Today I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the winningest coaches in the history of California high school baseball. Dave Demarest was the coach at La Quinta High School for 34 years. He had a record of 753-213, won 22 league championships, advanced to 7 CIF Finals and won 3 CIF Titles. During his tenure the school produced 33 Division I players and 20 drafted players. This man has a ton of baseball knowledge. Once I get done with the ABCA conference, I’ll edit the talk and get it up as a podcast. Speaking of the ABCA conference, Dave is talking on Saturday. If you’re going to be there, don’t miss him.
In the interview, he talked a lot about reacting vs. reading a play then reacting. Specifically in first and third situations (both offensively and defensively), second and third baserunning situations, and bunting. He talked about the importance of giving his players the tools to just react and what that meant to him and how it led to success. Instead of writing out his philosopy on all of that, I’ll just leave it and let him explain on the podcast. He also talked about how he picked apart and exploited opposing defenses. It was awesome and I learned a lot.
The thing that kept coming up in my mind was how LITTLE I know about the game. Put it this way, if I were a high school coach and my team had to play Dave’s team, he would’ve crushed us. He would’ve run circles around our guys and as a coach, I would’nt even have know what hit me. As I do more of these interviews, this seems to be a common feeling for me. Yeah, I played 15 years in the major leagues and I think I’m still 75th on the list of all time games caught, but honestly, I don’t know one tenth of what these guys know about the game. I’m not joking. By getting quality baseball people to do these interviews and share their knowledge I thought that I would be providing a service to the baseball community. I honestly thought it would be a lot of stuff that I already knew or had heard somewhere. Wrong. I definitely didn’t anticipate how much learning I would be doing along the way. I love the fact that with baseball, if you are so inclined, you can continue to learn as long as you live. It seems like a bottomless pit. What an amazing game.