Monday, January 11, 2010

Return from the Convention

The coaching staff returned from the annual ABCA Convention Sunday night with a lot of new ideas for practice. This year's convention, which was held in the arctic region of Dallas, Texas, featured 2009 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year Paul Maniri (LSU), John Cohen (Mississippi State), Scott Striklin (Kent State) and some pitcher named Nolan (whoever that is). These three men, along with many, many others gave presentations over the four-day event.

The winter weather was our fourth passenger on the 15 hour ride from Naperville to Dallas and decided to spend the weekend with us. The high temperature for the entire weekend was in the 20's. But it was a constant 72 degrees inside the Hilton Anatole banquet room where some of the game's best coaches gave speeches and demonstrations on everything from hitting and pitching to the mental game of baseball.

My personal favorite was Mississippi State Head Coach John Cohen's presentation on "Wall Ball". This dealt with incorporating a wall or a pitch-back (there is always a plug for a new product) into your team's infield routine to get more repetitions but more importantly the ability for players to work by themselves when the coaches aren't allowed to work with the players. Some of the drills and concepts will be implemented into our daily routine in the new Res/Rec Center which opened officially this morning (tons of pics to come).

There was some time for some fun and we took advantage of it. Stay tuned for some pics from our tour of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and The Ballpark at Arlington. Speaking of practice it is now three weeks until the start of day 1...21 days and counting!