You want to be a hitting coach someday?
If you are a hitting coach and you look the part you will get immediate respect. Looking the part is very important. How do you look the part? Have a good sound resume of playing experience and network to find the right friends to help get you a position. It comes down to saying, “I played here and here for so many years and I know these people.”
Then you have to sound the part. Know the hitters lingo and some good drills and a plan (along with looking good) and your a good candidate. Lastly, it helps if you are a good guy and your a team coach who has a positive relationship with the players (back to his one later).
How do hitting coaches keep their job?
Well most do not, but being fortunate enough to be on a winning team always helps. Hitting coaches who have longer careers have the ability to network and find many different jobs no matter what their history as a coach. Can there be coaches that are not so effective but have a long lasting career with an abiding respect from their peers?
Why yes, and I have some great examples of this. If you last in the game long enough you will get respect no matter how your record stands. Look at Charly Lau and a guy like Kevin Long from the Yankees. Both noted Gurus, both won championships with great teams, and both had long careers in baseball. If, however, you look at all their teams hitting stats over the course of their career, many times their teams batting stats went down from year to year. You could even say that the teams they coached got worse in hitting from one year to the next (especially in the case of Long; Lau was a bit more consistent but not much). If you average out the team batting averages and slugging percentages of all the teams they have coached they come out to be very average and no better than a regular journeyman hitting coach.
Basically this is how hitting coaches are placed in the Guru category. Get on the right team and build your reputation as a winner. Believe me, deep down, these type of coaches know they are coat tail riders and have just enough confidence to be Gurus because they have championship rings.
Basically, MLB, college, and high school baseball do not get it.
Hitting coaches are merry go rounds careers because once the team loses or is mediocre and cannot hi, the hitting coach is usually out. So how should hitting coaches really get jobs?
It should be based on playing and coaching experience and then proof of improvement statistically in most every team that this coach worked at. Stats do not lie and with hitting coaches it trumps winning because you can win with pitching and defense like the Yankees do most every year.
As a hitting specialist I have learned to run my coaching jobs like a business. All teams want to get better and would rather get better than look and sound good or be associated with a big name.
I personally look at their hitting numbers over the course of the past few years and then set goals as to where the hitting stats should be within the next few seasons. In most cases, if teams want to hit at a championship level they have to hit 30-50 points over their normal batting and slugging percentages. My job is to show them how to do this, and as a specialist with experience in running my business this way ( because it always about results), I believe coaches should be paid based on results more than just effort.
So I am always willing to get paid based on my time and what results were accomplished. After all, how do professional hitting coaches get paid millions of dollars a year only to witness their teams batting numbers to hardly ever get better? I do not know, but my conscience will never let me go there and I could only imagine all the excuses and reasons that go through a hitting coaches head when their team cannot hit.
Advise: Do not pay any hitting coach a lot of money unless you know your going to get results!