Billy Berry- Head Baseball Coach, Tennessee Weslyan University


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iTunes Youtube Google Spotify Description Today we have on Billy Berry, Head Baseball Coach at Tennessee Weslyan University Billy was the head coach of TWU from 2005-2015 and then returned to TWU in July of 2017 after a two year coaching stint at the Baylor School. Billy and TWU have won 2 NAIA national championships during his 2 stints and In his twenty + years of coaching, He has seen over forty former players move on to professional baseball. He wants to continue to help young men use baseball as an avenue to get their education, continue on the bulldog baseball success and have kids that represent the school, their families and the program with pride. So on the show we talk about how he uses the Weslyan tradition to ingrain the culture every year. How he helps players to own their career and holds them accountable, and he discusses how to “attack the day” everyday. Books Energy Bus Books about programs or seasons Contact


Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto

  • Let everyone who has helped you along the way how much you appreciate them.
  • When you go to a program understand what it does well and what it doesn’t do well.
  • Adopt what works well and advance it.
  • It will be a smooth transition for the players and for the coach.
  • Be humble enough to keep a good tradition going and add on to what works.
  • Create your culture and your team will build their own identity based off of the culture created.
  • Each team will look different but can still adhere and live the culture you create.
  • Be appreciative of the opportunities that you are given.
  • Understand why every opportunity is important on your journey.
  • On day one have a team meeting.
  • Ask the team what sacrifices they are willing to take to win?
  • You are successful in the classroom, on the field, and off the field.
  • The decisions the players and coaches make in those areas will determine how successful the team is going forward.
  • Prepare your players to be accountable and valuing their time and the time of others in life.
  • Prepare them to win on the field and in life.
  • Focus on communication and one on one communication with your players.
  • Have your core values discussed each day of the week.
  • Example: Appreciation (Core Value).
  • Have a classroom session or pull over players one on one and have them tell you about someone they appreciate and why.
  • This bonds players together and everyone gets a deeper understanding of the individual.
  • To have a successful team, the players are responsible for the team first and themselves second.
  • “Culture is a learned trait.”
  • Therefore the culture you want is something you can teach.
  • You want your practices to match the speed of what you want your team to be.
  • Example: practice fast because you want your team to play fast.
  • I’m scrimmages make diving plays, taking risks, and being aggressive on the bases.
  • In scrimmages give your players and teams extra points because of the aggressiveness.
  • Tell them and show them that you won’t be upset with their aggressiveness.
  • You want the practices to be challenging and the games to be easy.
  • If players aren’t practicing hard send them home.
  • You want your coaches to be good leaders in their own way.
  • Whether that’s by example, vocal, etc.
  • This will spread to the players.
  • Your best teams will have the best players as the leaders.
  • The players are the ones who will be driving the team on the best clubs.
  • You want coaches and players who are hungry to achieve and want to work.
  • Have an identity for your program that helps players fit into the program.
  • The identity of the program will help the players understand how to act within their identity.
  • Tell players that when they come into the program that they have a clean slate.
  • It’s up to them to write their own story with this program.
  • Tell them that if they do what they did. In the past then they won’t be successful here, but they have a fresh start.
  • The best players are the ones that own their careers and hold themselves accountable.
  • Address everything that is wrong in the fall.
  • Then once the players understand what they need to do and what it looks like then they will do things themselves.
  • It doesn’t happen with every team though.
  • Some teams need policed more.
  • Your program is going to be what you tolerate.
  • Don’t ask your players to do anything that you wouldn’t expect your players or yourself to do.
  • Making adjustments should be made and discussed the best way possible for that individual player to understand.
  • With hitting, focus on mentality over mechanics.
  • They need to understand how to attack based off of how they are being taught.
  • It’ll take 12 months for a player to make a complete change.
  • You can make small tweaks but the players need to trust the coaches.
  • Be available to your players so that you can work with them one on one.
  • Have conversations that aren’t baseball related to create trust with the players.
  • End every day with some form of competition.
  • Have coach pitch scrimmages, machine scrimmages, and Coach point scrimmages based off of aggressive plays.
  • “Focus on how many days are won, not how many games are won.”
  • 9 Hit drill:
  • Players are in groups and the teams need to get 9 hits in a row. Other teams can smack talk the other teams.
  • Coaches are the judges.
  • Have consequences for the losing team.
  • Time your players to run the bases with weighted plates.
  • Have non baseball related competitions such as dodgeball or tug of war.
  • Have a whiffle ball game as well.
  • “If you really want to see your players compete put them in competitions that aren’t baseball related.”
  • Understand that coaching isn’t about you. It’s about the players and helping them grow as a person and athlete.
  • Have your players wake up every single day and tell the players to attack the day and dominate each situation they are in.
  • You want them to be take seriously.
  • It’s the way they talk and dress.
  • The first impression is so important.
  • If things are going to work the coaches have to create a vision, live that vision, and the players grab onto them.

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