Mike Rogers’ Ultimate Coaching System 0

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

AUSTIN, Tex. — Mike Rogers is one of the elite head baseball coaches in the nation at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Tex.

Now in his 27th year as a coach at four different high schools, he recently celebrated his 700th career win.

His teams have made the state playoffs 23 times, and he has been picked as Coach of The Year 19 times.

Over the years, he has raised over $500,000 by hosting an annual Kickoff The Season Banquet.

His ball club this season was 22-1 and ranked No. 1 nationally in the Collegiate Baseball National High School poll presented by Diamond Pro.

Part of what makes this coach so smart is his unique philosophy in working with people outside his program.

Rogers wants to know precisely what outside coaches and parents have done to refine pitchers, hitters or the defensive skills of his players as they enter his program.

He talks to outside coaches and parents as he comes up with a plan for each of his players that will make them better as baseball players improve with repeatable mechanics.

Instead of having numerous voices in a player’s ear telling him to hit, pitch or field multiple ways, there is unison as everyone is on the same page.

Learning is enhanced with this common sense approach.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of high school coaches across the USA demand that players in their program only embrace their concepts on all facets of the game.

It is a my way or the highway philosophy.

They want no part of outside coaches tinkering with the mechanics of their players.

What many high school coaches don’t stop to consider is that parents typically pay thousands of dollars every year for instruction to better their players.

When athletes are on baseball teams outside of their high school team during the summer, even more advice is given to these players.

And of course, it costs parents even more money to be on these teams.

It begs the question: Why don’t all high school coaches have a constructive dialogue with anyone working with any of their players so that all parties give the same important advice when it comes to mechanics in the different disciplines of baseball.

“I am old school with a lot of mechanics that I teach and believe in,” said Rogers.

“But so many players are on club teams or go to instructors which shape their mechanics prior to coming to high school.

“Why should I discard everything that player has learned through his life prior to coming here? There are different ways to field balls as an infielder and many ways to hit a baseball in addition to pitch. I feel it is important to talk to coaches outside our program and have them explain why he hits, fields or pitches the way he does. Then I tell them what my system is.

“That instructor really appreciates being part of our teaching team as we come up with a plan that helps each kid. Sometimes outside coaches learn some things from me. And I have certainly learned things from outside coaches who have great ideas.

“And you also bring in the parents into this discussion if they are working with their kids on the mechanics of hitting, fielding or pitching.

“It simply is productive to do this.”

Rogers said he rarely has an angry parent because he and his coaching staff demonstrate how much they care about their athletes as they become better in baseball and better people in life.

“Back in the day, high school coaches were the lone voice of coaching for that group of kids.

“That dynamic has now changed. Kids today have multiple voices who give them advice about all facets of what they do in baseball mechanically.

“We reach out to people who are giving lessons to our kids outside of our program. That may be from knowledgeable people who work on hitting or pitching. These outside coaches may have academies or might be club coaches or coaches on select teams.

“We reach out to those guys and share our philosophy and see where they’re at. It makes it an easier transition on the player.

“I realized I needed to change and grow as a coach when it came to working with people outside our program who were helping our kids and giving their advice. As the head coach of a high school, you are a window in time in your players’ lives each fall and spring for four years.

“Then they are off playing each summer. By embracing all of these people, it is better for the players.

“It is vital each athlete consistently hears the same information over and over again from all of these voices.

“We don’t want our instruction to be a solo voice while everyone else around them is teaching mechanics of the skills differently. It isn’t productive to have this going on. It is absolutely imperative that everyone be on the same page.

“Most outside coaches are awesome and want their kids to be successful. So they will embrace some of our terminology. We may embrace some of their terminology. Whatever works.”

To read more of this story, purchase the April 19, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Mike Rogers explains how he works with parents to have a game plan for player improvement, his defense and pitching first system and how it is implemented, how he teaches the different skills to players along with raising money and much more.