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.)
Category Archives: Goals
Hey Guys… Coach Dan here.
The link above is to my personal blog website. That particular link is a post that I had last week about THE DREAM. You all are welcome to post there as well. I will say that there are probably some things that you could care less about, but if you want to see what makes me tick go for it.
You can find comments made by Coach Dan on the website as well.
You all have a good night and rest up for tomorrow
A year before I was born (1966), for those of you wondering when dirt was first created, the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta. The first regular season game for the Atlanta Braves was April 12, 1966 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The stadium was sold out, but the Braves lost in the 13th inning 3-2.
One of baseball’s and the Atlanta Braves greatest fans to me would have to be my grandfather and we called him “Daddy Ralph,” a good southern paternal name. He loved the Braves’ and baseball. I never remember being in his house during baseball season when the Braves were not on TBS in his living room. I also remember him taking me to a few Braves games and doing the whole baseball thing that you do at the park. He even bought my first baseball glove to be used for rec baseball and it was a MacGregor “Hank Aaron – 715” fielders glove. I still have it!
I tell you all this because this will be the first year of Braves’ baseball for me without him. In June of 2007 at the age of 95 he left this world to live with the one who made the most impact on his life, JESUS. I am so glad he did. He was ready…his health was poor…and we just don’t live forever. Still, I’m going to miss him. He could tell you everything Bobby Cox and previous managers were doing wrong and he could tell you who that new kid was and how good he was going to be.
He loved the Hebron Angels too! He never got to see a game, but he got to hear about all of them and whenever we visited him he would say to Michael and Evan, “There’s my baseball players…” and he would hug all over them. Last year we bought him a Hebron Angels team t-shirt and I’ve never seen him prouder.
He believed in hard work and he encouraged dreamers, especially in his elder years. Here are a few things about life that I learned specifically from him.
Love God and give your life to Jesus.
Love your family and love other people. Give people respect and treat them with dignity even if they have experienced hard times, were less fortunate or made bad decisions that they regret.
Work hard for the man who hired you and make the wages be deserved.
Do good things for people when others aren’t looking.
These are just a few and sorry to be so long on this one, but had to share it.
If he were still around…I’d have him come to one of our games and let him tell us coaches what we’re doing wrong and listen to him talk about how great “ballplayers” you all are and are going to be. He would believe in you all and so do I.
Coach Dan was right…there was no real way for us to win today. We were expected to win. If you don’t believe me, what would you have thought if we lost by one point. You see?
That being said, I look forward to our games coming up. There will be tournaments and games where we will be considered the underdogs and we will not be the expected winners, but with the team we have we can WIN! It’s true…you guys have to believe it and then play to accomplish it. When we are expected to win we can’t become complacent and run through the motions or we might get our butts whipped. (You guys are big boys, you can handle the word butt without giggling silly can’t you?) I knew you could.
All that being said, I can’t wait to show up at any ballpark with you guys and I believe Coach Dan, Coach Jeff, Coach John and our fans can’t wait either. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. (Guys, it’s just a figure of speech.)
Written by Coach Eric.
The Difference Between Winners and Losers
1. Winners take responsibility – Losers blame others.
2. Winners go hard – Losers go hard when they’re being watched.
3. Winners do things the right way – Losers do things their way.
4. Winners say, “we” – Losers say, “I” when things are going good, and “ya’ll” when things are going bad.
5. Winners listen to instruction and criticism – Losers laugh and look away, because they think they know it all.
6. Winners love their teammates – Losers love only themselves.
7. Winners sacrifice themselves for others – Losers sacrifice others for themselves.
8. Winners lift up others – Losers lift up themselves.
9. Winners do the little things that don’t get noticed – Losers do only the things that will get noticed.
10. Winners get focused – Losers fool around.
I Corinthians 9: 24 (NLT)
Remember that in a race, everyone runs – but only one person gets the prize. You must also run in such a way that you will win.
…Think about it
You are encouraged to encourage on this blog site. All entries will be approved by Coach Eric, so if you don’t want it seen by me don’t write it. I encourage you all to have fun, be as goofy as you want. This is yours (our) website. You can comment on any post. If you like you can post by sending me an e-mail and I will post it for you.
So have fun!!!!!