NSU baseball set for upcoming season
TNE Editor

NSU baseball set for upcoming season

Published 11/28/17


Valeriia Efimenko

TNE Writer

The NSU baseball team finished their off-season strong, and they are ready for the upcoming season. The team faced a lot of competition this semester, and the players got tougher in the weight room and on the field. The goals have been set for next semester, and the coaches and the players look forward to checking those goals off their list.

“We are going to try to play fast and be aggressive,” said Jake Hendrick, NSU baseball head coach. “We are trying to put together a pretty good plan for what practice is going to look like so they have a chance to get better every day. When they feel like they have a chance to get better, they can be self-motivated. It is hard to show up every day, and if you need somebody to push you along every single day, you are not going to be very good. You have to show up with a certain level of motivation to get it done yourself. The practice plan helps guys to feel motivated to work hard and get better.”

Currently, there are 37 players on the team, including 21 new members. When the coaches are in the recruiting process, they have to make sure the potential team member will be able to meet the demands of a 4-year school. The grades are very important. Hendrick said he has to make sure the man is going to be at NSU for four years and not struggle in school.

“A lot of our position guys are college guys,” said Hendrick. “A few guys came from high school, but most of our position guys are from junior colleges. We seem like a big group of motivated guys, including my staff, which is new too.”

During off-season, the team is restricted by NCAA regulations. The team cannot practice more than five days a week. Dedication to the weight room, as well as off-season training, helped the team become mentally and physically tougher.

“Things must be quick and efficient,” said Hendrick. “If you want to play fast, we are going to practice fast too. Right now, we are in a segment where things are really individual-based. Guys spend a couple of hours focused on baseball, specific activities and weight room. We really focus on the weight room all fall, training three to five days a week.”

The team has a different mindset than last year. They are getting back on the field in the middle of January. As Hendrick said, they will learn a lot about themselves in the next two months based on what team members are going to do while they are at home and if they continue to stay motivated.

“I’m looking forward to seeing who is going to take over,” said Butch Rea, NSU baseball graduate assistant. “The guys are in control of how good we can be. The foundation has been set, and I’m excited to see where we go from there. I hope to come out and play it fast and hard. We have a great group of older guys and younger guys and it is going to be a good mix. We are expecting to be good at every little thing, and hopefully that will turn into wins in the end.”

The players set both team goals but personal ones. They try to improve individually to contribute to the team.

“Personally, I want to have a stellar season on and off the field,” said Derek Shedden, senior infielder and outfielder from Edmonton, Canada. “If I can help my team win with personal performance and help other guys along by being the best teammate I can be, I think that would make up the best season a guy could possibly have. We expect to be a seriously competitive ball club. We have a lot of different guys that can do a lot of different things. If everything comes together, we are going to be a force to be reckoned with. We really believe in ourselves and our ability. I think that is the most important intangible you can possess.”

To keep up with the NSU baseball team, follow @NSUBaseball32 on Twitter. The first home game is at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11 against Rogers State.

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