Kreuter's Korner: Identifying Trojan Baseball Players

Dec. 1, 2006

Our entire Trojan program is committed to baseball excellence. Baseball excellence is about winning, but includes much more. That's how we concluded our first fall and are approaching our first season.

The players are preparing for finals next week, and then we take break for the holidays. As we pause from the rush of our first fall practice and recruiting, we are establishing and defining our program.

Our players, my staff, and I put a great of emphasis on commitment, intensity, competition, and attention to detail, working towards the College World Series in an efficient and effective manner.

That brings us back to the Trojan baseball tradition of excellence. Baseball excellence includes winning big like our 12 College World Series Championships, but it is much more. That's what this edition of Kreuter's Korner is about.

We are committed to Team, we shall show respect, support and admiration for all, and we must always place Team success ahead of personal accomplishments.

We must prepare. Trojans are self-motivated, hungry, and detail-oriented warriors on the field.

We are committed to compete. We will doggedly pursue victory regardless of circumstance, that¹s the kind of competitive fire that defines the Trojan style of play.

We are committed to personal development as well. The growth of our student-athletes is paramount to success. A well-rounded and emotionally healthy student-athlete is a better player.

Our staff is committed to helping our players reach their full potential academically and athletically. Some of our guys may turn out to be MLB all-stars or franchise players, while others may one day own a franchise. (My predecessor, Mike Gillespie, had five former Trojans - Barry Zito, Mark Prior, Brett & Aaron Boone and Geoff Jenkins all in the 2003 All-Star game.)

Everyone is a potential winner; we are teaching behavior that matches life¹s goals. Goals begin with behavior. Our goal of baseball excellence is derived from this summation: team, preparation, commitment and growth. By building confidence in our young men, they will in turn feel good about themselves and produce TROJAN results.

Here's how we identify or define a Trojan baseball player:
1. He will pitch and hit with purpose. Situational play is taught and emphasized.
2. He will understand the scoreboard, and will play `bang' or `rally' accordingly.
3. He will emphasize the `small' game so as to produce a complete player who is well rounded in all his skills.
4. Finally, Trojans will always emphasize TEAM first. Play shall be characterized as aggressive, intense and mentally sharp (`Heads on a Swivel'), yet physically relaxed.

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