Hello!!!! It almost seems like I have been in a mid-season slump with my blogging. I do wish I would write more often, but honestly, by the end of my day I am too drained to do anything other than eat and go to bed. I do have some pretty good things that have been on my mind throughout the past 3 weeks. Our squad is 22-8, ranked anywhere between 4th-11th in the respected ranking. CBL has us ranked 4th, much appreciated, but doesn’t really mean a lot to the guys on the team. I think being ranked 1st last year was a great accomplishment, but being ranked #1 at the end of the year was much sweeter!
Clever, I know. But April is the time of the season where you either make a difference, or start planning for next year. Play your way into a regional, or force yourself to win the conference to get into a regional. Our goal, as always, has been to host the regional again. We are still in a good position, we obviously need to take care of business down the stretch. We have 18 games left, we need at least 15 wins for a realistic chance to host, with a little help from whoever is playing North Alabama. We just need to play our “Argo Ball” and let the chips fall where they may.
What do I mean by “April Tools”?
Leadership? That’s part of it. Coach told us today, “Leadership is doing your part to make everyone better”. I am a leader. Am I a stud on the field, HECK NO! 99% chance I don’t throw an inning this year, I don’t deserve it. I haven’t done anything good enough to get on the field. Does that mean I sit like a bump on a log at the end of the dugout trying to find someone to pity me? HECK NO! I do whatever I can to HELP my teammates get better because they are the ones that are going to help put another ring on my finger. There are plenty of ways to do that. How have I done it? I hit fungos to my infielders. If they want extra work, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit balls until my hands bleed.
Recently our team has had trouble hitting curve balls or sliders. A pitching machine is great practice, having a consistent slider coming in every time, but as all hitters know, when you KNOW a slider is coming you take a different approach. So, I have been down in the cages throwing BP mix to anyone who wants to do something different than hitting off a tee. I don’t tell them what is coming, either fastball or slider. I’m not contributing on the field, why not throw to the hitters to help them recognize a slider? It’s amazing that even from 45 feet away, NOT knowing what is coming can completely fool a hitter. After a few rounds, they start picking it up, they start making adjustments. THEY ARE GETTING BETTER! What did I mention about leadership above… “Leadership is doing your part to make everybody better”.
Make a difference, do something everyday that you can look back and say, “I helped him get better today”. Maybe you can’t hit fungos or throw BP… You can watch your fellow pitchers, remind them what your coach has been telling them to work on. Yesterday, Eric Sloan was pitching in an intersquad game. He did a good job, but with a runner on 2nd his tempo was slower to the plate. If there was a fast runner on base, they could have walked into 3rd. Sorry Sloaner! ha It was something I recognized, and something I know Coach Jeffcoat has talked to him about. When I told him, he appreciated the critique and worked on it today.
I’m just giving my input on what I do. Be a leader, use each practice to help someone get better! Be unselfish, be uncommon!
The Argos welcome Delta State to Pensacola this weekend. We can’t look past any game, or any series. Game 1 is the most important game until we get to game 2. The series is at home, and I’m excited to see how our team comes out to compete against a great team. Our goal is to host, what are we going to do to make that a reality? I’ll let you know after this weekend!
Wish us luck!
Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/phillybert36
Always looking for incite or ideas to write about, if you have something you’d like to see send me an email!