Coach’s Column: Baseball
Travis Pelton (TheLorian)
Being with the Loras College Baseball Program for five years now has been something that I would not have thought was possible coming in as a first-year student. I played my first two years and was a student coach the last two years. This year is something different for me as I head into my first year as an assistant coach for the baseball team. Being a recent graduate and getting to coach a bunch of guys who are similar in age can normally be hard, but these guys do not make it tough for me. Having been a student coach for the past two years, the experience has helped show me when I need to step up and when I need to keep quiet. Coach Tebon and Coach Woj have a good system in place to allow me to be myself and help in whatever way that I can. Whether it’s going to hit fungoes, throwing batting practice, needing someone to run a drill, or just giving advice to the guys when they need it, Coach Tebon and Coach Woj have trusted me to do whatever I feel is best to help the team get better every day. There are times when I know my limits for when the other primary coaches need to take charge, and that is something that I have grown to learn over the past few years.
The last part about my role that I love is my connection with the players. Knowing most of the guys coming into this year, I have a solid relationship with and understand what most of the guys are going through. I can connect with the players on a little bit of a different level than most of the other coaches because I talk with the guys more personally. If there is something that is causing someone to struggle, I can help by knowing what that person likes and finding something that might work better for them. Being a coach with this team is something that I love doing and I think this year is going to be a special year for the Duhawks.
The energy and excitement that the guys put into the program is something that has lifted this team to be able to improve over the last few years. With a bunch of returners coming back, I have a good feeling that this team can make a run this year. After coming in third place in the conference tournament last year, the guys feel like there is something special with this group to make that extra push. That all comes with the leadership from the three fifth-year guys on the team. Having this leadership ability and experience on the diamond is valuable when you play in a high-level Division III conference. The experience will not only help them but will also help all the younger guys get better. With a plethora of first-year guys on the team, the knowledge and experience of the upperclassmen will play a big part in the success of the team. Look for the Duhawks to have a solid 2022 season.