Head Coaches- Wes Brooks (Oxford HS, AL) Butch Chaffin (Cookeville HS, TN)


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Today were joined by Episode #1 and #5. Butch Chaffin and Wes Brooks.

Wes Brooks is the head coach at Oxford HS in Alabama and Butch Chaffin, Head coach at cookeville HS in Tennessee.

I may have mentioned it several times on the podcast, but I want to reiterate it here. Butch and Wes are two of the best coaches in the country and they absolutely get the most out their guys and love them to death. So on the show, we talk about what’s important to them. We discuss what growing men in your program means, we talk all things culture building, and you can develop a system that works for your program.




Mans search for meaning





Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

  • Baseball will teach you a lot about life and reward you with friends and a lifelong memories.
  • If your players see that you love the game then the relationships will come.
  • As a coach you want to touch the lives of your players, make them better people, and help them find out what they want to be.
  • Spend a lot of time in the classroom building the culture.
  • Understand what your players can understand and learn.
  • Trust your gut and do what will work for your players.
  • If you open up to your players, then they will and trust will be created.
  • Players will go the extra mile if they know you care about them.
  • Rush the development of the person.
  • The mature person can learn information use the information given.
  • Demand that your players are going to focus and learn.
  • “You can develop and win at the same time.”
  • If your head coach is in the dugout then the head coach can communicate with the players and teach in the game.
  • You can gain better communication and understanding if you’re teaching and developing all the time.
  • “Development is nonstop.”
  • A good coach in the summer is teaching and developing in practice and in the game.
  • For the player to understand and coach themselves use external cues.
  • “The external cue for each individual is different.”
  • Find out what works best for each player in regards to external cueing.
  • If a player is growing then he is developing.
  • If you’re going to have words for players to understand, then you need to have a definition for each word.
  • This creates a common verbiage.
  • Give your assistant coaches the opportunity to be the head coach of their position.
  • Research and talk with other coaches to add new things to grow.
  • “A good coach has a growth mindset.”
  • Good coaches try new things. If it works they keep it, if not they discard it.
  • You want your staff to be on the same page.
  • As the head coach things work better when it’s your page and your assistants are writing on the outside of the page.
  • As a young coach find around 10-12people who you can talk baseball with and grow.
  • Every coach will have parent problems.
  • Find that core group of guys where you can bounce ideas off of.
  • Talk with your group of coaches on takeaways and what you’ve learned from a speaker.
  • Read books and talk about them with that group of coaches.
  • When bunting you want to control the barrel.
  • Put the index finger out to control the barrel with the bunt.
  • As a coach try this out to see if you can feel it.
  • Be open for trial and error.
  • To have a growth mindset and explore what you like.
  • If you really like it, then keep it for your team.
  • Be open minded to try our new things.
  • As a coach help out other coaches.
  • You will help them grow and they will help you grow.
  • With the coaching group that you have, bounce situational baseball ideas off of them.
  • This will open your eyes and want to try our new things.
  • Try your best as a head coach to make things a priority that the conversations your parents have with your players to be the same conversations that the coaches are having with the player.
  • Example: Share with the parents what a quality at bat is.
  • “Get everyone with two feet in the circle.”
  • Lay out the expectations with your parents on what their players can expect.
  • Parents want their kids to play, but if you set out the expectations and how following what the coaches have put out will help the players.
  • It’ll help the player stay focused and not worried on distractions.
  • As a coach you’re working for all of the parents who are supporting the program.
  • The parent who doesn’t like you won’t ever like you.
  • “If everybody likes you then you’re doing it wrong.”
  • Focus on coaching your team.
  • Be transparent with your players, parents, and community.
  • As a head coach set the boundary where the parents cannot go to the assistant coaches and talk about playing time.
  • The players know and understand why they aren’t playing.
  • Talk to your players about the role of each player.
  • Have a parent only meeting and a player only meeting.
  • Ask both the parents and players the same questions.
  • 1. Write down their son’s individual goals.
  • 2. Write down our team goals.
  • 3. If your son doesn’t accomplish these two goals then what do you want them to experience?
  • At the end of the day, parents want their child to grow as a person, student, and athlete.
  • Don’t hold a grudge against a parent for what they say about you.
  • Before practice you have two teams.
  • One team is to clean up the locker room.
  • The other team is to clean up the team room.
  • Whoever cleans either room better earns a point.
  • In practice those teams will be competing.
  • Then both teams will alternate either running sprints or cleaning up the dugout.
  • Keep score each day.
  • “Try to compete in everything that you do.”
  • Allow for players who love baseball but struggle with playing to be student coaches or managers.
  • Find Out Friday: You will be in a chair during workouts. Players ask one question and you give them an honest answer.
  • “Culture is something you feel.”
  • You compete in the weight room by the strength of the players and putting more weight on the machines and lifts.
  • Ask coaches and players about what went well culture wise and what needs changed.
  • “If you let culture be the teacher then culture will be better.”
  • You want your worst player to be better than the opponents worst player.
  • If a player does something wrong we are going to handle the situation right there.
  • “Don’t have regrets about things away from the game.”
  • Don’t put up with lack of effort and wrong attitude.
  • Do the program the way you want it.
  • Guys get fired because of a lack of culture instead of wins and losses.
  • “The grass is always greener if you don’t water and fertilize where you’re at.”
  • “Be where you’re feet are and do the best at where you’re at.”

209 episodes