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Inside Pitch Magazine, January/February 2021

Last Inning: Coaching Champions for Life

by Coach Adam Sarancik

Coaching Champions for Life Book CoverCoach Adam Sarancik has published two books taking a unique look at coaching, Coaching Champions for Life: The Process of Mentoring the Person, Athlete and Player and a companion book, Takeaway Quotes for Coaching Champions for Life. Most books and videos on the market today give opinions on how to throw, field and hit a baseball. These books do something different. They describe the methodology of how to teach those things, as well as, how to develop championship teams and programs.

Coach Sarancik thinks the process of developing players to be the best they can be begins with a coach’s ability to relate to, connect with and validate the person. Once a coach successfully mentors the person, the coach must develop the athlete. i.e., many of the flaws in the player should not first be addressed by sport skill drills; rather they should be addressed in the gym or other venues outside the playing field by making the player more mobile, stable, stronger, more powerful and a better athlete. Coach Sarancik believes better people equal better athletes equal better players. In other words, coaches must change the way they see their team members from being just players to seeing them as people first.

The book describes in detail the process to teach a player how to be a better person, a better athlete and a better player outside of and within a practice. This includes the process of how to design a drill and the step-by step process to teach the skills within the drill including how to use all of the learning modalities (auditory, visual and kinesthetic) when doing so.

Coaching Champions for Life is 404 pages of detailed information, tips, outlines, drills and read-to-go program pieces to develop players within the game for beyond the game. The book includes chapters on Developing Championship People, Athletes, and Players, Mental Conditioning, Teams, Leaders & Team Chemistry, as well as how to “win” by letting your players play, how to coach championship games and how to help players choose a career and a college.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter in the book entitled Developing Championship Mental Conditioning: “In a baseball context, success comes from training your players to calmly focus and be disciplined for maximum performance during months of competition in a game especially unforgiving of minor mistakes. This process begins by understanding why who you are becoming is more important than what you are accomplishing.”

Every good coach’s goal is the same for his or her athletes. Good coaches want their athletes to teach others what they have taught them about how to help others. Coaches are teaching their athletes the fundamentals of their sport and about competition as a vehicle to teaching them how to be successful in life. When coaching young athletes, a coach’s primary goal should be to maintain the athlete’s enthusiasm for the sport so they will stick with it long enough to learn the life lessons they need to learn. If you teach them they can be good at something, you will teach them they can be good at anything. Older athletes need to be pushed out of their comfort zones to achieve things individually and as a team that they did not think were possible.

In sports, as in life, this is done by being able to handle adversity appropriately and always thinking of others first.

When you do these things you “win.” When you do not do them, you “lose,” regardless of the score of the game. Good coaches teach this by patiently helping their athletes learn the fundamentals of the sport, using the occurrences in their sport to illustrate how to overcome adversity in life, and by being good role models themselves. 

If you want to learn more about these books, go to Copies of the books can be ordered from Coach Sarancik directly at 503-327-9323 or [email protected].

Adam Sarancik is the owner of Elevate Sports Academy which mentors student-athletes in physical conditioning, nutrition, career and college counseling, and sport skills. He has spent most of his adult life coaching youth baseball, softball, soccer, and basketball. Adam is also a certified Impact Trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance.

Inside Pitch Magazine is published six times per year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt association founded in 1945. Copyright American Baseball Coaches Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without prior written permission. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is impossible to make such a guarantee. The opinions expressed herein are those of the writers.
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