The Mets Way is a new philosophy. It’s a plan for success that aims to help coaches to connect with players and by teaching them the socio-dynamic metrics of baseball beyond the game itself.
Many of the lessons and tools that Lewis-McCoy is bringing to the Mets are an extension of his research on diverse learners, particularly Black and Latinx students. The goal of his research is to make sure that the materials he presents have application to their lives, paying particularly close attention to age, gender, race, class, ability status and other dimensions of culture.
“In many ways, my work with the Mets brings together many different threads of my work with teachers, students, and community members,” says Lewis-McCoy.
In many ways, my work with the Mets brings together many different threads of my work with teachers, students, and community members."
Allard Baird, assistant general manager for scouting and player development, and others in the organization have looked at what Mets baseball is, and who the Mets want to be, according to Lewis-McCoy. “They’ve said we have talented people and an investment in the team, but it's time to invest in a collective culture.”
Lewis-McCoy’s work is not about tweaking Pete Alonso’s fielding skills or batting stance, but providing the coaches with skills to better instruct the player.
“I’m not here to tell folks how to hit, I’m here to help the coaches understand how to deliver the instruction around hitting,” says Lewis-McCoy. “The connective tissue matters when they’re creating meaningful relationships with their players. Strengthening these relationships is as important as the content that they’re delivering.”
I’m not here to tell folks how to hit, I’m here to help the coaches understand how to deliver the instruction around hitting."
“We’ve been doing a lot of work on how people think about and receive information and then helping coaches understand that, ‘Hey, the way you were taught may have worked then, but these are new players from a different generation and there are some new ways to teach and make connections that will help us see improvement.’“
To help them conceptualize this task, Lewis-McCoy created a worksheet, rubric for assessment, and heuristic device for coaches and staff designed to help the front office identify ways that coaches can connect with the players. It provides checkpoints for coaches to consider along the way.
“I connected their ideas with what we know about pedagogy, culture and generational status,” says Lewis-McCoy.
Lewis-McCoy has also been working with the team on collaborative coaching.
“Collaborative coaching comes out of my research on collaborative teaching. In baseball, collaborative coaching means coaches work together to understand the unique sets of needs of adult learners. It’s about recognizing culture, ability, and finding solutions. A lot of it is getting them to reframe their approach. What I do is present them with five tools and instructions on how to make sure they’re using them on a consistent basis.”
What are those tools, exactly?
Well, for now, they’re a secret.
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At the time of publication, the MLB owners and the players’ union are trying to work out a deal that could lead to a COVID-19-modified season. Many obstacles related to revenue sharing still remain, as well identifying cities that have been cleared to host sporting events.
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