Quiet Confidence – A different perspective

06
Nov

Liam Carroll

I think most players, coaches and fans I know have seen the Quiet Confidence video released by TCU Baseball a few seasons ago. It’s a motivational staple. Beyond the message though, there are some great examples of how the TCU programme goes about their business.

I watched the video again and rather than listen to the message I looked out for things we can copy and modify to benefit our own programmes:

Facility Maintenance

Yes, they have great resources – I’m not going to pretend like your facility is going to look like that – nor will I tell you that it can’t (cue Regensburg). What I saw in this video is a facility that is well maintained. So whatever you can rake, drag, edge, line, clean, mow or paint – do it.  Skip Bertman, legendary college baseball coach, included tasks like this in his practices when he took over and transformed the LSU program.

Signs

They have various signs on the outfield wall – university, league and national championships. Is there a place for a BBF/BSF sign? A club sign? An event sign? What about advertising signs? Figure out what type of spaces you could put signage up and then come up with a plan to sell that space to local businesses and a plan to spend the money you raise beyond the cost of the sign. 

Marketing

The left field foul pole is actually a fowl pole. It’s this type of creative thinking (a local chicken restaurant, in this case) that can attract local businesses to your club.

Stretching

It’s dynamic. They are with the times, ensuring that their warm ups are maximising performance and minimising injury. 

Gear

Whether it’s in the weight room or on the field, they’re in uniform: building an identity, improving team work and promoting the programme. Be it through player contributions, sponsorship, fundraising or a combination of those things, you can make sure that your team has uniform. Who else can you put in uniform? The people working the concessions stand or scoring should wear club gear, too – and it will make them feel more important to the programme.

Progressive Practice

There’s plenty of evidence of well-structured practice: individual skill drills, team drills, situations and scrimmages. All have high energy – a reflection of the messages included in the voiceover.

Game-like practice

Two good examples: the coaches wearing base coach helmets – so they’re used to it come game time, and umpires for scrimmages. Can you find a local umpire to work your scrimmages? They probably want to get some game-like practice in, too.

Facility needs

Did you notice that there’s no dirt between home and the bases? Most fields here feature cut outs but some clubs want an apron. Consider what is best for your facility based on usage (present and future), maintenance, the lay of the land and facility fundraising plans. One size doesn't fit all.

Creative, current, functional Strength & Conditioning

You might not have access to a weight room like TCU’s, so how can you use other equipment to be creative and functional with your S&C programmes. Med balls, chains, tyres…you can be just as functional with those types of things, if not more so, than you can be in a gym.

Engaging team talks

Find ways to make sure the messages you give to players are received. Demand eye contact. “Taking a knee” is a great listening position, especially for youth players.

Coaching the 21st Century Athlete

It’s not that long ago that facial hair and jewellery didn’t have a place in college baseball (go find a photo of Dustin Pedroia coming out of college). Times, players and parents are changing and there needs to be some give and take so that you can continue to impact athletes. In a clinic titled Motivating and Challenging the 21st Century Athlete, Rod Olson said that “you can’t play today’s game by yesterday’s rules.” Perhaps changing your policies on things like facial hair, or allowing Matt Purke to wear his hat off-centre, will allow you to continue instilling timeless values in your players.

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Some of these things might fit into your club development plan, or give you the impetus to get one started if you don’t have one. When you have your vision in place it will become much more simple and motivating to engage in focused club development work and unlock the support and funding out there to help you achieve your vision.

LC

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tagged under: coaching, facilities, field maintenance, club development, volunteers

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About Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll

Liam was a Regional Coach and then Development Coordinator for BaseballSoftballUK until May 2014. He returned to his hometown of London to work for BSUK in 2010 after stops in Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, California and Nevada. Growing up playing in Britain, Liam made the move to America to study and play university baseball. After figuring out that his future would be brighter as a coach rather than player, he moved to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish his degree and coach college baseball. Since then he’s coached youth and adult teams on both sides of the atlantic and with the Great Britain Baseball National Teams.

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