Baseball’s Unique Tricks Of The Trade

tricks-of-trade-team-chemistryBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
(First Of A 2-Part Series)

If you are involved in baseball long enough as a coach, you compile some amazing tricks of the trade that allow the your teams to reach their potential and beyond.

You also learn techniques that allow every phase of job to become streamlined and easier. Over the years, Collegiate Baseball has interviewed coaches who have been the best in their profession.

Here are a number of tricks of the trade that every coach will find useful.

Ed Cheff led Lewis-Clark State College to an unprecedented 16 NAIA World Series titles and is the NAIA’s all-time leader in victories at one school with a 1,705-430-2 record over 34 years during a career that spanned from 1977-2010. No coach in college baseball history had a more analytical approach to trying to get his team to achieve elusive team chemistry.

“Coaches need to develop their own formula to develop a ‘caring and believing’ atmosphere in their program by using the same planning, concern and constant evaluation that they devote to skill development and game strategy if the potential of the team is going to be realized,” said Cheff.

“At the beginning of each year, the first team contact I have with my players is concerned with presenting our program’s formula for developing a ‘caring and believing’ chemistry.

“We discuss the fact that they only take this journey, participating in a collegiate baseball program, once in their life and that they, along with the coaches, have the responsibility to make it one of the best and more rewarding experiences of their life.

“It is pointed out that we are going to do things as a team that really have little direct ties with baseball, but are activities that we believe will make us a better team. We discuss each activity and the philosophy behind it.”

Camping Trip
The first activity is a five day camping trip to British Columbia, Canada over the Labor Day weekend. Lewis-Clark St. typically played 3-6 games during this period.

As the trip comes during the second week of school, it is the first opportunity for the players and coaches to get to know one another.

“We impress upon the players that this is a great opportunity to reflect on their interpersonal skills to insure the first impression they project about themselves is a positive one.

“Prior to the trip, the coaching staff provides the players with a few thoughts about interpersonal relationships that might help them initiate the friendships we hope will be created as a result of the trip.

“1. Personal characteristics, such as empathy for teammates, tolerance for their differences, and humility, are the distinguishing traits of a respected athlete.

“2. Each player will have assigned duties related to caring for the camp. This is a good opportunity to show responsibility and work ethic.

“3. Everything they do and say makes a statement about themselves. Self-respect and maturity will help make positive statements.

“The informality of the camping experience helps break down artificial barriers some players see between themselves and the coaching staff.”

To read more about tricks of the trade that veteran coaches have discovered to help their teams excel, purchase the Jan. 6, 2017 to receive part 1 of this 2-part series of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

We will delve more into the intriguing subject of team chemistry as explained by retired Hall of Fame Lewis-Clark State skipper Ed Cheff.

Other great techniques are also discussed such as how the fake bunt/slash was introduced to baseball, the importance of the walk and why disciplined hitters are crucial to run production.

The importance of extreme team hustle and how it can give teams an edge as explained by TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle, amazing Double Infield Drills from Nova H.S. (FL) Head Coach Pat McQuaid, how to raise $150,000 from Barbe H.S. (LA) Head Coach Glenn Cecchini and orchestrating great bunt defense by Nevada Head Coach T.J. Bruce are also explained along with much more in this in-depth story.