From a logistical standpoint, week three of the college baseball season for the Millersville Marauders was a challenging one. Our annual trip to Riverside High School in Williamston, North Carolina was canceled due to the awful weekend forecast. Instead, all four teams scheduled to play in the Riverside Classic: Millersville, Glenville State, Seton Hill and LeMoyne, agreed to switch locations to Seton Hill. Because Coach Marizzaldi was unable to thaw out his field for Saturday at Seton Hill, the scheduled changed again. Seton Hill and LeMoyne agreed to play three games at Seton Hill on Sunday and Monday, while Millersville and Glenville State decided to play a double header in Glennville, West Virginia on Sunday. In three days, we changed bus and hotel plans three times. Continue reading
While most of the eastern seaboard’s Division II games were snowed out, the North Georgia Classic was played out as scheduled. This weekend was a big confidence booster for our club. We took one from North Georgia on Friday evening, one from Shorter on Saturday and finished the weekend sweep by beating West Florida on Sunday. We are now 4-2 on the young season. Prospect Tim Mayza and TCU transfer Chris Murphy have been excellent in two starts. And Reliever Adam Zipko has converted three saves so far. The offense has by far been the biggest surprise. One through nine in the order has contributed with Evan King and freshman Jeremy Musser leading the charge. Continue reading
As stated in my last blog, our club had the rare opportunity to return to campus a full week before classes began. This year was the first time in six seasons as a head coach, that I was able to take advantage of a “football like” pre-season training camp. During winter break, our staff brainstormed ideas for camp that would build team unity, as well as prepare us for the marathon season that was just around the corner. All of the activities and workouts revolved around two concepts: be purposeful and be efficient.
One would think that a full week of baseball without the restriction of class and the NCAA Twenty Hour Rule would allow for an infinite amount of groundballs, batting practice and bunt play execution. But, in all reality, how many balls can one team hit, throw, and catch before focus lacks and physical fatigue begins to take its toll? The mental game also takes up a large deal of time during almost every team practice but the human brain can only focus for 60-90 minutes before the brain becomes fatigued. What else did our team need to make them successful this season? Continue reading
Geoff Miller, former Pittsburgh Pirate Mental Skills coach and partner at Winning Mind, a California company that helps athletes perform under pressure, recently released his book Intangibles (2012). After reading the book over winter break, I was really excited about sharing it with the players at Millersville.
Millersville’s winter break ended on January twenty-eight, providing our students with over five full weeks of vacation. Because our season begins on February eight at Winston-Salem State, we were forced to bring our team back last Saturday—a full eight days before the first class of the spring semester. We took advantage of our players open schedules and each night, we did team building exercises to improve on our mental game, while build team unity. The last exercise that we completed was a book report on Miller’s book, Intangibles. The team was divided into five groups, each responsible for one section of the book, amounting to approximately twenty-five pages. Continue reading
Prior to 6th year Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban winning his 4th overall National Championship game this past week, I had the opportunity to listen to him interviewing with ESPN. One does not have to be a huge college sports fan to know that Saban is arguably the best college football coach in the history of the game—especially since its recent (last thirty or so years) explosion as a highly organized, commercial enterprise. Saban made some interesting points that I think are worth comparing to that of the best college basketball coach of all-time, possibly the greatest coach of all time in any sport, John Wooden. Wooden won 10 National Titles at UCLA. What do they have in common? What stark differences do they have? And last, what can we, as baseball coaches, learn from them both? I am not professing to be a college basketball or college football know-it-all. In fact, I am willing to admit, that I know very little about either sport. However, as college head coach with very little experience working as an assistant, I am obsessed with learning from the best in the business—and here is what I have learned from these two greats:
What do they have in common?