Dustin Coffman is in his fourth year of
coaching college baseball. He began his coaching career as a
student manager at Indiana University in 2009 and was promoted
the following year to volunteer assistant. Coffman spent the
2010 summer in the Coastal Plain League with the Edenton
Steamers, who finished Top 5 in the country. From Edenton,
Coffman took his first paid position at Wabash Valley College.
Over the past two seasons, the Warriors have compiled a 93-30
record and have been ranked as high as No. 3 in NJCAA baseball.
In summer 2011, Coffman was hired to be an assistant baseball
coach with the Bourne Braves in the storied Cape Cod League
where he was again this past summer.
A native of Granger, Ind., Coffman earned a
bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Indiana in 2009 and
is working on a master’s degree in applied sports studies from
Coffman will share his thoughts throughout the
2013 season as he did through the 2012 Cape Cod campaign.
for other journal entries
March 15, 2013
most of us, the honeymoon is over! Any guesses to what I am talking about??
Remember a few months ago in January when team practice started, in January how
jacked and energetic your guys were? How they were getting there for early work
and begging you to stay after? Remember the week leading up to your first game,
how locked in each and every player was? What about when your team hopped on the
bus to head out for the first game, jerseys on for the first time, everyone on
the top step cheering? Hey, I am straining my brain myself. The honeymoon is
over, boys. We are settling in and starting to find out what we are really all
about. I told my players the first week of practice and the week leading up to
our first game, those were my two least favorite weeks of the year. My players
laughed and thought I was joking but they really are. I am a “Process Guy.” I
don’t get too high or too low. It’s a long year. This is when I really start to
get excited because this is when you start to see who your real players are.
don’t know about you guys but when I call a recruit, or take a recruit around
campus, or when practice starts, kids love to tell me how much they love the
game or how hard they work! Does anyone reading this have a player who tells
them how hard they work??? Ha-ha. There’s a really good quote that I have really
tried to implement in my life: “I can’t hear you because I am too busy watching
you.” I love it and it is sooo true, especially in a long season, just watch!
Little by little our team is forming and guys are starting to settle into their
roles. Some guys are pleasantly surprised on how much time they are getting on
the field while others are shocked at how little they have played. It is always
really interesting to see how people respond to both these situations. Does the
guy who is playing a lot get comfortable or does he stay hungry and work every
day? Does the kid sitting on the bench start to feel sorry for himself? Start to
chirp to his buddies how he should be playing or how he is getting screwed? I’ll
be honest, I was player number two. I hated sitting on the bench, but I was an
important experience and I am glad I went through it.
far the Warriors are 14-7 on the year. Like many other teams this time of year,
we are still trying to put it all together. Most of our games we have pitched
it. Some games we defend, some games we don’t. Offensively we are progressing
little by little. We are not going to bang this year but if we learn how to use
our team speed the right way, we could be dangerous. I feel this is a really
important time of year for me as a coach. Am I going to be the guy who turns
into downer Dan and look at everything we are doing wrong? Or am I going to stay
positive, trust the system, and focus on what we need to do to improve? I had an
argument with one of our players, who to this point has underachieved, this past
week. In practice we have been really focusing on our guys staying short so
hopefully our swings will be shorter in the game. Long story short, the player
thought we were making things worse for him. It was the end of a long day and it
really made me mad. I went home, ate, thought about it, and after I settled down
I knew he was right. This kid was an All-American last year. He’s a good kid,
and came to me the right way and I got defensive because I know everything there
is to know about hitting. Or so I think! The next two days I let him and a lot
of the other guys do their thing, just hit at practice. Turns out swings were
much better this weekend. Moral of the story: the players we have right now are
all we have. There are no free agents coming in. Stop pointing fingers, stop
playing the blame game, shut up listen, and work WITH them!
(photos courtesy of Dustin Coffman)