UNC baseball coach Scott Forbes speaks to coaches at new Seaforth High School

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – On Wednesday, June 16 the Seaforth High School Athletic Department, under the direction of AD Jason Amy held an open house. The meet and greet event was an opportunity for student-athletes and parents/guardians to meet and learn more about the Hawks coaching staff.

Before the meet and greet portion of the evening, UNC baseball coach and Chatham County resident Scott Forbes met and talked to the new coaches in the school auditorium.

Here’s an AI generated transcript of coach Forbes’ talk:

If we get caught up in in the wrong things as coaches, and I think now more than ever being invested in the kids that you coach and understanding before you coach him, that it’s just different. And they’re going through things that we didn’t even go through. Maybe we did. But I don’t think we did. I think times were a little bit simpler.

Number one, we didn’t have [logic] you guys may have. I’m not that old. But I didn’t have one of these until really, I started coaching. So I see my kids. I have two kids. I just see the difference. But for the first time, in my coaching career, we dealt with the most mental health issues, the most anxiety. So I was more aware of that, and I paid more attention to it.

And I really spent in this first year, we had some success, we didn’t make it to Omaha or I wouldn’t be here. So I wish I wasn’t here. I wish we were out there. But we we had a really young team.

The NCAA allow us to keep as many players as we wanted, which we never allowed to do, which I thought was kind of neat.

But we had a lot of kids. When I say young team, we played a lot of true freshmen. And that you know, these kids even more than anybody else, they missed their senior year in high school. And they missed their summers, for the most part, not all of it, but for the most part.

And then I thought back on finally, basically, the way it worked for me was coach Fox retired, I kind of had an idea who was going to win the next day, we were on the field practicing. And we were when we started class the next day, and then basically the season just ended. So I’m just now kind of coming up, I told my wife and feels like now can think a little bit because you’re just managing everything, you’re managing your team. you’re managing situations, and reflecting back. The things that I’ll share with you the most that I think are important.

Because you guys, I mean, I get coaching, I understand it. I’ve been doing it a long time. And I’m probably one of the most competitive people around. So when the game starts to me, you know, it always changed. All I care about is winning the game.

And hopefully, when the game starts most competitors, that’s the last thing and today, you know, there’s a lot. No, I didn’t get a trophy when we finished sixth, when I was younger, and I don’t like that side of it. But I do know, the kids now they need us, they need you more than they ever had.

And their long days in coaching. There are challenges in coaching. As you get older and you have a family, there’s other things on our plates. But I remind myself being a college athlete going back those kids that they don’t care about that.

They care about where they are right now. What’s going on their life. We’ve all been there we’ve been 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Very self consuming. That’s just how you are. But I firmly believe now more than ever; these kids need to be loved. And sometimes there is tough love. Discipline that’s part of that’s part of tough love. And we had that and you guys are going to discipline your athletes. But I figured out after coaching a long time, and you know, being at a lower level. And then to the pinnacle. We’ve been fortunate. We’ve been to Omaha quite a few years. I’ve coached in two national championships, we lost them both.

But I have been in the dugout and the pinnacle of baseball. And I’ve been around some great coaches. I mean, that’s the neatest thing about UNC. You know, the Anson Dorrance, the field hockey team, the lacrosse team, the basketball team just national champions everywhere so I’m constantly trying to learn

But what I have learned is that kids recognize whether or not you really care about them and you can’t fool them.

And what happens is or at least what happened with me is you first start coaching for all the right reasons you know you love being around the kids you love having an impact which is why we all should coach that’s why you coach you know coach truly can as it’s been said you can change you know, I look back at all my coaches and now I realize either head are unbelievable coach or an awful coach, there was usually no in between, especially when it came to the influence that they had on my life looking back to I played three sports.

You know, I didn’t even love baseball, I was writing my last love and but it was what I was best at. So that ended up taking over. But I remember all my coaches, just like I remember a lot of my teachers.

But I remember the ones that generally cared the most about my life; usually had the biggest impact on me as a player. Because none of us are perfect. Nobody’s perfect with the Xs and Os. Nobody’s gonna you know.

Players and parents these days think you are going to make their kid great. You’re just not.

Kids got to make themselves great. You’re just trying to guide them along the way. But that isn’t the one thing that that I thought the message I would say is you have to generally love your players, the only way to do that is to figure out who they are individually. And that can be a challenge sometimes, because some of them are paying to coach even at our level, you know, some are really, but the older I get, the more gratifying it is to help a kid like that than the ones that are so easy to coach because I remind our staff every day like these kids all have different backgrounds.

They’re all dealing with different things that we have no idea.

And a great example of that is two years ago, I was walking around our infield talking to players, which I like to do some days, when we’re just doing fundamental stuff in practice where it’s more repetition, or shortstop iframe and my favorite players I’ve ever coached. North Carolina kid wasn’t very good when he got to UNC but really tough, probably hit about 130, only about 40 bats his freshman year, but ended up being an all American force great players playing professional baseball now.

But I was always Moody, like I mean, I’m talking like moody. And I was just talking to him one day, you know how your parent and that’s the that’s the plus of being a recruit, you get to know families.

And he said, Yeah, my mom’s not doing great. And I was like, that kind of brought up an antenna. I’m like, Well, I know anything was wrong with his mom. But he went on to tell me that his mom at the age of 52, was diagnosed with severe dementia.

And I just thought to myself, well, this makes sense. You know, here’s a kid is probably upset, often because it’s a close family. And it made me realize, okay, it’s my job to try to figure that out. So it’s even more of a challenge for you guys.

I have a ton of respect for people that coach kids between the age of 15, 14 and 18. Because it’s even more, you know, in North Carolina, that level eventually, if a kid is not completely invested, completely bought in, there comes a time where that kid is going to be replaced with a more elite athlete. The neatest thing about what you guys do is you have even more of an impact honestly, probably, than we do, because that age is just so important. And I’ve seen it I saw it in my house. I see it in in my my 16 year old is getting ready to be 17 just the changes she’s had. And she’s a volleyball player. She travels now all over the country playing which I’ve enjoyed, but I just observe all the coaches and I see the same thing in volleyball that I seen in travel baseball, I had a nephew that was a really good football player, and went to all of his games at Lee County, he went on to play that state he went to play at East Carolina saw the same thing. You either have a good coach, or you have a terrible coach. And you can really tell the ones that want these kids to succeed.

So I encourage you to try to get to know your kids love them. And sometimes there is such thing as tough love. And the other thing I thought I’d share with you, I do think one thing that is lost is accountability and discipline. I think too many people in coaches today, it’s okay to be close with your athletes. And you need to get to know, but they have to be held accountable. And if you want to have a successful team, and your best players, you know, one minute late to every team meeting, and you let that best player star over and over and over, you’ll lose your team.

You’ll completely lose your team. And I learned that from the best. My coach was coach Fox played form. And I was one of those players. So I don’t want to bore you with my history. But I grew up in Sanford, North Carolina. And I went off to a junior college I don’t care about the sports didn’t care about school, but I was one of those players It was hard to catch. And luckily I went to play for Mike Fox, who I learned some not that my parents did a great job raising me but there comes a time that you don’t know anything is apparent. Right? You’ve all been there. Like I don’t think Hannah even listens to me about recruiting and I’ve been recruiting 25 years. I don’t think she knows what I’m talking about. So I just I’m quiet and they have to learn on their own. But I tell you what, it’s a you really start figuring out why you coach, the more you coach, and I constantly remind our staff and myself, why do you coach because if you happen to have success, and you happen to win more games, then all of a sudden we can get caught up in that part of it and I really believe I’ve read a ton of books about coaching, motivation, all that good stuff. I read a book A while back from the former 49ers coach called “Winning takes care of itself”. It’s one of the better books I’ve read. There’s a lot of great books. And I firmly believe that if you do everything now, and the hard part for high school is you have what you have. Right? You can’t really recruit, can you maybe you can, but it’s illegal. I guess.

You know, if you move, I guess and get a hat. Yeah, I get it.

And I understand that part of it. But you also kind of have what you have. And it’s up to you. We, we can be the same way we recruit our players. And some years, the batch is unbelievable. And some years, you’re like, man, I needed to do a better job. I didn’t do a good enough job. And but you still have what you have. And you get to decide how you coach that team. And you get to create the story for that team. And that’s, that’s one of my things that I do. I’ve always I did it as I was fortunate because coach Fox gave me a lot of responsibility. Starting about 10 years ago, he was at a place in his career where I was doing a lot of things that the normal assistant didn’t do. That really helped me when I became a head coach. But while there my first year you learn to and everybody told me to learn to motion first year, what I learned is focus on your kids, focus on your kids.

And then the rest will take care of itself is first year first school, my advice to you would be make every kid that plays for you say that was that was an unbelievable experience.

And believe it or not even more in high school, it’s not some years, you might have an unbelievable crop some year you might not, but the kids are gonna have either a good experience or a bad experience. And you set the tone every day.

It’s just the way it is. I walk out here every day for practice, I’ll walk in a coaching meeting, if you’re the leader of your program. And I walk in, and I have a lot of people working under me, but my assistant coaches, they’re younger, they played for us, they have younger kids, I set the tone for that day.

And sometimes that can be hard, right? You got five hours of sleep, something going on in the house, you have all that stuff, you have to remind yourself when you are in charge of a team and your coach. And as soon as you walk in there, your body language, your energy, your organizational skills, your attitude more than anything is going to be contagious, it’s because it’s gonna one way or the other.

And I’m a firm believer in that. And you can fake it and you can make yourself all sudden had the best attitude. And you can fake it the whole time and then go home and just fall down. Because that happens sometimes. It goes for zamana kind of hold me real quick, because I got to step out in the gym, and I’m gonna go start talking to one of the reasons I wanted and not the wish that you weren’t normal. But I really need you here. And I really pretty, really I was I know. And I really appreciate him coming in here under these circumstances kind of short notice and happening and talking with us. And, and the reason is, is I’ve heard you talk before and he’s very genuine. If you guys listen to his words, as it’s nothing different than what we think a lot of times, and that’s why I like listening to you a lot. It just means a lot. So thank you. I’m gonna leave you one of them. We got a lot of people working real hard right now. And, you know, I think it’s a perfect time for you to talk. We’ll let some questions if anybody has any questions, do that. And then Heather will lead us down to the gym after you guys are all done. So I’m gonna head down there. I just want to personally thank you. Thank you, Coach Forbes thing. Yes, sir.

That’ll be cool to be over here. And I want to answer any questions. I don’t want to keep talking. But I am. I was one of those coaches. And that’s what I’ll share with you at one point, like I was one of those coaches that had a lot of success. And I thought I went about things the wrong way and a bit.

And you can’t get that now, I don’t think I’ve been with the players because I always love the players. But you’re chasing the wrong thing. You’re chasing the next job. You’re chasing the national championship. you’re chasing, you know, I want my name in this coaching thing, this coaching thing, this, that and the other. And then if you’re not careful, all of a sudden you look and you got 16 year old you miss four years, five years. And that’s a balance as a coach. And what helped me is the more my faith helped me tremendously, but also just realizing same thing when I go home. They don’t care. I mean, they do as they get older. They’re my wife’s competitive, so maybe she cares, but they don’t care. Like they want me to be a dad and want to be at home. And that’s a tough balancing as a coach. Because you win, you lose and when you lose, man like I’m a terrible loser. I’ve been a terrible loser since I was a kid. My dad told

Like I was a kid, I didn’t do it at the field was either with my tail. But as soon as I walked in the door, we lost, I started crying. And he was like, You can’t cry every time you lose. And even now, I have trouble sleeping. But that’s part of coaching. And I learned after our 2013 season,

I want you to think about this for a second, we were 59 and 12.

We were number one in the country the entire year. And we didn’t lose two games in a row. The whole year, we got knocked down in Omaha by UCLA.

But I don’t like that year was like the most stressful year for me at the time I had. And I was like, Well, wait a second, if this stress will be in 59 and 12. Why am I coach,

I’m missing the whole point of why I’m coach. So I really, and then we had a couple down, you’re down years for us. We weren’t, like this year, my opinion wasn’t a good year for us, we made the postseason, some people would be happy with that. But those years made me better. And made me realize, okay, now. Now, when we get back to that point, I’m not gonna let it be about that.

And it’s amazing how much your outlook if you just focus on the kids, and reminding yourself constantly that your words are unbelievably powerful, and you can’t take them back. And we’re all guilty of it. I’ve said things to players that I was like, Man, I’ve had to be a man and apologize for.

But the key is you got to mature you got to grow up, you got understand that now more than ever, these kids need us and they need you. They need that leadership, they need to be loved, or they need the discipline. And you got to find the line in between. And when you have an opportunity like this, you’re coming off a whole year where these kids didn’t have any interaction with each other.

You know, they need to enjoy sports, they need to look forward to being on because sometimes I remind myself the release is you guys.

That’s their release from because these kids put more pressure on themselves. And we ever did, at least I think I mean, I say to my house, maybe because I didn’t really care if I made a C or an A.

But you know, the applications, the Instagrams, the twitts, whatever it is. You see it all the time, right? Y’all see it, and you have to be aware of it. But then you want their release to be on the field. But they’re releasing going to be on the field if every time they come home, and they feel absolutely beat down. Mentally, I didn’t say physically, right effort is not negotiable at you and say is non negotiable. If you don’t give effort, you’re never gonna play, you’re gonna be in my dog house from day walk on campus. It’s not hard to hustle.

But if I’m constantly negative, if I’m constantly yelling at kids, you’re gonna lose them. And you’ll lose them fast. So I encourage you to enjoy it, enjoy being around the kids, but remind yourself every single day, your influence is really powerful. And as crazy as that sounds, I think your influence right now is more important than college coaches influence.

Because I saw a stat the other day of how many athletes play Little League and they play middle school and they play High School and then all sudden, it just goes from like here to right there. Because that’s how hard is to play in college. And then it goes right there to play professionally.

So job, any questions? I’ll be happy to answer them. I’m excited to follow because obviously, we moved, you know, my daughter older daughters and the old. I guess it’s called north. Yeah.

Yeah, but But anyway, um, you know, we’re not going anywhere. We don’t plan on it. So my younger daughter will be here, I believe, but my wife told me so that’s exciting. And y’all have a great opportunity. You have any questions at all?

Is there? Yes.

Question: With our situation here, we’ll have freshmen, a lot of freshmen the first year, then a little bit of sophomores, we’ll be adding a grade each year. So for us coaches, one thing we’re gonna have to navigate is you’re going to have freshmen starting on in varsity sports and in varsity positions, who in a few years, may not be still in that role. And with you and the situation you’re in, you may have a freshman third baseman, who plays and then you bring in a new freshmen third baseman, and he’s taken his spot and is starting. So what advice would you give for us to manage that situation and not just bring that player up, but to communicate and mentor with those players who are getting older, but are facing a little bit of competition from the younger classes like how, as a team, manager, mentor, and advocate for these players, can we communicate and support those players who may be facing that competition?

Yeah. That’s a great question. We have it all the time, obviously.

And, you know, every coach has a different philosophy. So your philosophy is yours, mine’s mine. And you know you and say the best players are going to play doesn’t matter if you’ve been here one year, two years, no matter if you are a freshman, all American, you come back, there’s a better shortstop, you know, that That, to me is important that kids understand.

And, you know, in high school can be different coaches can have different things, you know, because at the end of the day,

you’re welcome to Ask me a question about parents, because I love answering that one.

But you guys see it every day, right? You see, the practice, you know, deserves to play, you know, who’s loafing, but, you know, there’s equal and these kids are working as hard as they can, but then a younger players just better. You know, I’ve always played that player. And I always will.

And in North Carolina, we make it really clear right away, that it’s all about the team. Before we start anything, like, Look, you’re coming to the wrong place. If it’s all about you developing individually, getting drafted and signing for $2 million.

So my advice would be making it clear to your team like, Hey, we’re a team. So every decision we make is gonna be about the team. And sometimes you may not like that decision, and you may meet me, and you might move from tied in the middle linebacker, but that helps our team succeed. And then getting everybody to understand how important is to believe in their role. And even though they might not love their role, that is non negotiable. And the way we do things they have to buy into it. Unless they just want to sit on the side and watch everybody play.

It’s always a challenge when you know when that happens,

and probably also in high school, I’m sure parents are challenged. But that’s why I don’t know if I could coach in high school. Maybe, maybe, but

Question: yes, man, I’d love to hear your story about dealing with parents, because I know I already have some an organ to deal with. But one of the more important courses that I have is as coaches, how do we help our kids to be recruited? What tips do you have? And I know there’s a lot of strategies for example, on his on social media, perhaps a coke starts following you, and then you follow them back. What can we What advice can we give to our players, as far as increasing their recruitment chances and as coaches were things that we can do to help promote our children, for example, making sure that game for them is available? Yeah, making sure stats is available. So just from both of those perspectives, can you give us an advice, so the recruiting first, obviously,

The better player gets all of a sudden, you know, hopefully, they’re going to get noticed. But that’s not always the case. This is a smaller town. I grew up in a smaller town. Sometimes, you have to really help. And the more you know, I’m going to listen when a coach calls me, just so you guys know, the high school baseball coach calls me It gets a hold of me directly. I’m more apt to listen to that high school coach. We’re also in that standpoint, like we do a lot of background, because we did a couple years that we didn’t, and we start coming out these kids really early. And that started, we got burned, and we had talented players that were not good locker room guys, that hurt us our culture flight two or three years. So we went back. You know, if I recruited kid, I’m gonna call his high school coach, before I call his travel ball coach, because his travel ball coach gonna promote his travel team because he wants to go on his website and that kick him in we all know that.

But you help him that that whatever sport it is, um, I do think Well, obviously, during COVID video was very valuable. But it doesn’t hurt to get an email from the coach. Say, Hey, coach, I just want that, you know, I have this player that thinks really talented, great student, even better person, hard worker. I think it might be somebody you want to put on your radar, get at your camp, or maybe even come see and always put your cell phone down. You know, it’s extra work right? for coaches. And that’s just part of what you all do. I think you have to be leery of the recruiting services. I think some of them are good.

I just don’t know enough about them. I know. I get a million emails and they’re from a generic recruiting service compared to an email from a coach that coaches in high school at North Carolina High School, where we want to get the best players in North Carolina. I’m going to pay attention to that one. Before I pay attention to whatever whatever the recruiting services but also understand for my nephew named recruiting football, and I’ve got a lot of you know, Dre blonde are really good friends. He tells obviously it’s a totally different deal. in football, the video the huddle, I’m seeing that in volleyball and other Sports. But I think the more communication you can have, the more you can help that athlete, understand the importance of, Hey, you got some ability, and you might get recruited.

But you also have to do your part, you have to respond to the email, if the coach emails you individually, you want to help it and let the athlete to do that part.

The athletes need to know too, that social media is a ticking time bomb, Tom ball.

Look, before I came to talk to you guys, we had a big meeting about in state recruiting. We’ve had seven players in the last three years that we’ve dropped because of social media posts, which is crazy to me. Not that they were bad kids, but my hands were tied.

You know, and even if they weren’t tied, I would let them go. Because I’m thinking to myself, okay, you want to be treated like an adult when you get here, right? That’s what all these kids won’t. And then you’re going to tweet this, I just don’t think that’s going to work here. They’re human beings I got learned from, but I think remind your athletes like that’s a reflection. We have a social media company that comes in and meets with our freshmen, we start summer school in two weeks, the second day, they’ll meet with our freshmen, they’ll pull up every flag tweet, or I don’t know what else is out there, where they use, whatever, they’ll pull it up. And it’s anything that’s borderline anything that’s borderline, and we all know, there’s a lot of that and that kid you see the kid is kind of going down in their seat like a believe I said that when I was 13 1415.

And it’s good for our kids to see that. But I think the more you can help.

You know, I remember, you said you remember your coaches and I had a great high school, I was fortunate to have a really good high school coach. And you know, I wasn’t a good student, but he went out of his way to help me find a place. Parents, you know, for me, that was pretty short, it’s a little harder for y’all, I don’t really deal with them.

I talked to parents, if it’s something that academically, emotionally, physically, injuries, injuries, those type of things, make it clear to our players in the first team meeting that playing time, I’m not gonna call your parents about playing. So if a parent calls me about playing time, the kid knows they’re supposed to tell their parents, if you call me about playing time, your playing time is going down.

If you want to talk to me about playing time, we have an open door policy at UNC, you can you can call me I’m not going to talk to you seriously over the phone, because I believe in. And I encourage you be careful what you text these days or having a conversation over text. It’s no good. And every time you meet with a player, try to have one of your assistant coaches with you. And you got to understand everything you’re saying could be recorded. As crazy as that sounds not that. Hopefully we’re saying things that are okay to be recorded. But when I first started coaching, they weren’t, you know, that I said some things that they recorded, they would probably be, I probably wouldn’t be standing in front of you right now.

But I think, I think parents now more than ever, you know, and I understand, you know, like we love our own kids.

But they have a land if you have kids like that, and I just refuse to do it. And I’m probably too hard on my two daughters. And because I’m not doing that they’re not coming home and telling me it’s coach’s fault. I don’t care how bad the coach is or how negative the coach is. It’s not going to happen in the Forbes household. But it does happen in most households. And he just need to know that going into it that every kid you coach in their parents eyes. That’s that’s Emmitt Smith as a running back. That’s who always thought was the best running back when I was coming along. That’s Mike trout right now in baseball, it’s the best volleyball player track, whatever. That’s what they think.

So you have to kind of manage that.

But you have to make it clear that I mean, you just don’t want to get into that playing time. issue. And to me, if I was ever in, I would love to, you know, the rat race that I’m doing now. Like, I’m definitely not gonna be doing that when I’m 65 and I would love to get back into my community and help one day, wherever I’m living in high school because I think I think sometimes the kids need you because their parents are crazy.

I mean, seriously, they’re they’re just they just, I mean it’s the sports is live and die lived through their their kid, which is just blows me away. And there are times where I wanted to and I have a couple times but I’ve been coaching long enough, where I’ve actually called a couple parents to say look, can you just ease up and then maybe thinking more you raise your kid how you want to and that’s fine. They want to think that but I’m seeing the kid and I know what they’re calling their kid about they’re not asked him how school was a day how your grades are saying, how much practice did you go? How many hits you get? You know, do you think you’re gonna play think about that as a kid. That’s a tough conversation. So my advice on parents is key. You know, they need to be part of your program.

But play in town, it’s just not discussion.

Because I’m being recorded, I won’t say what else about just have to be smart, you want to be smart and do the best you can in that situation and focus on the players. And I know it’s really difficult for y’all even more than it is for us.

Any more questions?

Question: about how to build, like, I guess I’ve been a part of a lot of teams, but usually, like the best coaches, coach, or team coach I’ve been a part of is usually like when the guy the player with the most influence in the locker room was like a good guy. Yeah. And that’s sort of the way you look at it too. Or do you think a coach can be able to control the locker room even though he might not control like the best player or the most vocal player on the team?

Well, I do think that the greatest teams you have of player lead, that’s for sure. But you’re still believing of the program. So you decide what your culture is going to be. And then you decide what you allow. Because we’re all saying what you allow is what you encourage,

you know, our guys know right off the bat, this is our culture, these are the expectations, these are our standards,

we’re gonna have a lot of fun. But if you can’t do these things, you’re going to have a hard time here.

And you know, every program is different. So you can decide that like we play against teams that you know, there bush League, as they come, they celebrate every home run, they hit.

You know, they’ve got here down to here, they’ve got beards down to here, which, you know, they might win the national championship. That’s just their culture. I think whatever you decide it is, you have to instill it. But I do think that I think coaching matters. You know, a lot of people say, Oh, they just didn’t have enough good players. Well, we all know, some years, you’re gonna have more players and others. As a matter of fact, I think the better players you had that years easier.

You get more gratification. Honestly, I pay him more gratification this season, not because it was my first year as a head coach, because we lost our Saturday starter to Tommy john, which is a season any surgery. Without our Sunday star to Tommy john, seasoning and surgery, we had COVID, we lost our closure, we lost our leadoff hitter for 14 games, because one tested positive for COVID. You already already had COVID, they still traced them. So we’re going to Florida State, we’re going to Pitt without two of our best players.

So like at the end of the season, you have to you know, the fans don’t look at it that way, because they only look at Did you win a national championship at the end of the day. But you kind of know, as a coach, what you had,

like that 2013 team that we had 59 wins, we didn’t do a lot. We just kind of managed those guys. They were older. And that’s when it’s even more fun to really help them figure out the culture. And I think if you instill that culture

and it can be hard sometimes.

Because this is a great example, I’ll give you about koecher we were playing Duke

I was sitting at the pregame meal find out found out we lost. This was after we lost Friday to Duke weekend series we lost Friday. I found out that day that we weren’t gonna have our leadoff hitter and our closer so we already lost. I was like old man, we’re at home, we need to win this series really bad. And we’re getting ready to our pregame meal at nine o’clock and our our centerfielder is not there. I mean, it’s got stuck, like a stone, he’s just not there. So then we’re all dazzle you they’re going to me.

So I had a choice. Well, do I play him? Because I want to play like my competitive side, like you all want to do you want to play?

And but then I started I said, Well, you know, I went back and saying, Well, what made us so successful all these years, there’s no way and he who my box is playing this guy. So don’t give in stay with your principles. didn’t play games, great kid had a great attitude, stay in the dugout. And we found a way to win. But I had to live with the fact that I had to think that our culture and moving forward was more important. And the same thing happens. You know, unfortunately, if you ever have a tough player, sometimes addition by subtraction, which stinks. But the key if you get that culture, right, your chances of being successful are just better. Even if your quote star player. Now if you have a star player and he’s the guy, and he’s the leader, and he’s the he’s bought in and He’s talented, and you hit gold. And we’ve had some of those not because the best college player to ever play doesn’t actually in college. He had like 115 hits every year he had 14 every year when the best leaders I’ve ever coached and there was no coincidence that we were so good during those times, but we’ve also had first round picks that weren’t. So we came up a little bit short. They were more concerned about their pro career than they were the team and you know, that’s just unfair.

But the culture you get to decide whatever you decide that is whatever,

it you know that that team, but you have to stay with it. You can’t preach positivity,

attitude, short memory, and then you’re you’re not your that you’re the example, I’ve learned that like I understand when I had to fake it hard sometimes you lose three or four games in a row, because NC State comes to Chapel Hill this year and they just whip our tail in our park three games.

It’s hard to walk out there practice Monday and not, you know, and to not have a good, but you just have to practice what you preach. And I think if you follow and you research the best,

you know, people try to say, well, this coach, you know, he’s got all of this at his fingertips, that coach probably didn’t always instill that culture. And that’s why to me personally, and you guys may disagree, because I love sports. But if you really pay attention to Alabama, if you really pay attention to their culture, it like you watch them play.

You watch their hustle, you watch how they carry themselves, you watch their interviews, you watch them, they score, touchdown, handing the football to the official that has been so instilled in those guys. And Nick Saban is able to still get the best players in the country to come there. A lot of people say they pay him up, but they pay him everywhere, supposedly. But I can tell you that culture went and that that’s it’s just clear compared. And it’s the same thing in baseball, you have a team that does all those things that aren’t good.

And they have some success, and they just please crash and burn, I firmly believe that culture matters. And that the head coach and assistant coaches, and that’s another thing you got to you got to work together.

You have to work together. And if you’re the head coach, you have to sit down with your assistant coaches, and y’all have to be on the same page, because there’s nothing better than loyalty.

You know, if you’re an assistant coach in here, I was going a long time, and I take a lot of pride in looking you and I’m telling you I didn’t agree with what my Fox did every single time. But I would never, ever say that to a player or pair. Anybody outside? Maybe my wife? And she didn’t want to hear it anyway, probably. But that’s those are very important.

Question: What’s the top three pieces of advice you’d give to this coaching staff here for this coming year?

Well, I think the first one would be love your kids, I think they need to learn to listen and love your kids that would be go together. None of us are by nature good listeners. You have to work at it. Yeah, you know, kids need you to listen.

Number two, I would say you know, lead by example. Because that’s, that’s just the way it goes. words don’t mean anything. If you don’t, if you don’t back them up, just off the top of my head, that would be the second thing.

And then number three is I really believe in positivity.

And if you’re not a positive person, person, by nature, you can turn into one. I’ve seen it happen.

And you being positive on a daily basis with a good attitude, it’ll start being contagious. I say those three things, I think if you’re not, I think the others even more contagious. Like I can’t do it, I’ll be the first day I can’t be around negative draining.

I’m just not gonna do it. And and our coaches know that our players know that. And they know when they step between those white lines, they know where they’re gonna get. They know that as their leader, I’m not perfect. But they know we’re going to get after it. Like practice matters. We’re not going through the motions, we’re going to get better. But they also know how important it is for me, to see them being positive learning to flush things really fast, because you’re going to make a mistake, you’re going to fumble a football, you’re just going to make a mistake. And those those athletes that can learn to move past it really fast. They end up being elite. And I think coaches, they can move past I mean, we’ve all been guilty, right? in baseball, we don’t turn a double play in the first round still talking about in the seventh.

I’m not practicing what I preach.

So I think those three things would be three the most with with as corny as it sounds. And we talk about it as a team all the time. Like, like, one of the thing I hate about COVID the most was like we believe in hugs. Now that sounds crazy. But we want to hug each other. We want to tell each other we love each other even when we’re mad at each other. And that was hard and COVID and these kids failed it like we had separate buses we couldn’t meet at the same time. I think these kids are walking in now needing you more than they’ve ever had.

They need athletics and they need to have fun playing athletics. It needs to be a release from every every all the other crap that they’ve had all the fear that they’ve had to deal with that has been put on them that they don’t deserve.

I have other stuff to do.

Good, not today very much