How Giants' 'neighborhood' of feedback creates learning environment


The third Giants season under manager Gabe Kapler is underway and so far, his unique coaching philosophies have been well-received by players up and down the roster. 

There is no shortage of information, coaching and feedback -- a wealth of information that even the most established veterans welcome with open arms. 

ESPN's Tim Keown wrote a feature story released Friday titled "Being Gabe Kapler: Inside the mind of the San Francisco Giants' nonconformist manager," where the Giants manager provided ESPN with a peek behind the curtain into who he is both on and off the field. 

In the feature was an anecdote about Kapler and the Giants' teaching philosophy and how the coaching staff and organization are built in a way that creates a "neighborhood" of information, where feedback is given -- and welcomed -- from every corner of the organization. 

"Kapler's idyllic vision of a baseball team -- the one he and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi are trying to create and sustain -- resembles a sitcom neighborhood," Keown writes. "Picture it like this: everyone sits on their front porches and watches the kids ride their bikes or play catch or kick a soccer ball, and every neighbor feels comfortable calling a kid over and suggesting ways of improving their bike riding or their throwing or their kicking."

With an MLB record 16 coaches on staff, Kapler and the Giants have many cooks in the kitchen and every single one of them is willing to offer feedback, even to players at position groups that they aren't normally coaching. 


"In a neighborhood that functions well and works on problems together, everybody can be influential," Kapler tells ESPN.

"Extending the analogy to the Giants, this means not only coaches can be coaches," Keown adds. "Analysts can be coaches. Front-office people can be coaches. Trainers can be coaches. Teammates can be coaches.

"They're definitely ahead of the curve, and people want to come here," says Brebbia, who came up with the Cardinals before signing with the Giants last season. "And there's no complacency. OK, we did it right last year, now other people are going to try and do it right, so we have to do it more right."

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The philosophy is interesting and certainly makes sense. If players are able to put egos aside, a controlled wealth of information and feedback offers unique perspectives from every corner imaginable. 

On Kapler's staff and throughout the Giants organization, everybody pulling the same end of the rope is what leads to franchise-best 107-win seasons. 

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