1st Edition

A Constraints-Led Approach to Baseball Coaching

By Rob Gray, Randy Sullivan Copyright 2023
    158 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    158 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A Constraints-Led Approach to Baseball Coaching presents a new approach to baseball coaching and practice. Applying a CLA to the player development process across the skill spectrum from the beginners to elite, this book uses practical examples to demonstrate the theoretical principles of the constraints-led coaching style embedded in research showing the numerous benefits of the approach.

    This book incorporates case studies and examples of how constraints are manipulated to develop more adaptable players that can perform at a higher level with a reduced risk of injury, shifting the reader’s view of skill acquisition from the concept of the one “correct” solution, acquired through repetition, to the ecological dynamics framework focused on variability, adaptability, and self-organization. Individual chapters cover major topics such as hitting, pitching, and fielding for players from Little League to the pros. This book illustrates the underlying principles so that coaches can develop their own practice activities.

    A Constraints-Led Approach to Baseball Coaching is a key reading for undergraduate students and practicing sports coaches, physical education teachers and sport scientists alike as well as practicing players and coaches in baseball and related sports.

    1 Introduction: The Problems with Traditional Baseball Practice

    2 The Alternative, Self-Organization Approach to Skill

    3 Constraints and the Constraints-Led Approach to Coaching

    4 Batting

    5 Pitching

    6 Fielding

    7 Extensions to and Things We Can Learn from Softball and Other Related Sports

    8 A Look at Research Evaluating the CLA to Coaching

    Epilogue: Concluding Thoughts and Some Coaching Tools


    Rob Gray is an associate professor and program head of the human systems engineering program at Arizona State University, USA. He has published more than 25 research articles on baseball. He is also host and producer of the popular Perception & Action podcast.

    Randy Sullivan is a physical therapist, a baseball coach, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has been the owner and director of the Florida Baseball ARMory training facility, and a paid consultant to MLB and collegiate baseball programs for more than 25 years.