The Go It Alone Approach

Jaques Barzun, who was a French social commentator and American historian once stated that, “In order to understand the heart and soul of America, you need to learn Baseball.” I am truly an avid fan of Baseball and have been fortunate to see two of my son’s move on to play at the college level. Both are pitchers that worked countless hours with coaches to get them the skills they needed to make it to the next level. I am truly very proud of my sons: however, this article is not about them, but rather about the odds of making it on our own without help from a coach.

What is the road to the MLB like in Baseball. Currently, there are 946 players in the MLB. But what are the odds of making it from High School to the MLB. Here are some surprising statistics:

  • Less than three in 50, or about 5.6 percent, of high school senior interscholastic baseball players will go on to play men’s baseball at a NCAA member institution.
  • Less than eleven in 100, or about 10.5 percent, of NCAA senior male baseball players will get drafted by a Major League Baseball (MLB) team (there are 1,500 athletes in the draft each year).
  • Approximately one in 200, or approximately 0.5 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic baseball will eventually be drafted by an MLB team.

So, let’s take a closer look at the numbers:

  • High School Baseball Athletes – 455,300
  • High School Senior Athletes – 130,100
  • NCAA Athletes – 25,700
  • NCAA Senior Athletes – 5,700
  • NCAA Athletes Drafted – 600
  • High School to NCAA – 5.6%
  • NCAA to Professional – 10.5%
  • High School to Professional – .5%
  • High School to Professional without a coach – 0%


I would argue that the players at the MLB level are not the best of the best because they were born to that calling. But rather they reached that level because at some point, a coach saw their potential and helped them turn that into a higher level of performance.

How Does Baseball Compare to Leadership

You are probably asking yourself how this compares to leadership in today’s world. Well, let’s look at a different set of numbers:

  • 154 million workers in the US alone in 2021
  • 7 million in senior leadership positions
  • Approximately 200,000 CEOs in the US
  • Percentage of US employees in senior leadership positions – 4.5%

I realize that not everybody wants to play at the MLB level, or obtain an executive role, let alone a management position. But for those that do aspire to improve their leadership ability, a coach is in many ways the best path to obtaining those required skills. However, I often hear the comment, “no thanks, I am good,” or, “I am already in an executive position.” I truly respect their thoughts towards executive coaching. However, just like in baseball, a coach can help you see your potential, capitalize on your strengths, identify your gaps, and turn that into future performance. Hiring an executive coach can be life changing for anyone from emerging leaders to executives of all types. A coach can be an independent sounding board to pressure test ideas, brainstorm, and prepare for crucial conversations. A coach can provide feedback to help find blind spots to work on. A coach can also help a client set a self-development plan and keep them accountable for following it. For those seeking to continue climbing up the ladder, it can provide a valuable competitive edge over executives who insist on a “go it alone” approach.

About the Author

Rich Baron is a Master Certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach with over 25 years experience in executive leadership positions. Along with his coaching partner, Maikel Bailey, they bring over 50 years of combined experience to the table. Their podcast, “Mainline Executive Coaching ACT,” has followers in over 40 countries and 270 cities globally.

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