WillCountyBaseball.org caught up with Bolingbrook Head Coach Scott Thyer after a solid game against Joliet Central on a chilly April 18th evening. The Steelmen and Raiders squared off at Benedictine University’s gorgeous baseball/softball complex.
WCB.org: Coach, what sets your program apart in terms of your baseball philosophy?
“In terms of our baseball philosophy we just want to play the game as hard we can every day. We think that there’s three things you can control all the time whether that’s in baseball, in the classroom, or out in the community. That’s your effort, energy, and enthusiasm all the time.”
WCB.org: The competition for baseball talent in Will County is intense, and a lot of kids are playing sports other than baseball. How are you keeping Bolingbrook kids enthusiastic about the sport at your school?
“We have some excellent programs all throughout the community. We think we have outstanding athletes too. And we want to make sure that we attract those outstanding athletes to come out to the baseball field and compete with our program. So one of the ways we do that, in addition to competing as hard as we can all the time, we also want to have some fun. I think we have a very good example with Joe Maddon here in Chicago. He keeps his players loose, and baseball is one of those sports where you can’t play tense all the time. You can’t play this sport on your heels. You have to be light on your toes.”
WCB.org: During the summer area coaches deal with their players and travel teams a little bit differently. What approach do you take toward summer baseball and travel teams?
“We found that tournaments are run Thursday through Sunday. That’s pretty common with almost all travel teams throughout the area. And we want our players to play at the highest level possible. Whether they’re with us, or with their travel teams, if they’re playing at a very high level Thursday through Sunday that’s great for us. When they come back then we have our own summer camp Monday through Wednesday. We’ve moved to a practice format, where in the past we would just play games on those days. But we’ve found that it’s more beneficial for us to have more practice time. What we’re moving to is Monday practices to kind of go through what we want to see players go through and teach them.”
“What we really are – coaches are teachers. So, we have to teach them how we want them to play the game. Gameplay is great and it’s important, but there may be a situation that we want our players to go through that might not present itself during a game. We can present it to them in a controlled practice.”
WCB.org: When you run your summer camps and teach your players what is the biggest impression you want to leave with them?
“One of the things we talked about last year in our summer camp is running hard all time. When do we want our players to run hard? We want them to run hard any time they’re on the field.
“We practice running hard on a ball four. That’s one of the things we practiced a lot even in the summer. Even though it’s a little thing. We think little things become big things.”
Coach Thyer’s ballclub is right at .500 with an 8-8 record, but little things add up. The Raiders’ conference record is 3-1, and they’re coming off a four out of five stretch with back to back wins against Joliet Central and Lincoln Way East.