KPB Blog

Think Like a Coach: Evaluate Your Own Skills

By Eric Johnson

Every college program is different, but each coach will look for a similar skill set when recruiting players. You may not realize it, but things like body type and raw speed are secondary talents. If you have them, you have a big advantage, but if you don’t, you won’t necessarily be overlooked. An important step in your recruiting process is recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. If you really want to play baseball at the next level, you have to be realistic, you have to market yourself to coaches, and you need to know what parts of your game need improvement.

Take a look at the skills listed below. These skills are used by coaches when they are evaluating players. You can use this list in 3 ways to “think like a coach” and see how you match up with the top recruits. First, you can see which skills are essential for players at your position.  These abilities are the most important things a recruiter will look for. For example, a lot of the important pitching skills are related to controlling the zone. Second, you need to figure out which of these skills match your strengths.  You want to highlight these when you play in front of recruiters. Third, you need to see which of the skills are your weaknesses and make a conscious commitment to working on improving them.

Hitting (for a video about these terms, click here)

  • Repeatability
  • Balance
  • Swing path
  • Plate discipline
  • Plate coverage
  • Hand strength
  • Flight of the ball

Defense (for a video about these terms, click here)

  • Hands
  • Range
  • First step
  • Quickness
  • Arm strength and accuracy
  • Transfer
  • Release/ball flight

Pitching (for a video about these terms, click here)

  • Command of zone
  • Secondary pitch command
  • Arm strength
  • Feel for strike zone
  • Release
  • Arm action
  • Project-ability
  • Max effort vs. controlled motion