Rhodes is in his first summer as head coach of the New Market
Rebels in the Valley Baseball League. He is as assistant coach
and recruiting coordinator at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland,
Va. Rhodes helped the Yellow Jackets win the Old Dominion
Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship and advance to the NCAA
Division III Championship.
Rhodes spent two years on the staff of the late Paul Keyes at VCU, primarily
working with the hitters and catchers as well as assisting with daily
administrative duties. He was also director for the Rams Baseball Camps. While
with the Rams, Rhodes served as an assistant coach for the Wisconsin Woodchucks
of the Northwoods League.
native of Williamsburg, Va., Rhodes played four years at Virginia Wesleyan
College, earning All-Conference and All-Region honors as a catcher.
for other journal entries
June 30, 2013
When It Rains, It Pours
When it rains, it pours. That statement sums up my first week of
games as head coach in New Market. We are not the only team affected by rain, as
the rest of the Valley League has been impacted by the weather as well. Opening
weekend concluded as expected. The way that we prepared as a team showed as we
were the best team on the field for the entire weekend. Things were looking very
positive for the Rebels in the coming week and it was important that the players
had some time to themselves on Monday, to recharge the batteries and be ready to
the rest of the week.
Baseball is a game that relies heavily on routine. When people
claim that baseball players are extremely superstitious, I always like to
respond to that comment by saying that it is more about being on a consistent
routine. Habits are created and formed because of the numerous repetitions that
are involved with being the best baseball player that you can be. As players
begin to mature, the harder it is at times to have them break out of bad habits.
To retain new information and break old habits takes that many more repetitions.
This is the fun/challenge when it comes to summer baseball because players
arrive from many different programs that all have philosophies of their own. New
situational defenses, new signs, new structure, and the list continues. At times
you see the players get frustrated because they have failed. But it is more
important to continue with encouragement because of the amount of success they
have had in the past.
It has been somewhat frustrating here as the rain has moved its
way into the Valley and caused some adjustments to be made to our game schedule.
A game schedule that included an off day every Monday turned into 16 straight
scheduled games, with no off days in between, all because the weather did not
want to cooperate. I remember talking with the late VCU Head Baseball Coach Paul
Keyes before heading to the 2012 CAA Tournament in Harrisonburg. And his last
piece of advice that I remember him telling us was that “Be mindful in the
valley, because once the rain gets in between the mountains it stays there.”
This bit of information pertained to starting a game in adverse or unlikely
weather conditions. But as the rain has moved itself in here in New Market,
remembering that comment from Coach Keyes will be extremely helpful as the
As the weather has begun to cooperate with the baseball gods, it
was important for my team to learn to control what they can control. It is out
of our hands when it comes to controlling the weather. But what my players can
control is how they show up to the ball park every day. I ask them every day
when we meet as a team before we take the field to stretch and throw to make
sure that their energy level is high and that the effort they give me is even
greater. In my eyes, these two things along with athleticism and talent on the
diamond will definitely help us have the success we desire by the end of the
(photo courtesy of R-MC Media Relations)