Why Being Coachable Outweighs Talent

Alright, we have all heard the famous saying “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”, but is that always the case? Yes, 100%. All the time. Absolutely. Whether you are at the highest level in your sport or still playing for your club team with aspirations to make it to the collegiate level or even higher, being a good, team player and remaining coachable during your career can increase its longevity instead of being the best player to hit the diamond. Let me explain why.

 

Being “coachable” has a lot of different definitions. The one that I connect with the most is this: “A coachable person is someone who does not shrink away from change, especially if it is necessary for them to succeed. They understand that change can be a good thing, even if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient, and willing to do the work to adapt.” This characteristic is something that is crucial in the game of baseball. It is vital because baseball is the most individualized team sport there is.

 

Being coachable is one of the most prominent characteristics of a leader. You are able to sacrifice the ME for WE, which is why a lot of times, good ball clubs are not always the teams with superstars – they are the teams with the best chemistry. They are able to put their desire to be the center of attention and the superstar of the game aside and do what it takes to help the team as a whole win. When you have a team comprised of coachable players, good things will happen. Whether that is learning a new position that you have not played before – that is being coachable. Maybe you are in a slump and the coach wants to give another guy a shot – you give up the bat to your teammate so he may give the team a chance to win. Maybe there are runners on first and second and you get the bunt sign so the next guy can drive the runs in – lay it down and set your team up for success, even if you take a hit on your batting average. Maybe you are in the bottom of the 9th, and you are at the pitch limit – you give the ball to the closer to do his job and secure the win instead of getting the shutout. These are all ways to be a team player and in turn, ways to be coachable.

 

College teams and even big-league clubs do their research on players before recruiting them. There is nothing worse than having a cancer on your team – it causes disruption on the field, lack of performance, and it can even cause separation among your team. You always hear people talk about players and say “Oh, he’s a great guy to have around the clubhouse” or “He’s not a great clubhouse guy”. There are always two different paths. If you want to shine and be at the top of a coach’s list, keep your ego in check and do your best to help your team. Keep your excuses limited and remember to stay humble because when you try to do too much and be the center of attention in the game of baseball, it comes back and humbles you way quicker than you could have ever imagined. Remember, baseball is a game of failure. The more you do what you can for your team to win, the more ways there are for you to shine on and off the diamond.