WYC 164 – Youth Baseball – Freddy Hilliard – Selflessness, Excellence, Energy

Freddy Hilliard is the head coach at Malvern Prep in Pennsylvania. In 8 seasons as coach, he has surpassed the 260 win mark, collected 5 PA state titles as well as 5 national top 25 rankings and has sent 75 players on to play college ball. His former players view him as a coach, mentor, teacher and role model. Although he develops baseball skills, he is even more talented in developing better people first and foremost. Baseball as we know is a small part of life, how we conduct ourselves as humans, as husbands, as brothers, as fathers…that is what is important in life and that is how we will be remembered.

Twitter: @coachhilliard16


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Cringe Moment

  • After a loss, on the bus ride on the way home, the kids were laughing and having a good time. Freddy couldn’t understand why they were having fun and weren’t mad. It was a good eye-opener, that most of these kids enjoy being on the team, but they have a lot going on beyond this team. The biggest lesson he learned was investing more in them as people and getting to know what makes them tick.
  • Choosing to be excellent at everything means work, but don’t be satisfied with being OK or mediocre.

Teaching skills

  • It all starts with the why. Teaching is much more effective if they understand what they are trying to accomplish and why it’s important.
  • Players should be free to ask questions and suggest improvements
  • Competing is key to getting kids to focus and give their all. They have 4 yellow jerseys – they give them to the best 4 defensive players at their 4 stations. They also have a batting championship belt they award (similar to a WWE or boxing belt) each practice.

Achieving Peak Performance

  • Work with your team on breathing to calm their heart rate down
  • Visualize success. Think about success and don’t be afraid to fail.

Core Values

  • They have 3 of them: Selflessness, Excellence, Energy

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Freddy had a player who didn’t get much playing time, but had a great attitude, and stayed in touch for years to come. This speaks to Freddy and his staff valuing him as a person, not based on his talent level.

The one that haunts me

  • Freddy’s team was in the state championship game, they had beaten the other team twice that season rather easily. They lost in extra innings. Freddy thinks he could have done a better job getting his team focused and not being complacent.

Favorite books/quote:

Parting Advice

  • Don’t overthink or over-coach. Let the kids figure it out.
  • Make it fun, you want the kids to love the game.
  • Be authentic.

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