Enjoy the ride

article by Keith Madison

article by Keith Madison

It’s October. That means post-season play for Major League Baseball and “fall ball” for college baseball and travel teams. It also means another informative and entertaining issue of Inside Pitch magazine.

One of the themes of this issue is near and dear to my heart…recruiting. I was intrigued to read the comments about recruiting from some of the top coaches in college baseball. It’s obvious that even though you must be a highly skilled player to compete at the next level, academics and intangibles such as character, attitude and respect for the game are extremely important, as well.

One year in the recruiting process, I had a partial scholarship reserved for an outfielder. After evaluating dozens of outfielders, I narrowed my search down to two players, both left handed hitters with similar skills. On their visits to campus, one of the recruits made my decision easy. While in my office talking about a particular game I had seen him play, his very quiet and very pleasant mother made a comment. This young outfielder proceeded to tell his mother that she didn’t know what she was talking about. His lack of respect for his mother helped me to offer the other outfielder the scholarship. In the end, integrity, competitiveness and respect will make a positive impact on a college coach. Continue reading

“Train the brain” with Axon Sports

axonAxon Sports leads the way as a provider of sports-specific cognitive training products for athletes, providing tools that can expedite the skill acquisition process and develop cognitive fundamental skills for success. Their Elite Training systems are installed at human performance labs, training centers and college/professional team facilities throughout the United States and in the UK. These systems provide college and professional athletes advanced cognitive training tools and technology as part of a complete program for cognitive skill development. Continue reading

What’s the deal with scholarships?

College baseball has seen unprecedented growth over the past several years. Facilities, attendance and general interest in college baseball used to just exist in pockets in the southern United States. Now, first-class facilities and growing fan bases are visible all over the country.

The parity that now exists in the game gives many more schools a chance to make it Omaha, thanks in large part to the changes in the bats and the resources that so many universities have now committed to the programs. For all intents and purposes, it’s a fair playing field.

Except for scholarships. Continue reading

The Old Curve Ball

“I wanted to be a sportswriter because I loved sports and could not hit the curveball…” Dick Schapp

Hitting a baseball thrown by a skilled pitcher has been described by many athletes as the hardest thing in sports to accomplish. During my 5-year minor league career, I tell people all of the time that my career batting average is .400; three hits in five years! Of course, I was a pitcher, but three hits in five years is my personal testimony that hitting a round baseball traveling over 90 mph squarely with a round bat is very difficult. Continue reading

Dave Serrano interview

AP photo

AP photo

What do you think when you hear the term “west coast” guy?

I’m not offended by it, but I just don’t know why people are categorized as “west coast” or “east coast” guys; they’re baseball coaches. I think there are philosophies that are the same and those that are different on both sides of the country. I’m a baseball coach that’s going to instill the fundamentals in our players that will hopefully lead to success… I think that’s what every coach wants to do.

What stands out as a different with recruiting from east to west?

Recruiting is much easier on the west coast, because you can roll out of your bed and see some of the top players in the country that are a baseball’s throw from your house. On the east coast, you have to get in your car more, you have to get on a plane more, so you have to be more exact on who you’re going to go see; you want to be right-on because it’s going to cost some money. On the west coast, you can go down to Ryan Lemmon Stadium or Blair Field four days a week and watch a handful of guys that are Division-I ready and able to be recruited.

How has your practice style been received at Tennessee?

When we first got here, the tempo of our practice was a little intimidating to these guys- the pace we wanted to practice, how quick we wanted to move from things, how quick our drills were. But I remember after a couple weeks, our guys were like “we get it now.” We try to play at that speed too, we want to play at our speed, we don’t play anybody, we’re playing the game of baseball. We don’t look at it as “we’re playing …,” we look at it as “they’re playing us.” Continue reading

Baseball Country is “a throwback to the good ole days”

baseballcountry

Baseball Country, a non-profit camp ministry located in Northport, Alabama, has been a haven for over 6,000 boys and girls that have come through the program since its inception in 1995. The 2,500 square foot facility boasts a screened sleeping porch, six outdoor enclosed showers, and two Bermuda grass, crimson stone infield mix baseball fields. Creeks, hiking trails, and vegetable, herb and flower gardens complement the property, which spans 53 acres in all. Continue reading