The Mentor Experience
Being a Major League or Minor League hitter is tougher than you think.
They grind out 500-700 at-bats per year. They try to make the most out of their career – one that presents the harsh reality that every day you get to play, is one day closer to the end.
They quickly realize they can’t do this alone. They need someone in their life to guide them and provide support.
They need a mentor.
And the role of a mentor is to stay behind-the-scenes, ready to help when the need arises.
Being someone more than just a hitting coach was something I desperately needed and yearned for as a player. I needed someone who I could vent to, confide in, seek unbiased guidance from and lean on for support during some of my darkest moments. Sadly, there wasn’t anyone around at that time to facilitate my needs.
There were many times in my career where I would drive home in silence after going 0 for 3 wondering if I would ever make it. Other times, I would walk around with so much built-up anger and anxiety that whoever stood in my way would catch a side of me that still to this day, I’m not proud of – even ashamed of.
I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through.
WHY Mentors Matter
Have you ever tried to get through a tough moment in your life on your own? Have you ever felt like you were the only one going through a tough experience? I’m not just talking about trying to handle a 3-51 slump at the plate. More so, going through tough times off the field, that inevitably affect your performance on the field?
That’s where a mentor comes into the picture – me.
In the beginning, players call me seeking advice on their swing and approach. I am happy to sit down with them and listen intently as they share with me their goals, dreams, habits, routines, fears, doubts and anything else they want to share. After they finish enlightening me, I will return the favor by helping them map out a plan and routine for the off season and season, as well as for the remainder of their career.
But as we get to spend more time together, the player starts to realize that I’m not just their hitting coach – I have become a mentor, friend and confidant to them.
You can sit someone down in front of a video screen and playback slo-motion videos all day, dissecting the mechanics of the swing and the importance of launch angles and bat paths. While it might help their swing, you’ve only started to scratch the surface when it comes to developing the complete hitter.
I prefer to look at the complete body of work.
I want to know where the player is at personally in their life. What does home look and sound like?
Do they compare themselves to others?
Do they know WHY they play the game in the first place?
Do they take the time to pour into themselves before they pour into their swing?
Do they have an ego (you need one to play your best)?
Are they intentional with their purpose? The list goes on and on.
I ask in order to find. I listen in order to understand. I never take for granted the opportunity to listen to a player share his thoughts and feelings on hitting and/or life.
Why am I intentional about taking so much time to grow meaningful relationships with players? Because at our core we are human beings with doubts, fears, anxieties and craving someone who we can trust to walk alongside us in our journey.
Mastery Is a Process, Not a Destination
True teaching requires development of the person first and the player second.
If I can help the player grow himself as a person, the hitter automatically shows up on the field. I’m not in this for flash-in-the-pan results. I’m committed to the long game – seeing personal, as well as offensive growth, over the course of time. I believe in the process – getting 1% Better every day.
Mentors have a passion for what they do.
They have an ability to communicate and relate to others, to express themselves clearly. They can come up with concepts and then find ways to make them a reality, especially under extreme pressure. They have a vision and know how to find ways to implement it.
Has your hitting coach ever taken walks with you to help you get back on track in the batters box? You can read about one of my walks with an All-Star here.
People ask me what #GoodBatting means:
It’s a mindset. It’s a feel. It’s simple. It’s based on your WHY. It’s filled with purpose and intent. It’s individual. It’s genuine. It’s a complete understanding of YOU. It’s confidence. It’s clarity. It’s controlled. It’s repeatable. It’s natural.
It’s not only a mindset, but it’s a way of life.
I’m grateful to work with high schools and colleges through our KWB Experience program. Why is it called an Experience? Because when you’re discovering how you like to swing the bat or become enlightened on WHY you are successful during the games, it’s an experience that you will never forget. My job is to lead you to the moment in your career where you begin to appreciate your strengths and find purpose in everything you do.
Are you looking for a hitting coach or a mentor? Perhaps now you understand the importance of having both in order to experience a meaningful life and career.
For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. 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 Taichung, Taiwan.
He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!