By Kellen Lee
November 6, 2012
Have you checked the latest NCAA baseball rankings? Well, you would find Santa Clara University leading the nation in meetings. Coach O’Brien always jokes how we will always lead the country in meetings, but he isn’t joking. Even when I was a player at UC San Diego, we would have countless meetings discussing countless topics and philosophies. Each discussion has a purpose and application to baseball of course, but more importantly to life in general. The Santa Clara baseball program meets once a week to discuss a topic that is predetermined by the coaching staff. These particular meetings are known as “Baseball 101” sessions. In all of the meetings, the players are able to take something away that will make them a better baseball player, student, teammate, brother, son, etc. I know that experiencing those meetings as a student-athlete made me a better baseball player, and helped “set the tone” for the rest of my life. As I establish myself as a member of this coaching staff, I have seen many opportunities where I have utilized the skills that were gained through the various discussions in my playing career and over the last year as a Bronco on the Mission Campus. You definitely don’t realize how many life lessons one can learn while competing in a sport like baseball. I am convinced that I choose to live my life the way I do today based on my past baseball experiences, both the positive and negative ones.
One of the recent Baseball 101 topics was the importance of good body language, no matter what is going on around you. Coach O’Brien suggested to the team that each player needs to strive to become the “eye of the storm.” This is obviously a reference to a storm pattern that has a spiraling motion and the middle of the storm pattern appears to have an eye. In a real eye of the storm, the wind is calm, there are no clouds in sight, and everything seems to be under control. Meanwhile the area just outside the eye is the most violent and dangerous area of the storm pattern. Now, you may be asking what weather has to do with baseball. Well, we want our players to be calm when chaos is around them – we want them to be the actual eye of the storm. It is imperative for our players to realize that the calmer they are in chaotic situations, the more powerful they are as baseball players. Ironically, just a few days ago I watched the movie The Day After Tomorrow, and it portrays this analogy exactly.