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Developing Softball Players On and Off the Field with Lincoln Martin

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Lincoln Martin is a renowned hitting coach based out of Norcross, Georgia who works with the top softball programs around the nation. Having played for the Baltimore Orioles and scouted for multiple MLB teams, Lincoln knows what to look for in a hitter and how to help them improve.

We recently sat down with Lincoln to discuss what he looks for in a player, how he defines success for his players and himself, and how technology furthers his players’ growth.

What lead you from playing to scouting?

I think I have always been a scout. I was the guy who finished batting practice and would sit in the stands and watch the other team hit. I was always evaluating other players, and was aware of what other players did, and most importantly, what the good players did.

When I was getting close to the end with the Orioles, they came to me and said, “We want to send you to scout school. We think you’d be a good scout.” I don’t really know how they knew that, but it felt like the right direction for me.

What type of athletes were you looking for when scouting?

I have a list of tools that make up a player profile. For each position, I know what I want to see in them. For a center fielder, it is going to be a profile for a center fielder.

But overall, I am always looking for tools like power, speed, arm strength, defense-ability and hit-ability.

How did you transition from baseball to softball?

I always had a couple softball players I was working with on the side. Then I started having college softball programs call me and ask questions about hitting. Slowly but surely, I started having more and more softball players come in. Now, I am about 90%+ softball.

Once I really started working with softball players, I found that young girls typically engage better. Their commitment to work is always there. And they always work hard.

What role does character play in an athlete?

A player’s character is a huge deal. I observe how they talk with people inside our building. They have to act the right way, even walk the right way. Sometimes the character is there, but they still need to boost their confidence and self-awareness. We work with them on that because being confident in your own skin is a huge part of being successful, not just as an athlete, but as a human.

What does success look like for your athlete?

Going to college is an important one. When they walk in our door, they’re going to school. I won’t let them fail. If we do things the right way, they’re not going to fail.

What does success look like for you as a coach?

The kids are the success for me. My success is them being able to achieve the goals that they set out to achieve. But overall, them being good kids, really being dedicated to something, and having confidence and self-awareness is the part that really makes me feel successful.

How do you use technology to develop your players?

I take advantage of every resource I have to further my players’ growth. If I have data or information that can make a difference with our kids, I’m going to take it. The more information you can get, the better chance you have to make good decisions.

Having the metrics and truly understanding what they are saying is going to be a big deal for the sport. Having someone’s history is a big deal. Being able to go back to a kid at 10 years old and say, “Hey, this kid has been hitting for a long time,” is huge for both scouts and coaches. I am able to see how they have been hitting and improving, and that will allow me to make a better decision on how to help this kid continue to improve.

To see more of Lincoln Martin and drills he recommends for his players, visit our Training Center.