Hey Guys… Coach Dan here.
Coach Eric and I had lunch together today. Naturally, we talked alot about baseball – and each of you players. We were kicking around some thoughts about: “Is there anything we can do to gain an edge, or raise our game a notch?” Here’s what we both agreed on – and really want to impress upon each of you. The way you warm-up is generally the way you will play. And – our warm-up is generally loose (which we like), but also undisciplined (which we don’t like). We have tried, as your coaches, to give you guys the space to get in a comfort-zone and prepare your body and mind… your own way – with little “rules” governing how we warm-up. Well…
We still don’t want to make a bunch of rules. Life is full of rules – most of them are meaningless – and we don’t want to add to that list. But… here’s what we do want.
1) When you arrive – get in the cage and take good swings at good pitches, using a bat that will help you be ready to play. Have fun – but be serious. This is your opportunity to get ready to hit… really get ready.
2) After you hit in the cage – get a partner and throw. Start short and end with long-toss. You don’t need to throw curve balls, sliders, knuckle balls, fork balls, etc. You need to throw the ball straight and accurately. The object is to get your arm loose and ready. Pitchers especially… if you can’t throw a straight pitch for a strike 4 out of 5 times — then none of your other pitches are going to matter very much.
3) After you throw – take time to “be still” and focus. Don’t horse-play and be silly. Get your brain ready to play your butt off. Don’t waste energy and don’t distract teammates as they get ready.
4) Finally… it’s not that you have to move about as a single unit… but, as much as possible – hang together. You are a team.
What we have done for the last 5 or 6 games is wait until the second or third inning to begin taking the game really seriously… and by then, sometimes – it’s too late. Tonight, let’s start as a team before the game starts – and really and truly hit the ground running in the first inning – playing hard… holding nothing back… and playing with pride.
We ended the season ranked third in the division, yet I believe we are a legitimate “sleeper”. If we play our game – starting in the first inning – we can beat anybody in either division.
Tonight will be a test. Collins Hill is a good team… in my mind – quite possibly better than Dacula. The last time we played them, the game was over before we started. Tonight, let’s show up believing and knowing that we belong… and that they aren’t any better or deserving than we are. If we show-up scared or looking up to the other team as though they are awesome… then the game is over.
I don’t mean this pridefully – but hear this. Coach Jeff, Coach John, Coach Eric, and I… we are each as good or better at coaching than any other coach in the league. We aren’t coming to the games concerned about being out coached — or believing that we are a step behind the opposing coaches. Likewise – you players need to show-up with the same confidence and attitudes. It’s not cocky to know you are good – and that you should win, because you are good. It’s only cocky if you’re a jerk about it.
We are a team of 15 men. Tonight – let’s be 15 strong men — willing and ready to do our very best from beginning to end, and leave the results of those efforts to speak for themselves. If we do that – I believe we will be victorious… and that’s how I’m going to coach the game.
See you there.
(After you read this, call a buddy and encourage him to read it. I would like every player to read this before the game tonight.)
Hey Guys… Coach Dan here.