A Great Coach Remembered--

I was informed recently that a head coach that I and another coach had spent some time with, passed away a few years ago. As we exchanged stories about this great man, one in particular is my favorite. I’d like to share it with you.

I was early for an appointment and interview so I sat just outside this head coach’s office and noticed all the books in his collection. Just about any and every subject that you could think of was there. Books on coaching dynamics, human kinetics, mediation and motivation, volume after volume of pitching stuff, and even a series on applied physics. My first thought was that I might have bit off more then I could chew here.

Surprisingly, my head coach was nowhere near the academic think-tank that his collection suggested. A soft spoken man with a genuine personality and a talent for making me feel welcome on the first handshake. Right off the bat he wanted to walk me to the bullpen area — there was enough time later to see the rest of the “spread”.

As we entered the nets, he introduced me and immediately one of the guys remarked that maybe they had a coach NOW that could show them how to pitch a decent slider. Without a moments notice, the head coach grabbed a ball and advised me that he was going to show me his eight step method on coaching pitchers. I could only vision all those books in his reception area and now I was going to see this stuff in action. So here was his eight step system, and I quote:::
First - show the pitcher what a baseball looks like.
Second – give the pitcher a baseball.
Third – show the pitcher a grip.
Fourth – tell the pitcher what the grip is.
Fifth – show the pitcher how to pitch the pitch using the grip.
Sixth – confirm with the pitcher the results.
Seventh – now comes the reinforcement part … say” good boy”.
Eight – turn to the guy behind him and yell out …’NEXT!”

After which he looked at me and asked if I had any questions?

All I could think of to say at the time was……”works for me!”

That was a nice remembrance…

I hadn’t posted anything in a long time when I came across this topic. My dad was just a little league coach, he founded the league in our home town. After his death, at his wake there were many guys that he coached who came in to pay their respects . One of them sent his father to tell my mom how sorry he was that he couldn’t attend the funeral. She understood since he was busy as the manager of a team that had just won the world series…

Good to see you posting again Dino.

Thanks JD

I thought about how lucky you are last October when my son and I attended a tournament at Flagler College in St Augustine. What fantastic late season weather!!!

And the competition in Florida was tremendous. It really helped my son understand where he stood in the pecking order for college bound pitchers.

Dino

Had I but known I would have bought you the best Mahi sandwich you’ll ever have while living here on earth…At Cappy’s, right there in St Augustine…man you ain’t lived til you let me send my money on ya! :smiley:
I sure woulda sat down and chewed some fat. Let me know if it ever happens again. Crap Andy has been to clinics at Flagler…one of the guys on his team has commited to Flagler…not to far from my humble abode here at “Breezy Holiday Farms”.

Speaking of stories about old school pitching coaches…

When I was a Freshman in college I was facing a very good hitting team, what made it worse was that they sent 8 of 9 up there lefthanded. Needless to say, this rookie had not yet learned the art of pitchinbg inside so these guys lit me up pretty good.

About the 4th inning or so, my old grumpy tobacco chewin coach comes out to the mound. Usually quite ill tempered, he was pretty calm…this is what he shared with me :

  • "Son, look down at the bullpen. Hey, there aint nobody down there "
  • Looking up at the sky he says “Hey, it’s a sunny day…we aint gonna get rained out”.
  • Finally, as he walks away he chuckles “Son, I guess you gonna finish”

The last 5 innings was my most embarrassing moment ever on the hill…