211 episodes

Host Jonathan Gelnar and an array of guests from differing backgrounds discuss how to develop the complete baseball player. This will be your source for the most up to date coaching strategies for baseball player and coach development.

Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar Jonathan Gelnar

    • Baseball

Host Jonathan Gelnar and an array of guests from differing backgrounds discuss how to develop the complete baseball player. This will be your source for the most up to date coaching strategies for baseball player and coach development.

    Jeremy Sheetinger- Head Baseball Coach, Georgia Gwinnett College

    Jeremy Sheetinger- Head Baseball Coach, Georgia Gwinnett College

    Today we have on Jeremy Sheetinger, head baseball coach at Georgia Gwinnett College. Sheets is by far one of the most popular baseball coaches in the world. After working for the American Baseball Coaches Association and running the podcast, he took the job at GGC last year. On the show we discuss what he has learned during the 4 years he stepped away from the field, and how he has implemented so much information into what they do at GGC. We go all in on competitions, classroom sessions, and how to teach the mental game. If you're looking for a copy/paste episode, sheets delivered. This episode is so good, and here is Jeremy Sheetinger!


    Baseball Playbook- Ron Polk

    Help the Helper- by Kevin Pritchard, John Eliot




    • 1 hr 16 min
    Rich Benjamin- Head Baseball Coach, Indiana Weslyan University

    Rich Benjamin- Head Baseball Coach, Indiana Weslyan University

    Rich Benjamin begins his 6th year at the helm of the Indiana Wesleyan University
    In Benjamin's first year at Indiana Wesleyan the Wildcats had one of the most successful seasons in program history as they advanced to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round for the first time.The Wildcats topped their 2016 success two years later going 37-20 in the 2018 season, winning the Crossroads League and reaching the NAIA Opening Round for the second time in program history. Coach Benjamin was named the Crossroads League Coach of the Year for his leadership during the 2018 season.
    Prior to Indiana Wesleyan, Benjamin was the head baseball coach at Judson (Ill.) for eight seasons where he accumulated the most wins in program history with 304. 
    On the show we go over how being a pitching coach early on helped him to develop a well rounded approach as a hitting coach and now head coach, we discuss why we need to simplify things in a world of constant noise, and we dive deep into what Rich calls “training zone focus vs performance zone focus”
    Romans- The Bible

    • 59 min
    Kyle Wagner- Author of Green Light Hitting and How the Rivercats Won, Teacher and Coach

    Kyle Wagner- Author of Green Light Hitting and How the Rivercats Won, Teacher and Coach

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    Kyle is a former standout high school baseball player who went on to play Division 1 baseball at Wake Forrest and a year professionally in the Angels organization.  Kyle was also a part of the historic 2015 Red Land Little League team that wen on to win the United States Championship. He is the author of two books- Green light hitting and How the Rivercats won. 
    Kyle is one of my favorite twitter follows because he always helps me to think deeper on different subjects like practice design and player development.
    How The RiverCats Won: Lessons on Relationships and Competition
    Green Light Hitting from the backyards to the big leagues

    • 1 hr
    David Jeans- Head Baseball Coach, De La Salle HS (CA)

    David Jeans- Head Baseball Coach, De La Salle HS (CA)

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    Today we have on David Jeans, head baseball coach for De La Salle HS. David is an industrial engineer by trade and after pursing that for several years, started coaching a 6th grade basketball team. This led him to coaching football at De La Salle during the Bob Ladouceur era, which is one of the most successful dynasties in HS football history. He worked his way up the ranks and became the head baseball coach in 2012. And Since 2012- De La Salle Baseball has reached title game every year, won in 12,14,16,17,18,19.
    So on the show we discuss how being a football coach has helped Under coach Lad helped him to establish a “development first” program. We discuss how being an engineer has helped with with practice plan design in limited space. And we dive deep into what being Spartan looks like on a daily basis.

    Ideal Team Player

    Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

    David Jeans: Head Baseball Coach De La Salle HS

    Being a teacher is helpful with coaching.
    It helps you with observing your players and finding out how they learn best.
    Being a teacher helps you have a format on helping your players to solve problems that baseball brings.
    In high school sports it’s all about development.
    It’s about developing the person, student, and player.
    Focus on developing every single player in your program.
    When coaching and teaching focus on building the person while teaching them.
    Relationships are crucial for development of the player.
    Have mixed practice.
    The varsity comes on and stretches, catch play, individual defense, team defense, and then the JV comes and has BP.
    When the JV takes BP, the Varsity takes game speed defense.
    The goal is to not have a lot of standing around.
    Work on getting quality reps.
    Having a whole team practice allows for the JV players to understand the expectations of the Varsity team.
    This also creates competition within the team.
    Tell your players they you are preparing your athletes to be a college player.
    Tell all of your players this.
    Have practices that will be next level speed and a lot like a college practice.
    Point out expectations of college programs to prepare the players.
    More often than not the mental piece is what is lacking in underclassmen.
    The playing piece is there but it’s the mental game that holds them back.
    It often takes 2-3 years for the underclassmen player to be mentally prepared for the Varsity team.
    As you’re preparing your players as coaches you are giving players tools for their toolkit to solve problems that baseball gives them.
    Example: working on push bunts.
    The philosophy of the team stays the same but the skill set can be changing every single year depending on the makeup of your team.
    Tell the players on the importance of their decisions. Their decisions should be a good reflection upon the team in order to be successful on and off the field.
    The weight room is where successful team habits start to be taught and occur.
    Teach your underclassmen the importance of lifting, how to lift, how to play baseball, and how to take care of what they have.
    When the players are upperclassmen then they will already be doing those habits they were taught.
    You want your players to be empathetic, good listeners, look you in the eye, and are reliable.
    Expect to win, play hard, and do things the right way.
    Remind your players about how to represent the school program the right way all the time.
    Even if you’re playing in a different program.
    “It’s always a learning experience in sports.”
    “The ultimate goal is to have good husbands, fathers, and family members.”
    Have commitment cards with your players.
    Weekly students will stand up and commit to their teammates about what they plan on doing this week.
    Example: I’m going to run hard out of the box.
    The hard part is being held accou

    • 56 min
    Curt Nelson, Professional Hitting Consultant and NW Bandits Head Coach (WA).

    Curt Nelson, Professional Hitting Consultant and NW Bandits Head Coach (WA).

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    Today we have on Curt Nelson, Professional Hitting Consultant. and NW bandits head coach (WA).
    Curt works with players from the big leagues to little league. So on the show we discuss what his evaluation process looks from when a person walks in the door for the first time, to fine tuning professional hitters mechanics. We dive deep into hitting mechanics, game planning, timing and much more. This episode is so good and here is Curt Nelson! 
    Curt’s YouTube page 
    Contact Info
    Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto
    The goal of a coach is to take each player and take them to the next level.
    When pre assessing a player, you need to understand the level of play of the player.
    Professional players you need to look up video to get a start on understanding them.
    You want to see how each player moves and thinks to understand what can work for the player.
    Lead by asking questions to learn more about each player.
    The more you understand the setup, his mechanics, bat path, his thoughts, and understanding are all crucial understandings.
    Changing the mind first will create a smoother change.
    “Mobility plays a ginormous role.”
    “There are no absolutes, but timing, balance, and bat path are close to absolutes.
    With that being said, the bat path can be different for each player.
    You can’t make any change without the relationship piece though.
    When asking questions, ask about their timing mechanisms, what they are trying to do to the baseball, their thoughts on the tee, and what their approach is.
    Understand what the hips are doing.
    “The ground is the number one source of power and energy.
    Any question that gives you insight is important.
    Ball flight is important to understand the approach and mechanics.
    Video is your friend in understanding this.
    Start with movement preparation drills before you go into swings.
    Example: Slam balls and PVC pipe connection drills. (This helps showcase the body and how well it moves.)
    After movement prep work on each hitters routines.
    Group up each hitter to work on the routine together with other players and they can talk to find solutions to situations.
    After the grouping you can work on team hitting and allow competition to flow between the athletes.
    “Everything starts with a setup.”
    Getting into the right setup for that hitter is paramount.
    Every hitter needs to start in balance.
    The head has to be in the center of the body.
    Don’t get hitters to get into their quads and legs too early.
    “Hitting is done more flat footed than we think.”
    Being on the balls of your feet isn’t conducive for balance.
    A quality sets up the athlete to be consistent and have success.
    There is a right position/setup for everyone.
    Mobility is a huge factor.
    It’s about finding the right balance.
    Example: If the ankle is a problem you can move it to find the right balance for each hitter.
    “You’re trying to maximize each individual.”
    The mirror is a great teacher for each hitter.
    It gives the hitter instant feedback on what they are feeling.
    When you’re in a mirror you can feel what you’re trying out.
    Put an X on the mirror. Tell the athlete to keep their forehead in the X to find the right setup and movement.
    This helps the player to find the right movement that promotes not a ton of excess movement.
    Have a balance beam where the hitter has to make a clean forward move and then move backwards. This will help the athlete find the right movement.
    “Stride our to 50-50, then back to your setup.”
    The setup is the key that unlocks the best results for the player.
    “There is not a specific move to have everyone use.”
    Use trial and error and work it in real time in the cage.
    “There is no fooling balance.”
    If the athlete knows where he is at in space, then he will have confidence and conviction behind what he is doing.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Kevin Wilson- Professional Hitting Consultant

    Kevin Wilson- Professional Hitting Consultant

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    For over 19 years, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most sought after hitting consultants in the game. Kevin currently works with or has worked with with Minor and Major League players from all 30 MLB organizations. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taiwan.
    On the show Kevin and I discuss what #goodbatting is, we talk about how hitting is a conversation. And Kevin walks us through what it sounds like to be in a cage session with him. This episode is packed full of content and here is Kevin Wilson!
    Inner game of golf- Timothy Gallwey
    Inner game of tennis- Timothy Gallwey
    Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

    Understand that the longer you’re in a profession and you continue to grow the better coach you will become.
    When you have a goo have confidence in yourself to get there.
    Remember that it’s not about you, it’s about how you can help the players.
    To be the best coach for each player you have to be a world class listener.
    Be a hitting mentor rather than coach. You still coach but you help the whole person grow not just the player.
    Lead by questioning for the players.
    Example: what’s on your mind? What are you feeling?
    More often than not the players will answer their own question.
    This allows the player to be their own best coach.
    “We all want to be heard.”
    Meet the player where they are at. Help them with their situation and listen intently.
    Recognize that you won’t be the best coach for everybody but you will be for somebody.
    When the players aren’t coming to you, try to create relationships so they you can gain trust with the player.
    The best coaches are the ones that don’t force the players into doing something one way.
    You want your players to use what works.
    The best coaches ask the players about how they’ve grown as a player, how they do things and why, and they also talk about their life.
    This builds trust and helps the player understand.
    You gain trust by an intentional conversation with the player so that the players can understand themselves the best that they can do that they are adaptable in the game.
    Share your experiences with the players so that they can understand that they will get though their struggles.
    Most problems aren’t mechanical, they are mostly mental issues.
    If we can create self awareness for the player then they will be more convicted with their actions.
    “All it takes is 5 minutes to change a life.”
    If you take 5 minutes and check in with your team a few times a week then the rewards will be beneficial.
    It’ll take some work at first but at the end it’ll be so beneficial.
    You’ll find out the little things that will tell you what the players are thinking with their body language.
    When they are stretching go out and see how they are all doing.
    This matters so much to the players. They will look forward to seeing you and talking to them.
    If it means enough to you to create life lessons and help the person then you will do this.
    The goal of the coach is to take each player and make them a better human being and athlete.
    When you first get a player, ask the player with questions so that you can be a world class listener.
    Ask them why they do what they do, so that you can understand them the best way possible.
    Tell the players that they have the ability to be themselves.
    “Hitting is a conversation.”
    Have the player map out their goals and how they want to do it so that they can visualize their plan and get there.
    The coach is there to help along the way and fill in the blanks.
    Don’t allow ego to take over. Tell the player that what happens in the cage will happen and not to beat themselves up.
    Players are searching with something that is repeatable,

    • 1 hr 2 min

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