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Coaching Management 23.2

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Q&A CoachesNetwork.com Coaching Management PreseasoN 2015 13 What are the keys to being successful in the postseason? The team that plays the same whether it's the postseason or the middle of the regular season is going to have the best chance of winning because when a playoff game gets tight, the kids won't feel overwhelmed by the added pressure. They know how to rely on their preparation and each other to stay relaxed and let their ability shine through. In order to achieve this calm, we play every game like it is the finals of the state championship. I put them in the mindset that every game counts and—every inning means something. I tell them to play to the best of their ability and just let their instincts take over. What are your strategies for recruiting at the junior college level? I'm looking for kids on both ends of the Division I spectrum. First, I want the play- ers who are at the lower end—the ones that D-I programs aren't offering a lot of money to and may need more time to develop. We can help them do that during their first two years of college baseball and serve as a springboard for them to sign with a great D-I program. We're also looking for upper-level D-I players who are receiving a lot of draft attention. Oftentimes, an elite player doesn't want to get locked down at a D-I school for three years. Instead, he wants to come to junior college where he will still be draft eligible during his first two seasons. More importantly, I look for four quali- ties of character. Number one: I want kids who are dedicated in the classroom. Num- ber two: they need the desire to compete on the field. Number three: they have to have determination when things go wrong. Number four: they must have discipline in all aspects of their lives. How did you decide it was the right time to leave a successful high school career and take a chance at FSW? Being able to coach at my alma mater is a unique and very special opportunity. Additionally, the best advice I ever received was "happy wife, happy life." Early in our relationship, my wife told me we could never move out of the Suwannee area of Georgia unless there would be sand beneath her toes. FSW is in Fort Myers and right next to a beach. So when the opportunity presented itself, it felt like the right move for our fam- ily. After we decided to move, my wife took a position as Head Softball Coach at Evangeli- cal Christian School here in Fort Myers, and my family is very happy in this community. What are the pros and cons to being married to another coach? The pros are you never run out of things to talk about. The cons are you never talk about anything other than athletics. There were more than 300 applicants for the Head Coach position at FSW. What made you stand out? Winning never hurts, so I owe this posi- tion in large part to the fantastic players, assistant coaches, and administrators I've worked with the past several years. They have all contributed to the success my teams and I have enjoyed. I also believe that having attended FSW when it was Edison College was a big ben- efit. It let the administration know that I have a true love for this college and will do everything I can to resurrect the baseball program in a positive manner. CM Circle No. 109 Click Here to sign up for our free series of educational digital newsletters Click Here to sign up for our free series of educational digital newsletters

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