Your getting ready to start your High School career. You want to come in and make a splash with the coaching staff. You know get your name out there. Get them to notice you. You are wondering what are some of the things you can do accomplish this goal. What can you do to give yourself an advantage over the competition. Of course there are the obvious things. Throw it well, hit it well, field it well, run well, etc etc. But what about the things you can do that will take no more talent than you already have?

 

1. Show up early. Be the first player to practice. Every day. Have a smile on your face. Let the coach know that he is not the only one excited about being on the field.

2. Show up looking like a ball player. Shirt tucked in. Hat on straight. Cleats on and tied properly. Show up ready to go to work. And looking like your ready to go to work.

3. Look me in the eye when I am talking to you. Look me in the eye when your talking to me. Speak with confidence. Carry yourself with confidence. I don't care if no one ever taught you to say it but Yes Sir, No Sir tells me something about you.

4. Never speak or look away when I am talking. I want to know you are paying attention. When I am talking and I look at you and your looking me dead in the eye that is powerful communication. From you.

5. Get where you need to be and get there with a purpose. That lets me know you care. That lets me know you want to get better. That lets me know your serious about what I am serious about. That lets me know you don't have any time to waste. I like that because that's what I am about.

6. When something needs to be done don't wait for someone to tell you. Do it. I like that because it tells me something about you. It reminds me of myself.

7. Consistency in everything you do. Every day. The same way. Because that's what you are about. Because I am watching to see who is consistent. I am watching to see who cares. I am watching to see who is for real and who is for show.

8. What you do when you think no one is watching means more to me than what you do when you know I am watching. Trust me I am watching. I want to see if your soft toss is as good when no one is watching. I want to see if you run as hard when no one is watching.

9. How do you fail? Do you show anger, frustration, lack of confidence when you struggle? If you boot a grounder do you look at your glove? Smooth out some dirt in front of you and act like every boot is a bad hop? Do you run to the back of the line or ask for another one? I want to know you can handle failure. I want to know your the same hitter when your 0-3 that you are when your 3-3.

10. Do you know how to be a good team mate? When that guy your competing against for a spot boots a ball do you smile? Laugh? Grin? Do you pick him up? Do you pat him on the back? Do you offer encouragement? I want to know who you really are.

11. When a group gathers in right field during BP are you with them? When a group gathers behind the dug out to talk while others are working on T's are you with them? When everyone is running at the same pace do you push them to run harder?

12. When I jump you for not doing a drill properly that I have instructed you on several times how do you handle it? Do you have an excuse for me? Do you look down and away and act like your ticked off? Or do you look me in the eye and say Yes Sir?

13. How do you treat your parents? When they show up for the parents meeting are you distant from them? Do you roll your eyes when they ask a question you think is stupid? Do you treat them with respect regardless of how they treat you? Do you introduce them to me?

14. Are you coachable? If I ask you to do something do you tell me about how you think it should done a different way? Or do you simply work on what I ask you to work on? Do you look me in the eye and ask the question like a man? Coach I have a question. I have always done it this way and I was wondering why you think we should go this route? I like that. Now were working together.

15. You want an advantage over the other guys? Have a work ethic they don't have. Look like they don't look. Act like they don't act. Be what I am looking for. Ball players. Now I can work with that.

Original Post

Another tremendous post, my friend!

 

About to send it to another coach we know. Am certain he'll react the same way.

 

Man, I miss those sideline chats down the first baseline in Boshamer!

 

Wishing you and the family the very best during this special season!

Hey Buddy. Boy do I miss those times. I am hoping one day we can do it again. Tell that certain Coach I said Hello. And Merry Christmas to your family!

Great post, Coach, and it's good to read somebody talking about high school baseball!

 

I hope you don't mind if I add a few that would get my attention, if I was a HS coach.

 

1 - be the first one out of the dugout going after a foul ball.  Coach should not have to say "somebody on that"  more than once per season.

 

2 - After an away game, make sure you're carrying a bucket or a bag to the coach's vehicle.

 

3 - Keep your grades up. Don't make the coach wonder if you'll be eligible next quarter.

 

4 - If you're a bench player, anticipate the game situation, and be ready. Don't be scrambling for your helmet when coach puts you in to pinch run.  If the catcher is on base, be ready to grab a catcher's mitt and mask.

 

5 - 100% focus during games.  If the coach turns to you to confirm what the count is, and you don't know, you've let him down. If you're batting with an 0-2 count and you don't know what the pitcher's been doing in that situation so far, you've let yourself and your team down.

 

6 - Know the signs. Call time if you're unsure.  There's no excuse for a HS player to miss a sign.  But it happens all the time.

 

7 - Be a student of the game.  Know the situation and what it means.   There's no excuse for a HS player not to know what base he's throwing to or how many outs there are. But it happens.

 

 

Be a leader. Not everyone can be a vocal leader. Players without tenure haven't earned the right to be a vocal leader. Some players don't have it in their makeup to be a vocal leader. But everyone can lead by example. If you do the things Coach May suggests you are a leader. You're setting an example with how you carry yourself.

 

When my son played high school ball, coming off the field saying, "Let's get some runs" was a big outburst for him. But he outworked everyone. He high fived anyone who did something positive as small as grounding out to move a runner. It's how he was trained by his travel team growing up. Positive attitude is contagious even without being loud.

Am I the only one that wants to print off all of coach May's posts. Put them in a binder. Then hand them out to every HS player in the US. hahahha

To the point he was making. At a tryout this fall after my sons 5 swings at the plate the coach stopped him and asked him how he thought he did. My son replied the thought he did ok. The coach told him he didn't pay attention and didn't care how he did. That he was the first player all day to run to the batters box then run back to the dugout. He said he didn't even give him an evaluation he just circled his name.

Coach_May,

 

As always, words of wisdom to live by for anyone who wants to play HS baseball and beyond. A team full of players living by these rules would be a tough team to beat. Thank you for sharing!

Coach May, WOW!!  That's really all I can say.  I read this to my 2015 last night.  He was very appreciative of this as well.  Very sage advice for any ballplayer of any age.  JCG additions are spot on as well.  Very nice!!

Outstanding. Seems simple when you read it, but still oh so difficult for many young men to apply. Hopefully, a lot of youngster's eyes see that post.

Great post. This really helped me a lot because I am going into high school next year with a new coaching staff. Thanks so much. I'll try ti keep all of these things in mind.

Kenny should go into the coaching consulting business. No one understands the game more. When he was a high school coach he turned a bad program into one of the best in the state.

I am going to feature this topic.  We are heading into the spring baseball season and kids and their parents can refer to this for an EDGE - on baseball and life.

Thanks Coach May. I forwarded on our remarks to the HS basebal coach when I read this the other day. When I stopped by last night at the hitting barn (thats what they call the hitting cages at the HS), Your words were in poster size, framed, on the wall.

 

I saw 3 young freshman reading them as I was there. Once again your incredible words and thoughts will help young men succeed.

This is a post that ,with a little tweaking is a great formula for life. But you guy's already knew that.

 

 Thanks for all your lessons coach.

Been out a while but here are my 2 cents

 

Do what your told when your told.

Do not be a whiner. 

Don't make excuses. Make the play.

Be on time. 

 

Be accountable for your actions. Look coaches in the eye. If they shake your hand, shake to break. Show them a strong grip. These things show maturity.

I agree with the list but in my experience talent trumps just about any of these. I can think of that kid who hit a couple home runs but when he strikes out he slams his bat down throws his equipment around the dug out. The senior who has a shot at the MLB draft and has given up on his grades. The kids whose every other word is F***. Maybe some coaches will make it clear this is unacceptable but I see these kids start every game and get the praise of the coach in the local paper. Sure the kid with less talent but lives up to this list will get the "coaches award" but he'd rather get more playing time.

Originally Posted by RJM:

Be a leader. Not everyone can be a vocal leader. Players without tenure haven't earned the right to be a vocal leader. Some players don't have it in their makeup to be a vocal leader. But everyone can lead by example. If you do the things Coach May suggests you are a leader. You're setting an example with how you carry yourself.

 

When my son played high school ball, coming off the field saying, "Let's get some runs" was a big outburst for him. But he outworked everyone. He high fived anyone who did something positive as small as grounding out to move a runner. It's how he was trained by his travel team growing up. Positive attitude is contagious even without being loud.

Be cautious with this line of thinking "Players without tenure haven't earned the right to be a vocal leader..." 20+ years of military service showed me even the most junior individuals have ability to lead verbally in the most harsh environments.  If you see a young man with this ability -- foster it, mentor him, and he and everyone around him will be better for it.

This is awesome. I have not been on the website for a quite a while and so I open it up this morning and I see the title, "so you want an advantage" 

 

I figured it was either some company trying to sell me a bat with some magical qualities or some wise cracks about how to deflate a baseball.

 

Then I start reading it and it is ABSOLUTE GOLD.  Thanks Coach. And yes, like lots of folks on here, I copy and paste this stuff to a file called "Coach Mays Lines"

Originally Posted by Redsdad:
Originally Posted by RJM:

Be a leader. Not everyone can be a vocal leader. Players without tenure haven't earned the right to be a vocal leader. Some players don't have it in their makeup to be a vocal leader. But everyone can lead by example. If you do the things Coach May suggests you are a leader. You're setting an example with how you carry yourself.

 

When my son played high school ball, coming off the field saying, "Let's get some runs" was a big outburst for him. But he outworked everyone. He high fived anyone who did something positive as small as grounding out to move a runner. It's how he was trained by his travel team growing up. Positive attitude is contagious even without being loud.

Be cautious with this line of thinking "Players without tenure haven't earned the right to be a vocal leader..." 20+ years of military service showed me even the most junior individuals have ability to lead verbally in the most harsh environments.  If you see a young man with this ability -- foster it, mentor him, and he and everyone around him will be better for it.

I agree. When my son was a freshman the culture at the high school baseball team was changing. A new coach (top assistant at a winner) was changing a losing, entitled atmosphere. My son lead by example freshman year. His attitude and work ethic was top notch. In tryouts after the captain took him deep but a few inches foul he knocked him down on the next pitch, then K'ed him with a change. The coaches went nuts. The captain made my son carry two equipment bags that day. My son said he wore them like a badge. 

 

Soph year it was obvious my son would start on varsity. He was the first soph opening day starter in six years. At that point the coach singled out my son for what work ethic and attitude can do for a player's game. 

 

When my son was a junior he was the best player on the team. I told him it was time to start being a vocal leader. He said it's wasn't his style. He continued to lead by example. "Let's get some runs" was an outburst for him.  

The best players play. I will repeat the best players play. Or should play. the coach makes out the lineup card. 

What is this advantage I speak of? What happens when an entire team takes this advantage? What happens when a program is rooted in this belief? What happens when a young man decides that he will live by this creed? Does he have an advantage in life? In his job? In his relationships?

 

You don't live by this because you are looking for an advantage. Oh it might start that way. But what happens when a young man learns that he does it because it's simply the right thing to do? He does it because it is who he is. If nothing is ever gained from it that he can see. If no one ever rewards him for it. So what? He can look in the mirror and know he does it the right way. He can know that if everyone in he entire world is a slacker. If everyone in the entire world is a clown he is the one that is not.

 

He can live as an example of how it ought to be. How it ought to be done. And by some chance someone else decides they want to follow his example he would have made a difference. Do you do the right thing because someone might reward you for doing the right thing? Or do you do the right thing because you believe in doing things the right way?

 

The fact is coaches have favorites. And those favorites do things the right way. What has talent or the amount of talent a player has got to do with it? Nothing. It doesn't take anymore talent to do things the right way. How is it an advantage? Because any coach worth his salt is going to notice it. Reward it. And nuture it in his program. So what do you have to lose?

 

What is more important? Talent or the kind of man you are? What is more important? The amount of playing time you or your son gets or the type of man he is? I played the players that gave my team the best chance to win that day. I didn't keep anyone on my team that wouldn't do things the right way. So they were never in the equation regardless of talent. It's about building a program and teaching young men what is truly important.

 

Now if your son is on a team where the coach doesn't care so what? Be like the rest of those guys because it's not going to matter to that coach? Or learn how to do things the right way and then become the right way. Because its the right way. Because it matters to you. Because it's what you are about. And the only person you have to sleep with it you. The only person you have to live with is you.

 

When the glove and bat is retired. When the playing days are over. What is going to be the most important thing? Who had the best career? Or who has the advantage I speak of? And the fact is my most talented players also had the advantage. I preached it every single day. I happen to believe that they reached their full potential as players because that drive to have that advantage was also part of that drive to be their absolute best.

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