By Garth Kassner
Baseball preseason is the time to fix the mistakes of last season and define the goals for the new season. Long hours of practice are filled with blood, sweat and tears all in anticipation of stepping out onto the field for the first time. This year, the Albion College baseball team wants nothing less than an MIAA championship.
Scott Carden, head coach, relies heavily on his players to step up to the challenge of preseason. For him, the preseason is about who will work hard enough to earn a starting spot out on the diamond March 7 when the team heads down to Franklin, Ind. to play over spring break.
“Our goal when we head down south is to have a pretty good idea of who is going to be in the mix for us,” said Carden. “Our real focus is just figuring out who are going to be our top nine. There’s always some surprises. I don’t think there has ever been a day one lineup that ends up being a day forty lineup. It always changes.”
Carden also wants the first-years on the team ready right away. For this, he relies on his senior leaders, Davin Montgomery, Northville senior and Brendan Diamond, Holt senior. Both have different leadership styles, but hold serious roles on the team as captains.
“I’m not much of a vocal leader as some of the other captains are,” Montgomery said. “I like to think I lead by example. I like to try to set the standard of the level we want to play at.”
Diamond believes his leadership style to be more player friendly. He works to cultivate an environment of confidence as he believes confidence is the most important thing his team can have.
In order to be successful on the field, the team needs to be successful during practice. But in order to do that, a lot of work is put in by the players and coaches behind the scenes.
“Sometimes practice schedules can take me an hour to prepare,” Carden said. “Sometimes it takes just as long to prepare as they do to actually execute practice.”
Carden and his coaching staff meets frequently outside of practice with the players to hear what they want to work on during practice, as well as journal and make charts in order to keep them mentally focused.
The Albion College baseball team’s preseason preparation values itself on hard work, determination and focus, and through that preparation, they’re hoping win a championship.
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