What got your love for baseball started?
My love for baseball started as soon as I could walk, as I always viewed baseball as time that I was able to spend with my dad. I can still remember the first time he took me to buy my first glove, my first set of catching gear, and all of the drills that we would do in the yard. He signed me up to coach a little league baseball team when I was 16, and that began my love for coaching. Having had the opportunity to work for the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Major League Baseball, I always knew that I wanted to eventually end up coaching High School baseball.
How do you set your team goals?
We have several metrics that track our team goals (season, in-game, and player). It’s important that we set team goals that are realistic for our team, as we usually do this during the first week of practice. One of our in-game goals is what we call “BASE2.” B stands for big inning (score 3 or more runs), A stands for answer inning (score after the other team has), S stands for score first (we want to score the first run(s) of the game), E stands for extend the lead (we want to continue to score after gaining a lead), and 2 stands for (score with 2 outs). We feel that if we can accomplish at least three of these, we give ourselves at least an 80% chance of victory. These give our guys little in-game victories to break the game into pieces, instead of looking at just 7-innings as a whole.
What do you look for in a great player?
A great player is someone who is in constant pursuit of their best performance. They work hard in the off-season and throughout the season to become the best student-athlete that they can possibly be. A great player is accountable to their teammates, parents, and coaches. As long as they give their best effort on a daily basis, they will find success on the playing field and in the classroom.
What was the biggest accomplishment your team had this past season?
Having taken over the head coaching position last June, I have yet to serve as the Head Coach for a regular season game. We had an outstanding summer season, playing 30 games and winning the Lumberjack Park 18u tournament by beating a Division 1 St. Johns team in the finals that had won 25 games last spring. Our fall baseball team finished runner-up in the West Michigan Fall Baseball League and our off-season participation has been phenomenal.
Do you have a saying or motto that you live by?
CHANGE YOUR BEST!!! If we can get better each and every day, we have set upon ourselves a new standard of excellence to live up to. We challenge each one of our players and coaches to “Change their best” every single day, and if we do that as a whole, we will accomplish almost everything that we set out to do.
How do you plan to keep the program at a highly competitive level?
First and foremost, we encourage all of our athletes to play 3 sports, as we love student-athletes who love to compete, regardless of the sport. We have an extensive off-season program that we feel separates us from most teams. Our summer baseball program plays 30+ games every summer, while we also have several student-athletes who play for select travel baseball teams. We also participate in a school led strength and speed training program, which we have been able to see significant gains from our student-athletes. We have a fall baseball team that plays throughout the months of September and October, playing many of the top programs in West Michigan. We make the most of our 4-player workouts, as we start in November and continue until the season begins in March. The weight room is also important, as we ask all of our athletes to get in at least 3 lifts per week, whether before or after school. We preach outworking our opponents and the understanding that if you want to have success, you will have to work for it.