Mike Sheppard, Jr talks about pressure at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center

Today I was invited to attended a workshop for baseball coaches at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center entitled, “How Top Baseball Coaches Build Successful Programs.

Why would I go listen to people talk about baseball? Because coaching is coaching. And the great coaches know that it’s not about sports, it’s about life.

The panelists were Fred Hill, Sr (Rutgers University), Mike Sheppard, Jr (Seton Hall Prep), and Ted Jarmusz (Monmouth Regional HS). The moderator was award-winning coach, John McCarthy, co-founder of the Yogi Berra Museum’s Coaching Institute.

Motivating and conditioning your athletes, Focusing on the big picture, Getting the most out of practice sessions, and Mentoring assistants were some of the topics. It’s amazing to me how all three legendary coaches talked very little about winning. They talked about effort and attitude. “You’re not going to succeed if you don’t put the time in,” said Coach Hill.

“Work ethic is the key…and passion,” added Sheppard, Jr.

Coach Jarmusz said, “Our philosophy is Pride and Hustle…that’s it. You don’t have to be a great athlete or talented to do those things.”

Hill believes that there should not be very many rules.

“My only rules are: 1) Be on time 2) Give 100% every day”

It’s amazing how I could be so motivated and learn so much from baseball coaches. The thing that I like most about myself is that I love learning; I love seeing how everything relates to everything else…sports, school, business, art.

We should play sports because we love to play.

We should coach because we love to coach. It’s not about the results, the trophy or the money.

Arthur Ashe said, “Success is a journey.”

Give it your all, enjoy the process and make a difference.

Moderator, John McCarthy put it best, with a quote by the great Lou Holtz…

“Do you want to be successful or do you want to be significant?”


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Marc Stephens and everyone in Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, Montclair chapter.

Recently, I was at a tennis club, observing some teaching professionals. It’s quite interesting to me how there are so many different teaching styles. There is no right or wrong way, but I have noticed a common theme.

Many coaches are negative and they use negative reinforcement.

I was watching a teaching pro work with a pretty advanced player. I noticed something scary. The only thing I heard out of his mouth and the only body language I saw was negative. I must have counted at least 34 negative comments in 30 minutes.

The boy would hit a shot and miss his target and the pro would ask, “Why are you doing that?!” Many coaches even make players run or do conditioning when they perform poorly. I don’t believe in that. I think that’s “old school” coaching.

I then looked at the boy and he just put his head down and looked at the court.

How do you think this boy performed?

How do you think this boy felt about himself?

How much fun do you think this boy had playing tennis?

*Coaches/teachers/parents/managers listen up…

You have to catch people doing something right! When you compliment someone for doing something well, even if it’s something trivial, not only will that person feel good, but they will more likely do that again. What you focus on, you will receive.

You can’t get positive results from negative thoughts.

So start making positive comments and you will start seeing positive results.

Thanks for reading.