Coach Al Brisack Describes The Most Difficult Skill Set To Evaluate

In the 2017 season, Coach Brisack will be entering his 18th year as the Edgewood College skipper . Brisack, the winningest baseball coach in Edgewood College history, has won three conference titles, taken the Eagles to two NCAA Division III National Tournaments, and finished one game from the World Series in 2005.  The Eagles have only failed to play in post-season three times under Brisack’s leadership. One thing becomes clear after speaking with Coach Brisack, he is looking for players who can handle adversity.  "As much as we can, we try to know how a potential player is going to handle adversity" states Coach Brisack.  "College is tough – the speed of the game is an adjustment, the speed of the academic work is an adjustment, the discipline it takes to balance new-found social freedom is an adjustment, the time commitments are an adjustment. Every college player will have to deal with failure and adversity. The good ones respond in a positive manner and get better. …
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Smartt Advice as Your Son Moves Through the Amateur Ranks

Mark Smartt is in his first season as the Head Coach at Troy University in 2016. He has been the Recruiting Coordinator and lead assistant coach the last 13 years at Troy, his alma mater. He was the head coach at the University of West Alabama for six seasons and this year will be his 27th season as a collegiate coach. Coach Smartt played on two NCAA Division II National Championship teams at Troy in 1986 and 1987.   As a college baseball coach, I have enjoyed the opportunity to recruit many players over the last 20+ years. Throughout my time as a coach, recruiting has changed dramatically in terms of the volume of opportunity young players have today. My generation of players simply did not have the same type of exposure that players have today. I grew up in Georgia and the first time I participated on a baseball field in the fall was my freshman year in college. We practiced and played baseball during the spring and summer months as there were no fall leagues or ga…
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Boston College Coach Explains What Parents and Players Need to Understand About Recruiting

Greg Sullivan is in his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Boston College baseball team.  Coach Sullivan is one of the three primary recruiters on staff. He is also responsible for running the Boston College Baseball Camps. Coach Sullivan discusses the difficulties of recruiting and provides a brief glimpse behind the scenes of college baseball recruiting. Recruiting players is very hard. Recruiting is looking into a crystal ball and trying to predict how good a player is going to be in two, three, or even 4 years into the future. Present day success doesn't always translate to future success at the next level. Coaches are trying to predict or project future success. What parents and players need to understand is that sometimes college coaches are recruiting a player to fill certain a role within their program. Every school or program evaluates a player's skills based of what they think fits into their program. Additionally, talent never supersedes the intangibles…
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Great Book! One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard

I really enjoyed this book. I would think about Lefty when "the spindly curveball artist John Heneberry" took the mound. A fantastic story about coaching and being a team. Holidays are approaching, stocking stuffer for your baseball dad, BOOM!  Done. One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to become the smallest school in modern Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There, sporting long hair, and warming up to Jesus Christ Superstar, the Ironmen would play a dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change their lives forever. In a gripping, cinematic narrative, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballar…
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Playing at the Highest Level – Air Force Academy Graduate 2nd Lt. Ben Yokley

When I asked 2nd Lt. Ben Yokley of Air Force baseball, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 29th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, what it takes to play at the highest level, his response reminded me that baseball is a game of failure. You have to be willing to strike out, make an error, or lose a game and at the same time not lose your drive, your determination and your enthusiasm to work even harder to improve and succeed.

It might be a lot to expect. But I wish every 11-year-old who ever gets deflated over a loss or mopes after a bad day on the field could understand this. It's FUN to win. (No matter what age you are.) But failure is what makes you stronger. And what you do in the face of failure will define your ultimate success on and off the field. "Play at the Highest Level" As I begin my professional career as a pitcher in the Cardinals organization, I’ve be…
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It’s Not Just Baseball, It’s A Higher Calling – Coach Kaz on Playing for the Air Force Academy

What does it take to play baseball for the United States Air Force Academy?  According to Coach Mike Kazlausky (Coach Kaz), it takes much more than just being a baseball player. Coach Kaz: Recruiting at the Academy, we look for the whole person concept and not just an athlete in a sport. The recruit has to have the intellect, character, and honor to be able to handle such a prestigious school. We do so much more than just play baseball. All of our Cadets are on a ½ million dollar full-ride scholarship no matter if they play a sport or not. They will experience Basic Cadet Training, jumping out of airlplanes, flying gliders, and learning how to be an effective leader. We want all of our Cadets to graduate and be leaders of character. The Air Force Academy is a higher calling and we are looking for men and women that want to serve the greatest nation in the world! My mission is to ensure the success in all facets and not just on a baseball field. My job is to ensure that they wi…
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Father’s Day Gift Ideas for your Baseball Dad

Finding a gift for a dad can be pretty tough.  But if you have a baseball dad, don't worry, I got this. This is my wheel house. Every year I list a few things that I would enjoy receiving, call it Rusty's Favorite Things..move over Oprah. Here are a few ideas that will bring joy to your baseball dad....trust me! (as always, I don't get paid or perked by any of these products) Hey Lefty! Keep reading...     Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty by Charles Leerhsen   Finally—a fascinating and authoritative biography of perhaps the most controversial player in baseball history, Ty Cobb.Ty Cobb is baseball royalty, maybe even the greatest player who ever lived. His lifetime batting average is still the highest of all time, and when he retired in 1928, after twenty-one years with the Detroit Tigers and two with the Philadelphia Athletics, he held more than ninety records. But the numbers don’t tell half of Cobb’s tale. The Georgia Peach was by far the most thrilling player…
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CSULB Coach Cautions Parents: Raise Men, Not Just Ballplayers

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably figured out by now that Lefty plays for a travel ball organization called MIT. What you might not know is that while MIT officially stands for Mentoring, Instruction and Training, my wife and some of the other MIT moms often joke that it should really stand for “Men in Training” (because of the important life lessons our kids are learning through baseball.) Looks like the MIT moms are onto something . . . at least that’s what CSULB’s pitching coach, Mike Steele, would say. Mike, who was an All-American pitcher and outfielder in college and a 29th-round draft pick and 3-time All-Star in the minors, has spent the last 10 years as a pitching coach—first at Michigan State University and then within the Pittsburg Pirates organization. Now that he’s at CSULB (go Dirtbags!) I reached out to him and asked for one piece of advice he could give to parents of youth baseball players. And his no-nonsense response went a lot deeper than that…
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