The Utah State University club baseball team recently named Jacob Anderson, a player on last year’s team, to run the program for the 2017-2018 year.
The team last won the national championship in 2014 but after last week’s tryouts the Aggies have hopes of being serious contenders for the title in the spring of 2018 as well, Anderson said.
“We have an excellent shot,” Anderson said. “I mean those teams back in North Carolina they’re great teams, but with the addition of some of the guys that came and tried out I think we’re better than we were last year.”
The new coach stressed to the tryout participants the importance of playing at game speed during practice and revealed that some players who were on the team last year could lose their spots. The turnout for this year’s tryouts was greater than it has been in the past, Anderson said.
While the transition from teammate to coach can be difficult, Anderson isn’t worried about establishing boundaries.
“The way I’ve been able to play the last couple years, I’ve been able to play that leadership role,” Anderson said. “I think players respect me player wise and respect what I say for them do as far as hitting, fielding, throwing.”
One element the new coach wants to further develop is communication with the players. Explaining to the player why he isn’t playing or why he’s being taken off the field can be difficult for a coach, but is important, Anderson said.
“I have to work on being that coach and separating myself,” Anderson said. “Letting them know I am the coach and putting my foot down when needs be, when there needs to be discipline, when players aren’t playing up to their potential. I need to be able to talk to them.”
More information about the tryouts can be found here.