I teach using pictures. Why? Because that's how I learned about hitting and it's how I familiarized my first client, Andres Torres of the Giants, with what the best hitters (actually) do.

When I was coaching at HSSU in 2017, most of the other assistant coaches, and the bench coach in particular, didn't agree with what I was teaching about hitting and how I was teaching it.

This was despite the fact that the team's batting average was .398 going into conference play.

Frustrated with the situation, I took a few days off to go to down Florida to catch some spring training games and get away from the nonsense. When I returned, I found that all of the pictures I had put up and used to talk hitting with the guys had either been thrown in the trash or dumped on the floor and were lying under the benches.

Things then came to a head when I found that the bench coach had changed everything about how we taught hitting during my absence.

When I explained to him that what I taught was based on what I saw in photos and videos of the best major leaguers, he replied, "Why would you teach them to hit like minor leaguers? These guys aren't minor leaguers." He then said something even more interested; something I believe reflected that the problem lay with him, not the players.

"You're just confusing them with your pictures."

I tried to use this as a lesson to the guys to be careful who they listen to, but I ended up easing my out of HSSU because I was a VAC and it simply wasn't worth the hassle, especially if someone was going to confuse the hitters by contradicting everything I said and tainting the team's results.

Very Important Pictures

I bring this up not to bash the bench coach -- if I wanted to bash him, I'd name him -- but to point out a still-prevalent problem.

Too many people still cling to and teach things that are out of touch with reality.

They aren't what the best hitters (actually) do.

My change of what I taught was easy. I had no investment in what I was taught, and what I was taught simply didn't work, so I had no problem admitting that and changing my views.

I know it's harder for you, but it's no less important.

You can keep teaching what you were taught and what you've always taught. That's what most people do because it's hard to change and it can be painful to realize that you don't know anything.

However, if you want to take yourself and your team or program to new heights, you have to open your eyes and see what the pictures are trying to tell you, no matter how scary that can be.

You owe it to your players.

And to yourself.