February 21, 2019
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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Quote: ‘Discipline yourself and others won’t have to’ – John Wooden
- Book: John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success
- Book: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William McRaven
- Book: The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams by Sam Walker
- Book: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- 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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