This week in Coaches’ Corner we get baseball insight from Kevin McMullan, Associate Head Coach at University of Virginia. Coach Mac is known as one of the top recruiters and developers of players in the country. In 17 years as a college coach, McMullan has had over 70 players signed by professional organizations. Eighteen of his Virginia position players have been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals), Mark Reynolds (Arizona Diamondbacks) and Joe Koshansky (Colorado Rockies).
As always, the questions asked are geared toward helping you become a better ballplayer by understanding what coaches look for and ways to improve:
Being a two sport superstar at IUP (All-American in both football and baseball), what advice would you give today’s two sport athletes looking to play both sports in college?
Get confirmation from the coaches of both sports that you can play both. Be all in when you are competing in each sport. Have a great nutrition plan.
When you are recruiting position players, what are 3 things they can do to stand out?
Hustle, hit the ball on the barrel, make the routine plays on defense.
What would you say is the most difficult adjustment for freshmen to make when transitioning to college baseball? And what can they do to adjust more quickly?
Handle the pace of play and the ability to concentrate for longer periods of time. Practice at the pace the game requires.
What’s the best way for an underclassman to get more playing time on a talented team?
Be prepared for their opportunity and out perform their teammate when they get their chance.
Today, what are some of the biggest obstacles that keep college ballplayers from reaching their potential?
As has been the case forever, not being committed to being their best, mentally and physically.
How would you define a winning ballplayer?
Consistent in everything they do, make adjustments when need be, and gets it done in the clutch.
What do you think separates the good ballplayers from the great ones?
The ability to make adjustments and deal with setbacks.
Who is the most talented player you have coached?
Ryan Zimmerman because of his ability to make mental and physical adjustments quick. He always tried to be his best everyday no matter his status as a player.
What are some things you look for when recruiting catchers?
Do they look comfortable in the crouch? Can they hold still? They need to be easy in the hips and have the endurance to catch 150-160 pitches per game.
What advice would you give to ballplayers out there who want to take their game to the next level?
- Write it down (goals)
- Give consistent and passionate effort
- Adjust when need be
- Finish what you start
What are the 2 books that have been most influential on your life? (doesn’t have to be baseball related)
- The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James C. Hunter
- How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Off the top of your head, what are 5 things on your bucket list? (ie. things you want to do, places you want to go, people you want to meet- before your time on earth is done.)
1: Be a great husband and dad
1a: Win the National Championship
3: Visit Ireland with my family
4: Visit Alaska with my family
5: Impact the players that I’m lucky enough to coach with their everyday life experiences