Updated: Oct 20, 2019
I had the pleasure of attending an ABCA Barnstormers clinic today, hosted by San Jose State University at Excite Ballpark. For those unaware, the American Baseball Coaches Association travels around the country during the fall months, organizing regional coaching clinics.
Connecting and learning with some local high school coaches is always fun, there were even a couple of coaches who flew in from New Mexico for the event.
We were fortunate to get to watch presentations from a couple of baseball legends, in Jerry Weinstein and Kevin Youkilis. The other clinicians all did outstanding jobs. The catching clinic from Brian Whatley was outstanding.
However, Craig Gianinno, from the University of San Francisco stole the show, in my opinion. His topic was culture and character development. The passion he has for the topic was evident, and the material he provided will make it easy for any coach to take steps toward improving the human aspect of their player development practices.
Athletic development is the easy part. Human development requires authentic relationships based on trust, where members of the group feel safe, allowing for vulnerability and the breaking down of barriers. Those types of relationships have a chance to make a difference that lasts a lifetime. And the teams that are connected on that level often experience consistent success in competition because of their commitment to each other. They play with "one heartbeat, one rhythm, one purpose."
All in all, it was a beautiful day for baseball.