Interim head coach Brett Richardson has restructured the Rattler baseball team and its schedule to ensure a higher rate of success.
Coach Richardson breaks coaching down into three specific categories that encompass his motto: play hard, make routine plays and pitchers throw strikes.
“If the Rattlers can do these tasks, they will have a successful season,” Richardson said.
At the end of fall practice, he told every player on the team what their role was for the season. Each player will have something to contribute to the team every day.
Richardson says structure has a lot to do with becoming a team. This year, the Rattlers know what is expected of them every day. Richardson leaves a practice schedule up so the players have no doubt about what is supposed to be accomplished on the day.
“After a disappointing season of only 10 wins and 31 losses, we needed a change in how we went about things,” Tobi Adeyemi, a senior outfielder said. “Our team structure is understood and the team is buying into coach’s scheme,” he added.
This year the Rattlers have had later games than in previous seasons. Richardson says, later games will allow the students to spend more time in the classroom.
“The structure of how the team operates will be different this year,” Richardson said.
Strength and conditioning is done throughout the week, which Richardson said is a major factor for players’ longevity throughout a season.
On the road, there has been a mandatory study hall. Richardson takes academics seriously and all team members have academic requirements they have to maintain to play on the team.
For the new Rattlers on the team, Richardson said he wants to make sure they get their reps in practice. He said he prepares every player like they are a starter, so at any situation they will be ready and prepared to do the job.
“The veteran players must take leadership because I can only say or do so much,” Richardson said. “Older guys have to be leaders to show the younger players how to act.”
This year, the Rattlers number one goal is to get back to being competitive at the conference tournament.
John Scott, one of the team’s middle infielders said Richardson has the team moving in the right direction.
“Last year team lacked discipline and structure,” Scott said. “Coach Richardson has changed that and we are becoming a team. We are working harder and there is no confusion. We are all anxious to see what we are made of.”