPORT" in the world where 6 guys can stand shoulder-to-shoulder while clutching their genitals. Absolutely unique; totally hilarious.)
Oops! Five for Fighting, on me!! Almost lost control and had a scoring opportunity, there. To be avoided at all costs. Instead, let's contrive to bat the ball back and forth in front of the alumni seats for another 10 minutes or so. OOOOHHH-AAAAYYYY, OOHH-AAY!! (BTW, does anyone know where I can get one of those gigantic flags to wave?)
Of course, I've never stood along the side of the road in the rain for 20 hours in order to watch 180 guys ride by on bikes for 30 seconds in the middle of a 16 DAY race, either (roughly analgous to watching one warmup pitch in a baseball game, then heading home).
BTW, what do cyclists in the middle of a 7 hour leg do when their prostate acts up? Do they just go? Do they get a rash?
A sports fan
PS: Pardon the stream of consciousness rant. The wife and kids are out tonight, and I'm bored. I was looking for World's Strongest Man on ESPN, but - this is rare - it wasn't on. Perhaps a manufacturing shortage leading to unavailability of giant truck tires? Not enough available big guys named Sven or Magnus?
Fungo, set me straight here, I'm out of control.
03-04-2006, 10:13 PM
Fungo, set me straight here, I'm out of control.Scott, you write about things that I don't even think about. Must be a California thing. Who am I to judge? Carry on.
03-05-2006, 12:36 PM
IMO - baseball may not be overtaught, just seems that way because it's such a mental sport.
03-05-2006, 03:33 PM
Ssarge, that was too funny! :laugh
03-05-2006, 07:51 PM
Meant to be funny. Soccer's all right, I guess.
At least if there is no paint to watch dry.
03-05-2006, 08:33 PM
Yes those people who say that baseball is a boring to sport to watch have obviously never accidentally watched a few minutes of a soccer game. Now I have done some mind-numbing things in my lifetime but I dont think anything compares to those few minutes watching ESPN2. :(
03-05-2006, 10:38 PM
At the risk of being a spoilsport, I'd like to respond to Riverdog's comment. As the Commish pointed out, the question is overbroad, encompassing all levels of sport. At the major league level, the game is in a sense undercoached, with "superstars" getting away with brainfarts that would have been unthinkable forty years ago. On the other hand, you have fifteen pitching changes a game, which can drive you nuts.
And, at the little league and youth levels, you have coaches calling pitchouts and changeups from the bench. When I was a catcher, I knew what my pitcher had and knew every hitter in the league, and wouldn't have thought to look to the bench for calls. BUT . . .
That's the problem. When I was eight in 1964, every kid knew the game and how to slide and three different ways to short circuit a double steal, 'cuz we grew up reading baseball books and crowding around the tube to see whomever was on Saturday's Game of the Week with Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese. Now kids don't know the game and aren't particularly interested in learning, so do you force it down their little gullets, or just go ahead and let 'em play? Frankly, I'd rather see less "coaching" -- which often is just lecturing -- and more real "coaching", where you take a kid and find the one or two things that can improve his game and make the experience more enjoyable, particularly the one kid who just wants to get a real base hit some time during his first season.
Most overcoached? Balderdash! Watch football, where 11 year old kids are already tracked into positions and drills in which they won't actually touch a football for the rest of their careers. Or basketball, where it's all about the coaches, not the players. In baseball, a coach doesn't collapse his defense to protect you if you're a weak player -- if the ball's hit to you, you've got to catch it, and once you're at the plate, it's just you swinging the bat. That's what makes baseball a great character game. And... there's dang little you can do to ruin it.
03-05-2006, 10:52 PM
03-05-2006, 11:03 PM
As the best coach ever (IMO) said: "They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them...you show them the reasons." - Vince Lombardi