Baseball... with Colin Walsh
March 1, 2010
GoStanford.com caught up second baseman Colin Walsh to chat about team preparation, summer ball and Omaha. The management, science and engineering major from San Diego, CA has played in the infield since he was three and considers Nomar Garciaparra and the San Diego Padres to be his favorite player and team.
Why did you choose Stanford?
Stanford is the best place to go. It is the only school that is traditionally in the top five for both academics and baseball. If you get into Stanford, scouts know that you are committed to much more than just playing baseball.
How does the team prepare for individual games?
We have been reviewing particular plays like pick off plays, and working on our hitting, but it doesn’t matter who you play on the weekends. Baseball is all about repetition- it’s about doing the same plays and practices over and over again. So our daily schedule includes weights from 7:30-8:30 in the morning and practice from 1-5:45, with one day off each week. On the weekends, we work from 10-5.
Talk about your summer ball experiences.
Two summers ago, I played in the West Coast Collegiate league and last summer I played for Brewster in the nation’s top league, the Cape Cod League. We even got the chance to play in Fenway Park for the All-Star Game. Summer ball is the opportunity for scouts to see you swing a wood bat. Collegiate athletes use aluminum bats, which have a much larger sweet spot than wood. It’d be nice to spend a summer at home, but I have to play.
Are there inner-team competitions for stats? What are your personal goals?
Our goal is to win a national championship. The only competition that matters is the competition between Stanford and the rest of the country. We have personal goals of stats improvement, but if everyone does well, then the team does well.
Baseball players are notoriously superstitious, any comment?
I try not to be, but baseball players are definitely superstitious, even when it comes to which sock goes on first. If we are winning, I use the same routine; the same socks, the same sleeve and the same hat. If we lost, I change it up- different clothes, different routine, different order. But I always have the same routine for hitting including two swings with a weight, and five swings without a weight.
Talk about the mental side of the game.
Baseball is the most mentally challenging sport. Most people who watch it from the couch or the stands don’t realize that it’s 99 percent mental. So many players have the physical tools; there are lots of pitchers who can throw 95 miles per hour. But if the pitcher can’t throw strikes or off-speed, they won’t play. Also, a short memory is necessary, if you win, you should be happy for a period of time, but move on to the next game. If you lose, you should figure out why you lost, and move on to the next game. It’s a frustrating sport, though, because you have to have the confidence that you can play well, but you have to be humble enough to make changes.
What's the significance of Omaha?
We traveled to Omaha for the College World Series during my freshman year- it’s an amazing place that loves college baseball. If you are one of the eight teams, you are treated like a celebrity. That experience motivates me to keep working. Stanford traditionally reaches Omaha, and we need to carry on that tradition.
--Elizabeth Clair for GoStanford.com--