WHAT DO COACHES LOOK FOR WHEN THEY COME TO A GAME
A: There are five skills coaches look for in players: running, fielding, throwing, hitting and hitting for power. Coaches also look for attitude, approach to the game, reaction to game situations, and reaction to success/failure. Just because you do or do not have all five skills listed above, that will not necessarily help or limit your opportunities at being recruited or drafted. It is very rare for players to be strong in all five skill areas. Natural talent and ability allow for some players to be stronger in certain areas over others. However, the other non-skill areas may be what makes or breaks a player when it comes to offers. Coaches want players with good attitudes and good reactions. No one is ever perfect and how a player reacts to mistakes is very important. Mistakes only escalate with bad reactions. If you swing and miss at a ball or strike out, a coach may look to see if you shake your head and walk away, mutter profanities, or if you take a deep breath and continue. The same is true with pre-game. Some coaches only stay for infield practice because that may be all it takes for them to decide if a prospect is worth pursuing. During pre-game, a player is guaranteed to get five or six balls hit to them in a ten-minute period, whereas that same player may go an entire game without getting a single ball hit to them. In ten minutes, a coach can see an entire team’s skills and attitudes.
When it comes to hitting, there are four things a coach specifically looks for: a ground out, a fly out, a strike out and a base hit. A ground out allows a coach to get your home to first time. A fly out shows heart and hustle (do you run the ball out every time or do you walk back to the dugout before the ball’s even caught). A strike out shows reaction to failure. Remember, everyone fails, but when it happens to you, do you argue with the umpire on the call, do you throw your bat, do you say profanities or do you keep your head up? Finally, a base hit shows how you run the bases and how you react to success. Coaches don’t want to see cockiness. It’s great when you get a hit, especially in a crucial situation, but remember to be happy, not cocky or conceited.