In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I welcome Brad Gore, head baseball coach of the Enid Plainsmen. Coach Gore emphasizes the importance of developing competitiveness on his team , the importance of older players leading the younger, and building practice schedules around team energy during the spring. The value of connecting with players as people beyond baseball is noted as something that Coach Gore has increasingly appreciated the importance of over the course of his twenty-five year career.
- Guest: Brad Gore, Collegiate Baseball player turned Coach
- How a high speed of practice at Enid is important and shouldn’t be any different than the speed of games
- Team dinners and community sports mentoring help build team culture
- “Playing hard” and leading by example are important to Coach Gore’s ethos
- How important it is to show players that their coach cares about them as a person as well
- Players at Enid have to be students first, with older players holding younger accountable
- The importance of communication within the program
- Building competition into practice can help build an exciting and competitive team culture; competition can cause quieter players to open up
- How coaching during the season can encompass things like noting problem areas during games and working on them prior to the next day’s game.
- What batting practice looks like for Coach Gore’s team
- How practice timing during the season can be based on team needs because of things like travel schedule and timing
- The importance of nutrition for the success of weightlifting
- How the realization of the importance of a relationship beyond baseball grew over the course of Coach Gore’s career
- How Coach Gore gives Assistant Coaches independence to coach their way as well as responsibility for that independence, and the opportunity to see the non-baseball related parts of coaching
- 21 Outs can be a fun and competitive practice exercise
3 Key Points:
- Competitive spirit in a baseball team can be developed through competitive practice.
- Taking the time to understand players on a level beyond baseball has become increasingly valuable to Coach Gore over the course of his career.
- A culture of older players mentoring and holding younger students accountable is important to the team dynamic at Enid.
- ¨I played baseball at Oklahoma State, my brother played baseball at Oklahoma State, he made it to AAA, so it’s one of those things that’s been in our family for a long time, and after my playing days were over I just didn’t want to get away from the game, and I wouldn’t change a thing.” – Brad (1:15)
- “We practice extremely fast and we move around and there’s really not much downtime, and that’s really one our things: to beat us you’re going to have to outwork us.¨ – Brad (5:20)
- “We hold our kids accountable for everything they do, whether it be on the field or off the field it’s all the same to us. – Brad (11:20)
- “If I have a really talented Varsity 2nd baseman that’s extremely competitive and I’ve got a little young freshman just trying to find his way, we call it peer coaching, and I totally believe in that. – Brad (14:20)
- “[On assistant coaches] I don’t look it as I’m their boss as much as I’m their peer in coaching.¨– Brad (36:30)
- “You can put junk in your body and lift as many weights as you want and you’re not going to get any dividends but if you put the right stuff in there and do the right amount of lifting, it’s really going to pay off.¨– Brad (33:00)
- Brad Gore