Rotational Hitting or Linear Hitting? As a hitting coach who has done millions of lessons…
Hitting Coaches vs Offensive Coordinators
Who gets more respect and direction from their players between these two positions and why?
Offensive coordinators in most any sport are highly sought after jobs and it requires a real guru coach to be able to put together a system based on philosophy, strategy, personnel, and constant game time counter moves. Offensive coordinators are of high intellect, well respected around the league by coaches and players and are real strategic problem solvers. A large percent of them are successful and most keep their jobs for extended periods of time and do not have too many problems finding jobs around the league or at the college level.
As it plays out, there are a lot of opposite characteristics and pressures that a MLB hitting coach has compared to the Other offensive coordinators in other sports including football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. Most hitting coaches in the MLB are higher profiled former MLB players. Most other offensive coordinators are usually good coaches groomed by great coaches over a number of years. MLB hitting coaches are chosen based more on clubhouse presence and stature rather than their ability to actually break down swings and help hitters. Why is this?
Shouldn't MLB hitting coaches work just as hard as other offensive coaches?
Well yes and no. Since the MLB plays everyday, coaches have to be careful not to over coach; but MLB hitting coaches do at some point put in a lot of film work like most offensive coaches do, and they do form some game prep, and do have a philosophy of hitting that is emphasized within each organization. If there is work being done by the MLB coaches than what's the problem?
The problem is after a while MLB hitting coaches get less and less listened to by the players or just plain stop any detailed coaching strategies throughout the year. Basically they learn to just to go through the motions and just start hoping and praying that their teams hit. So we can say that MLB coaches are doing more praying, and offensive coordinators are more scientific in their problem solving.
So why can't the MLB coaches be more like other offensive coaches?
Because hitting is more difficult and more difficult to understand than even a complicated offensive football scheme. Yep, there is less to think about in hitting, but it is so hard that MLB hitting coaches lose their jobs quicker than any other coach and are lead to be more likely to really feel pressure that is so high, that most of them go hands off in their approaches and just become friendly and nice to the players. So if you ever wondered why former MLB players with little to no coaching experience (especially in knowing the science of hitting and applying knowledge to their team where progressive results are really being seen) is required to be a hitting coach in the MLB than this is the reason.
So MLB management knows it is more important to find the right players and to find a hitting coach who will not get in their way. Opposite is true with other pro sports teams and coaches. They find great players that plug into great systems in most cases.
The average major league hits less than .250 and the minor leagues, college, and high schools are not far behind this. These stats across the board are worse than it has been since the 70's. In other sports you need intelligent experienced gurus as offensive coordinators. In the MLB you need more than intelligence and experience to figure out how to get teams to hit. Hitting is the hardest skill to master and it takes a person that has the experience and intelligence, but if they do not have a deeper perspective of the science of hitting than it can become a very depressing experience for most hitting coaches.
Audio version by Coach Huber