Feb 13, 2018

The Kapler Approach

Gabe Kapler
Philadelphia Phillies - Manager - 2018
The more I learn about this man, the more I respect and admire him.  Matt Mullin of PhillyVoice.com wrote an article about his observations of our new manager so far this Spring.  I've never coached a sports team.  My career has taken me to working as a coach and a trainer for the customer service team of one of the largest companies in the world, and I see a lot of similarities in the way that I approach my work to the way that Mr. Kapler manages his team.

Here are a few lines from the article that stuck with me:

  • Kapler has a way of doing things that is going to take some getting used to. Not because it's bad, but because it's different. He's part cool dad, part spiritual guide with a little motivational speaker mixed in for good measure.
  • "We're not going to do something just because that's the way it's always been done," Kapler said Tuesday, offering a credo for the way he plans on running the team.
  • He wants to mold the team to fit his players, not force his players to fit any certain personality. But more than anything, Kapler wants his players to feel comfortable being themselves off the field so that they'll feel just as comfortable on the field.
  • "One of the questions I've been asking a lot of our players is, 'What does it mean to play boldly?' What does it mean to deliver a pitch boldly, what does it mean to take a swing in the batters box boldly, what does it mean to communicate boldly? And what I've gotten in return is: with conviction, with fearlessness, courageously, with intent."
  • "Asking our players to compete like that, building an environment without fear – we know that when we walk into a room or out onto a field, and we feel like we're going to be judged or condemned for every little thing, we get paralyzed and we can't act. We lose that boldness; we lose that conviction; we lose that intent. So the thought process is to create the environment where people feel like they can be bold and comfortable."
  • The way Kapler wants to relate to his players and not mute their individual personalities sounds somewhat similar to another coach in this town... Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who helped bring Philly its first Super Bowl title in just his second year on the job.
  • "We would be foolish to not take cues from what the Eagles accomplished," Kapler said. "Not just over the last couple of weeks, but since the summer when Coach Pederson addressed his team and said, 'This is what the world thinks, and this is who we think you are. And what we think you are is really special."
This is going to be a great season.  I'm looking forward to this.