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When Planning for the Next Baseball Season, It Helps to Start at the End

Sometimes a coach needs to use backward thinking.                

Planning in reverse is one of the tips Paul McGloin provides whenever addressing coaches, either in a coaching class at the University of Scranton, or in any other setting.

“I always tell them from a planning perspective, begin with the end in mind,” said McGloin, the owner/head instructor of the Electric City Baseball and Softball Academy in Scranton, Pa. “If your first baseball game or first softball game is April 2, try to start on that day and work backward.

“That’s very important because it gives you the big picture on how much you’re going to be able to accomplish in that given time.”

McGloin is one of seven presenters scheduled to appear at the Joe Maddon and Friends Coaching the Coaches Baseball Clinic on Wednesday in Hazleton, Pa. Maddon, the Chicago Cubs manager, is returning to his hometown for the session, bringing with him some of his professional contacts and joining forces locally with McGloin and Penn State head coach Rob Cooper.                

At Maddon’s clinic, McGloin will address base-running issues, but he has experience providing instruction to less-experienced coaches on a variety of subjects.              

When telling coaches to work in reverse as far as planning the preseason, McGloin recommends mapping out the practices for that time. 

“I think it’s advantageous to create a master practice schedule,” McGloin said. “If you’re a coach that’s been with a program 15 years, it might be a little bit different than a coach who is with a program for the first time.               

“Based off that master practice schedule, you can start adding and subtracting things as you go along to make sure that you’re entering everything you need to within the given timeframe.” 

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McGloin is an associate scout with the San Francisco Giants. His experience includes time as a coach on the NCAA Division I college level and in the Cape Cod Summer League. He has been a championship-winning high school baseball head coach and an envoy for Major League Baseball International in Europe. His current responsibilities involve combining time as a teacher/instructor with handling administrative and organizational issues in the sport.               

While preparing players on the field is part of the preseason routine for each team and coach, McGloin also reminds coaches to use that time to get off-field issues addressed as well.              

“We’re talking about an outdoor sport, so everything is tentative when talking about the weather,” McGloin said. “We talk about everything from giving out monthly practice schedules to communicating with the faculty or administration at a school and, if you’re at the high school level or lower, make sure you communicate with not only the players, but the parents as well.”

IF YOU GO

Coaches in or near northeastern Pennsylvania have an opportunity to learn from a panel that includes one of Major League Baseball’s most respected managers, Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs.

The Joe Maddon and Friends Coaching the Coaches Baseball Clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16 from 5-9 p.m. at the Hazleton One Community Center, 225 East Fourth Street, Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Maddon, a two-time MLB Manager of the Year, will lead the clinic for baseball coaches from Little League through the college level. He will be assisted by Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello, Cubs minor league hitting instructor Andy Haines, Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, former Major Leaguer Jose Cardenal, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper, Electric City Baseball and Softball Academy owner/head instructor Paul McGloin and sports psychologist Ken Ravizza.

Admission is $75 for individual coaches or $250 for up to four coaches from the same team.

All proceeds benefit the Hazleton Integration Project, a program Maddon started in his hometown.

More information is available by calling 570-861-8081. 

From GameChanger and Tom Robinson.

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