Over the past few months, I have reached out to NCAA and NAIA head baseball coaches and asked one question that has intrigued me for some time. The response to this question has been tremendous and some times even stunning.
Over 100 coaches have provided their perspective to my question. As I am compiling their answers, I wanted to share one response from current head coach at California State University Northridge, Greg Moore. Coach Moore is the ninth head coach in Matador history and in the words of Oregon Head Baseball Coach George Horton “Greg has always been on my short list as one of the best young coaches in the country. Greg has that special balance of knowledge, teaching ability, and work ethic that only the elite coaches can demonstrate. I’m sure Greg will do a fabulous job in the years to come.”
Coach Moore was very open and helpful on my quest to gather the answer to this question. He even invited me and Lefty to come up for a game (which we be doing for sure). He said he believes in helping kids enjoy and grow from the game.
The question I asked Coach Moore and the other coaches is…
What would surprise parents and players most about how you evaluate and recruit players?
Coach Moore: It would surprise parents if they understood how much we evaluate the response to failure. We want to see how a young man and his parents fail on the field and over a long period of time. This ranges from sitting the bench, to a rough slump. Most of the best players succeed day to day and week to week. Parents of course enjoy that. I want to see if a mom or dad sees the value in 0 for 12 or 2 weeks without playing.
Most players, almost all, struggle for extended periods as they move from high school to college, or college to the pros. Seeing struggle on the field is the beginning. The evaluation that matters comes from the questions and answers after the game. Does he blame the shortstop, the umpire or even mechanics that were “off” that day? Or does the performance or contribution to the team begin and end with the person answering the questions. Is there an instinct to create an action plan to improve, or a reflex to sulk or point fingers. We also evaluate parents ability to encourage that productive response to struggles. The most surprising thing we evaluate is what should be no surprise to a baseball player, response to failure.
I found it really interesting that Coach Moore brought up the parents in his evaluation and recruiting process. Good to know.
Coach Moore also referred to his program called Diamond University. Diamond University provides youth, high school and college aged athletes a diverse curriculum connecting lessons from sports, behavioral sciences and academics to provide successful habits for the broader life. These life skills will be taught during Matador Baseball Camps. Coach Moore stated that in this program “we bring in young athletes and parents and teach classes designed to make sure they are both enjoying baseball and working at it the right way. 9 years ago I started this because players were arriving at the University where I coached, neither focused on the right things, or the healthy things.”
Thanks Coach Moore!
Catch Coach Moore and the Matadors Click here for a Game Schedule.