Part 2: Mike Steele Coaches Cleveland Indians and Son's Youth Team, Talks State of Youth Baseball
Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mike Steele gives his thoughts on the current state of youth baseball - part two!
Parents and Coaches,
In this episode I finished up the Mike Steele interview from last week, and just as in part one - he didn’t disappoint.
If you missed part one, go listen to it first, then come back and catch part two here!
Please let me know what you think and if you’d like to hear more from Mike.
He’s committed to joining me again, as well as collaborating for a monthly listener-generated Q&A session - just for you!
Thanks again for listening. Would you consider sharing Elbow Up with a friend?
⚾ 0:00 - Audio Clip from Part One
⚾ 1:51 - Introduction
Mike Steele played high school, college, and pro ball. He spent 7 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a pitching coach.
He’s also served as the pitching coach at three Division I universities - Michigan State University, Long Beach State University, and Wichita State University.
Mike is now based out of Phoenix, Arizona with the Cleveland Indians as a minor league pitching coach. He works during Spring Training with all levels of Indians’ pitchers, and then remains in Phoenix throughout the rest of the year with their Rookie level minor league team.
In addition to his lengthy baseball career, Mike’s most important job now is being a father, which also includes coaching his son’s 13 year old summer team.
I know a lot of youth league coaches that have played the game at a high level, but I’ve never come across a professional baseball coach who also coaches his son’s team (at the same time).
⚾ 5:50 - We’re Forcing Kids to Play Scared
The fear comes from a lack of competitiveness. They haven’t done it enough to be confident, so we should focus on competing and how to bounce back.
Kids are too young to have the right level of confidence, but we’re also not encouraging them to compete. Instead we’re trying to build mechanical machines.
⚾ 9:11 - Epidemic of Parents and Coaches Focusing on the Wrong Things
Specifically, parents and coaches are more worried about winning than developing boys to be men.
We should be developing the person first, and then the players.
⚾ 11:15 - Risk of Boys Growing Up Having a Transactional Relationship with Everything in Life
This includes baseball, work, women. And if they don’t see immediate positive results, they’ll quit, or give up on it.
⚾ 13:52 - Being Good Doesn’t Always Equal Development
Most of the best teams at the young ages just have the best athletes, and is not a good predictor of long term baseball success.
The two guys from his 12U little league state championship team, the two guys that ultimately played professional baseball were the last two guys anyone would have thought of when they were 12U.
[Timeline generation in progress]
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