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Dec. 14, 2021

Why Being Locked Into the Moment is a Powerful Place

Why Being Locked Into the Moment is a Powerful Place

#19. Our guest today is Jeremy Sheetinger, head baseball coach at Georgia Gwinnett College, located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Coach Sheets has a passion for helping people, especially coaches. He's going to share with us why embracing the process rather than the destination leads the greatness, which it did for his squad last year, winners of the NAIA national championship. Sheetinger guided the Grizzlies to the 2021 NAIA World Series title, marking the program's first national championship. He was named the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year from the Collegiate Baseball Foundation. He is the first NAIA coach to earn the prestigious award since it was founded in 2013.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • What intangibles the most successful coaches possess
  • Why a relationship-driven environment supersedes outcomes
  • How to create and maintain a positive mindset
  • How dominating the "now" moments lead to results

Resources from this episode:

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Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 19 of The "I" in Win podcast

Sheets:

I think any team you see raise a banner at the end of their season, Luke, it's because they won the people battle. And you got to get the right people in the room.

Luke:

Welcome to the show. Our guest today is Jeremy Sheetinger, he's head baseball coach at Georgia Gwinnett college, located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Coach Sheets has a passion for helping people, especially coaches. He's going to share with us why embracing the process rather than the destination leads, the greatness which he did for his squad last year, winners of the NAIA national championship. Coach Sheets, thanks so much for joining us.

Sheets:

Appreciate you having me on Luke. I'm really looking forward to this conversation, man. And I'm value the opportunity to share with you.

Luke:

Well, let's start with Georgia Gwinnett, college baseball, tons of success. It starts in 2012. It's unbelievable how successful that program has been in such a short amount of time. You get hired in 2020. What did your staff bring to the already successful program to elevate the standard, winning a national championship?

Sheets:

I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk about that. I love talking about our program. So the, the brief history is, yeah, this is our 10th year of ever playing. So in nine seasons, we've been to four world series. We've averaged 47 wins per year. Uh, we put 28 players into professional baseball and those nine years, uh, six off last year's national championship team. And it was interesting because, uh, the situation I was in at the time I was out of coaching, but this was a job that was very attractive and very sexy to me. I'm a small college guy. I played division two, uh, started on the NAIA level. I really thought this was. A neat spot. If I were to get back into coaching, it would be in a situation like this. I, we have the facilities and set up, look, it looks like a division one school. We just, we choose to play NAI baseball. So I wanted that look and that feel and that opportunity. And actually I, at the time, I think I was 38, I'm 40 now. I really wanted that midlife challenge. Like, Hey man, you got a program that's knocking at the door. They've been to three world series at the time back to back world series finished fourth, the last two. Can you come in and do something to take them over that hump? And, I wanted that challenge and some, a wife grace me with the opportunity to, to chase this job and go after it. And the more that I uncovered and the more that I really understood the previous staff and the teams. And again, man, you got to think starting from dust, you know, year one, I think they went maybe 35 and 20, but year two, they were in the world series. And ranked inside the top 10. And from that point forward, we've been ranked inside the top, the top 10 consistently. You just, you know, there's something there. I think it's, it's too egotistical to think. No abandon all that. Cause I need to put my own system in place. I took the other route and I went there's there's proof in the pudding here. There's something that's working, there's wins, there's professional baseball opportunities. There's world series appearances. There's things that are working. What I've got to recognize is what can I live with? What is going to be at the way that I want to, because I have to be authentic to myself as a new head coach. What do I see as something that I could live with, but then more importantly, where can I fill the void of the things that I know are going to be longstanding that are going to take the programs to help that make, you know, take that next step? What are the ways that I can impact the program? And the short version is we just saw places where, whether it was academic focus, whether it was personal development, uh, focus, instead of player driven development, you know, style of play. I believe in a certain way to approach the game, real soft blend of old school and new school and understanding what numbers mean. But at the same time, you know, he still got to play the game and get to its, to its core level, having a set philosophy on how we're going to pitch and how we're going to play defense and how we're going to score runs. And and then on top of that, you've got to think of recruiting strategy to make it work. I think any team you see raise a banner at the end of their season, Luke, it's because they won the people battle. And you got to get the right people in the room. And I looked at all those areas and went, Okay. man, we can attack these systematically, go about them in a, in a very deliberate manner to get the right people, to change the philosophy to one that I know garners long-term success and to bring a vision to create a championship environment that not only recruits the right people, not only has belief in the, in the system and the structure and the philosophy, but more than that, it creates a personal relationship driven environment, which I believe if you make a better person, you're going to make a better baseball player. And I don't interchange those at any point, I will coach the person way before I ever coach the baseball player. I think it drives my young assistants crazy cause they want me to get in there and get my hands on guys. And I go, now I'm gonna put my, or I'm having a conversation because I think I can challenge them to think a little bit differently or see where he's at or maybe as bad BP is because he's not having a very good day. It could be that simple. Doesn't have to be a swing mechanic. And just changing that that whole philosophy and, you know, worked out last year. It was a really fun year for us and, and got a chance to get over the hump. And now the goal is to be consistently there and give yourself that chance to do it over the next, not just one year, that's the dude over the next 40 years and put yourself at a place where you can consistently do that. That's the goal now?

Luke:

Well, I completely agree with that people piece. And we're gonna spend majority of the time talking about that. But before we do get into that specifically, you mentioned that you're a small college guy and there's been some other coaches that I've interviewed that have said the same thing. What is it about the small college atmosphere that you're drawn to?

Sheets:

Well, one is, uh, if we lose, I'll probably won't have to sell my house. And, uh, w when you chase and I coach on the division one level, I coach in the Southeastern conference, like for three years, I, I, that's a, it's a different life. I've watched personalities change and I watched Sandy. Change and some of my coaching friends, and I just, I watch things shift because in essence, when you, when you take a power five job, you're getting hired to be fired at some point, it's the rare coach that goes from job to job on his own. Generally something happens and the rug gets pulled out and he loses his post. And now he ends up somewhere. You're getting hired to get fired. I think that's a totally different dynamic on a small school level. Now my athletic director has varied. I love working for Dr. Wilson. Big piece of the puzzle is the wild one to come here based on his leadership and the way that he runs his department. But him and I are very Frank with each other. And it's, you know, the mission of the program supersedes results on the field. So if the program is operating the way in which he can be proud of, we're putting men in, uh, into situations that are turned them into, uh men ready to crush. we're taking care of our academic priorities, if we're playing the game the right way, if all those things exist, but it just doesn't fall into place for one year. I don't have to look over my shoulder wondering if this is my last season in the dugout. And I needed to be reminded of that actually mid season, I was putting the pressure of the world on myself to win and figure it out right now and get rolling in March, as opposed to what I've been telling the guys let's get rolling at the end of the year. That's when it matters the most. But I was putting that internal pressure on myself and literally talking about leadership, closes the door, Luke, and goes, Hey, man, I don't know why you're doing this to yourself. I've never told you. And I said, I know, but I just, I feel like I kinda need that in my head. That internal pressure, he goes, no, you don't because it's eating you alive. So, and again, that's a small college conversation. That's not one that's being had in the PAC 12. You better win. Cause I need you to win. Cause I have to justify your job to the board of trustees. That's not what's happening on the small school level. I think that's a unique difference. But another side of that is, you know, the fact that we get a ton of guys that transfer from division one institutes. And inevitably that conversation, no disrespect to any program that those guys have come from, but most of those players point back to the lack of a personal relationship with their coaching staff. I think because it's a business and because there's a job on the line and because it has to be instant because there's no timeline that allows for development and sometimes mistakes and sometimes learning through failure. There's no grounds for that small school. There is things work in cycles. What we're doing is trying to go against that cyclical move that programs make, we're trying to buck that and then be consistently at the top. That's a tough thing to do. So I have to recognize that that's what we're pitted against. That's the small school problem. The division one upper-level power five problem is you got to win and you got to win now. And that changes the entire dynamic throughout the walls of your.

Luke:

Well, that's great that you have that leadership in place that supports the mission over the winds. And that even would take the time to remind you because I like you and process-driven and about relationships, but yeah, I'm competitive. I want to win, you know, sometimes people mistake, like I'm not saying let's come in and give everyone a participation trophy. I want to win. Right. So it is good to have that reminder. And of all people have your athletic director do it. It sounds like you have a really good thing going there. And also, yeah. And to, to the point of view, you built a great brand, right? The coach Sheets brand. You're an awesome follow on Twitter, which is @CoachSheets3, you have your own podcast, dugout, chatter podcast. Your own coaches professional develop platform, which is the Grizz Gang Channel. And you actually have your own coach's clinic too, which is the dugout chatter summit, which I believe is going to be happening this week while we're recording. So how did you become so comfortable with just putting yourself out there on so many public platforms without falling victim to imposter syndrome?

Sheets:

Well, let me, let me start by telling the audience that, uh, I, I did something yesterday that made me very uncomfortable and I joined the Tech-Talk movement. And so I started Tik TOK, go follow me at coach Sheets three again, uh, Instagram, Twitter, Tik TOK, fire me up. Um, you know, where it starts as this man. My dad was a professional speaker, a motivational speaker, and, and, I spent a lot of time with my dad and it was a lot of going to these conferences and riding with them and sitting on the front row. And sometimes he let me sit backstage and like just watching him interact with people and watching how he commanded a room and the way in which he delivered a message and him and I, I mean, I didn't realize the lessons he was giving me, but I mean, nine, 10 years old and he's explaining to me. How to control an audience and just giving me these lessons and shaking hands and looking people in the eye. And I'm the, I'm the name guy? So Luke, we can, you and I can walk into any coaching conference and I'm going to throw around hundreds of names and you're going to go, how do you remember all those names? Because my dad was the worst in the world at it. So I was the guy that had to like step in and introduce myself. So the guy would go, oh, I'm Jimmy Johnson. I'd have a go. Hey, Jimmy, I want you to meet my son. Cause my dad had no clue what this guy's name was. So like it starts there and that's just been, um, I've modeled his personality, uh, you know, just picked right from his DNA is just I'm okay. Getting in front of people. I'm okay turning the camera around and putting this face that was made for radio and putting it out there because there's, there's a. You know, on an, on an inner confidence level, man, I I'll, I'll put that up against anybody. I just, there's just a message. I think that's in my heart, there's a passion to share. There's a deep desire to impact there's fulfillment that comes from the connections that I make with folks. And so that all compounds itself when you're talking about connecting and building communities. And that's what learning that early on, kind of opened some doors, especially as a youth player as being that leader on the team, that guy, that, that brings the team up on himself, you know, in the middle of a game or calls the huddle after the game and breaks it down and be in that voice. And then it just really starts to work itself. Like you're the coach on the field and somebody puts that bug in your ear and you're like, so maybe I should be a coach. And then you follow this coaching path and you live and you learn and you start to figure out how to, you know, what moments are yours to coach with and what moments aren't, how to have feel to, you know, understand the pulse of a team. That's one thing I pride myself on. I try to keep the pulse of the team, not what I want it to be, not what I think it might be to truly understand what message they need to hear right now. What point are they at? And I think all of that comes from field from, from being on stage and seeing how that all works. That's what I've tried to build. I give you saying a quote unquote brand. I've tried to build it on just being authentically myself. I don't think there's been anything I've put out that I haven't felt completely comfortable with and would stand the test of time. I mean, Yeah. it's probably not always perfect, but at least at that point in my life, that's the best that I had and, and willingness to put that stuff out. I also think there's a lot of power in vulnerability. And if you're going to say that you have to live that and you have to be willing to put yourself and your name and, and put that all literally on the table as, as chips that could fall and, and be able to, um, again, turn the phone around too. I really want to run this, this coaching. I want to grow this. In Lawrenceville into something, just, you know, th that'll transcend what anyone else is trying to do out there. Cause we're really going to build a community and sod this group with great speakers and a unique lineup. And, but that's that at my core is where my fulfillment comes from. So if anything, it's built the brand of Ben being authentically yourself, but also really doubling down on the passion. And we're the fulfillment in the mission comes from And being okay with that. And, and Luke, I'll be straight with you, man. Not everybody digs it. Like there's, there's arrows back here. That's why I don't turn around there's arrows. But at the same time, I know like we talked about before we hit record, if it lands on one person, then that's exactly why I was doing it. And that's exactly why you run your show. We're trying to impact the world one person at a time. And that's what every message, every event, every podcast, all that comes back to doing that.

Luke:

And being authentic, being vulnerable are two qualities that I think draws the audience in. And that's why you are so successful. So I'll applaud you to being willing to do those things because so many people try to be somewhat and they're not. And so many people are afraid to just put themselves out there and be vulnerable. Let's talk about the time commitment. How the heck do you find a time to do all this? Given the demands of being a head collegiate coach.

Sheets:

Oh, man. My wife asked me the same thing when we, when we started really dating. And, um, she, I, I don't know, man, I don't take it for granted either. So I know it's not common. I know we were talking about coach Dungy and uncommon it's it's certainly not common. But what I think over time, if you're willing to sacrifice things and test your own boundaries, I think over time, you're really, you're sharpening a skill. And so to me, it's the same as public speaking. The first time you do it, you're scared of. The second time. It's a little bit easier. The third time. It's a little bit easier in the four time. Now you're rolling. And it's the same way when it comes to elements like we're talking about is, is being able to challenge maybe the boundaries of the 24 hour clock. Make sure your time in the office is used wisely. Uh, how much time we waste, you know, just scrolling through social media or replying to emails that that may not matriculate into anything and just spending our time and our attention on it. I just don't do that. I'm very focused, very centric when I get into my mode as to my routine each day, how I use social media, I'm still on there more than I like, but it is part of the game. But in terms of return and emails, managing our coaching staff, managing our team, my practice time, my personal time time with my family and my two kids. Making, you know, again, tonight we'll finish this. And, and I think she'll probably have both kids in bed by the time we're done. And I'll usually spend, and from about 8 30, 8 45 until 10 or 10 30, and I'm catching up on a lot of things, catching up on a couple emails, catching up on social media, maybe drafting a couple things. I want to post tomorrow, getting my thoughts together and how I'm gonna attack the day. And it's just testing those boundaries. But also you got to sacrifice some things. I don't spend a bunch of time gala ban around the city. I don't have a friend circle that we just go out all the time. I've learned if I want to accomplish the things I want to accomplish, things must be sacrificed. And there's just certain elements that I'm willing to be okay with sacrificing.

Luke:

Well, you're, you're just a ball of positive energy. I just, I love talking to you now. You can just sense the positivity beaming off you listen to your videos online. So why is it so important in this profession of coaching and teaching that we bring the positivity to profession each and every.

Sheets:

Well, number one, I can't imagine living a life on the negative side of things. No part of that makes sense to me. I had a coach reach out and he mentioned something similar to that. He goes, man, you're just so positive. And, and he goes, I don't think I'm negative, but I'm a realist. And I was like, realist to me is code for negative because you're, you are trying to predict what you think is reality. What's really gonna happen, but you're already putting a tone on the future. And instead, I'm going to live right here in this moment, and I'm going to be super positive that something in this statement is going to going to make you better. It's going to make me better. You asking me that question is going to make me process this question and this information to a point where I really try to nail down, where does this positivity come from? Why is it important, Washington, more coaches hold onto it and it's gonna make me better. So I'm gonna stay completely present right now, but I'm going to share. The way that I want it to go. I want it to work out. I want things to go. Well, I can't imagine living on any other island and then that one, um, now that's, again, my dad and that's, you know, upbringing, but at the same time, I think if coaches understand that the power that we have when it's, when most everything we do in life generates from a thought, Okay. so thoughts become actions, actions, turn into interactions and interactions govern your life. So if you can manage your thoughts, you can then manage your actions. You can then manage your interactions and you can hopefully have a wrestle on what you're going to do and be, and who you're going to become inside your life. You better understand what's going on between your ears. So if I'm in this moment with you, I'm in this moment with mark our team, I'm the most with a player. I better manage these thoughts. If I go to a dark place, if I go to emotion, If I, you know, a player screws up and I'm upset and I spend my time verbalizing what I'm thinking in that negative slant. I don't know if he walks away better. I'm not saying I never get all my players, but there's these moments, man, that you have to work through those things, without emotion, manage the thought, which will manage what comes out of your mouth, which will manage the moment and ultimately manage the interaction you have with the player. I think if there's a positive slant on those things, if there's a, um, a default, I love this word. We do. You know, I don't know. We're gonna talk about mindfulness training. This default, if I can default my thoughts to slant positively, then I know I'm working through those in a solution oriented manner. I think when we go to negative or we have that fall over the fence, it just Myers itself and failure, and it never really gets you or the situation going towards, well, how am I going to feel. And I believe the positive slant has a solution oriented mindset wrapped around it. Now I tell that to my wife and you can imagine how that goes over, like a lead balloon. I said, Hey, you're barking at me. We got to get into solutions. It's like, don't you give me that? You know, let me vent for a minute. And I'm like, I understand. But if you vent for too long, you're, you're literally spinning yourself in an emotional tornado. And if you can slant it and get back to solutions, you're going to come out of that emotion quick and you're going to move towards what's going to solve it. And that's why I land my ship on the positive side of things.

Luke:

And again, that part, that part of being authentic, there are days that you're off though, right? There are days that maybe you can't get what's right in between the heirs. How do you handle those days? Because you can't show that off day two kids, you have to always be at your best when you're in front of these kids. Like, what do you do on those off days?

Sheets:

So I'm gonna challenge you on that. You ready? I think if you're willing and want players to see you at your best. Then you need to be okay, letting them see you at your worst. To me, that is the power of true vulnerability. I am imperfect just as you are. I'm on the same journey that my players are on. I just got an 18 year headstart and it's the ability to, to let them know that I'm going to have a crappy day, man. Now, again, it's going to be tough for you to figure out what those days are, but I promise you, if you call chase Evans right now, and you ask him how many rough days that coach have this fall, he'll tell you there's, there's two or three cars on all three of those days. Even though I thought I'm up in front of the team and I'm giving my message and I'm doing it the way, you know, Hey, I'm okay with, he would find me walk up and go skip you. All right. And I'm okay with it. Cause that tells me, man, our relationship is way you're getting me emotional here. Our relationship is way past ground balls. Like that dude knows me. And I know him and I know when he's having a crappy day and I'll do the same thing. That to me is the, is the true power of being okay in front of your team and let them know that you're hurting and let them know you're dealing with something

Luke:

Yeah, sorry to interrupt you. It's awesome. And it goes back to just be you right? And, and the, the players will love you for being you. you don't have to coach as if you are somebody else. Right. We tend to coach the way we were coach or, you know, this is definitely a profession where we steal from each other and someone tries to take on a persona. It's not them players see right through that. They see through the phoniness. They will love you for you. If you just embrace who you are and be confident in who you are completely agree with you on that one. So, so let's talk positive vibes only. How bout that right in man. I love it. I guess we'll call it a video segment on Twitter. I don't know exactly what you do it, but I love it. So let's talk about where that idea came from. And what's the objective of how about that ride in on Twitter?

Sheets:

So, uh, go back to, uh, October 8th, 2020. And about two months before that I am in real podcast mode. We're putting out a podcast a week and they release on Mondays. And I just, I, you know, just like you do, you release your show Monday, everybody's fired up Tuesday. They're getting into it. Now the DMS are going the tax, the calls Wednesday, it's the same stuff. But by Thursday and Friday, they've, they've already listened to another show or back to their book or back to whatever. And it all kind of calmed down and I'm like, man, I want to keep the conversation going. And I just kept going, what else can I do, man? What else? And I have a good friend, Joe Ferraro, who who's always helped make me think that way. Like, Hey, you might be crushing the podcast world, but what else? Hey man, you might be doing this, but What. else? And I just went, I don't know, man, there's something I'm missing. There's something else we can. And I worked through that for a couple of months. I really did. And I just kinda hit me one day and I just said, I don't know, man, maybe I just do like a, like a vlog type, turn the phone around, share a thought challenge the group, although I'm working through it too. So it's that real, you know, communal, uh, approach. And I went into our coaching staff meetings to true story. about a few weeks before the first video. And I went into our coaching staff meeting and I said, guys, this is totally off the subject, but I'm thinking about doing this video thing in my car, you know? And at the time I thought I would be driving, doing it, complete bonehead move. I need to be parked when I'm doing this. But I want to do this video thing and I sat us all know what to call it and right out of coach tops, mouth, he goes, you got to go with the hangover. How about that? Right in, huh? And I'm like, man, that's really good. He goes, I don't know if coach you should run with that. And just have ever since just kind of, and again, put the first one out. Uh, so we just crossed over a year. We're starting to get some calls on sponsorships for it. Um, so we did a a hundred percent sunglass sponsorship, which is really cool. Um, man, I'll tell you what has accountability for me? I've only missed two Thursdays and a little over a year. I actually did a video from the regional championship that morning from the beach and, and, uh, Santa Barbara. And then I did one the morning of the national championship. I just, I love the accountability. It makes me on a Thursday show up. It also allows me to share something I'm thinking through or working on and there's again, like we talk, I keep, I get chill bumps every time I say it, you share a note and it's the DM right away. That goes, I felt like you were speaking. Because I'm dealing with that same thing. You're like, cause we're all on the same damn journey. We're all dealing with. It just hits us at different times, but the principles don't change the reactions and thoughts. Don't, it's all just relative to our situations. But it's all the same. And being able to share some of that, man, I tell you what there's real growth has happened for me. It's happened for some of my, my real close friends and uh, you know, I got a couple more days. I got put new video. I might go back to authentically you. Cause that us talking that through man is just, is screaming at me in my head. Like I don't think you can tell that story enough.

Luke:

Well, I love the videos. I like the story behind it. And you're right. You know, even thinking about this show, selfishly, I get a lot out of talking to people like you and my other guests, then, you know, I, I want to keep doing this. It's not about the fame, or I want to impact people and I want people to impact me. And that's the part that keeps you coming back and wanting to keep going with it. It's I guess it's that coaching blood in us. Um,

Sheets:

sickness.

Luke:

Yeah, right. Sickness or a curse or a blessing, and depends on how you look at it. So, uh, one thing that we both agree on, which is really the meat and potatoes of what we're probably going to talk about is the idea of the journey over the destination. And you speak a lot about this, and I agree with you. I think most coaches would agree with you. I don't know how many actually walk the walk though. So why should coaches and athletes focus on the journey rather than the destination, in your opinion?

Sheets:

Well, for one, and this is going to get deep, but I think if you, if you step back, um, I use this analogy a lot. And so again, being a baseball guy, it's like a player and it's like a young coach and it's like any coach, really? If you stand up on the rail and you're trying to make decisions and coach the game and manage the moment from the rail, you're too close to the. And sometimes you've got to step back from the rail, put your back against the dugout wall and see the big picture because it, I think the ability to do that is slows the game down. You recognize where your team's at you step back away from this moment and coaching and beating him. And you actually see what's working. You see the way they're playing defense, you see their approach on offense. You see how they're calling pitches because you're able to back away and see the big picture. I think when we're talking about that in our lives, Luke, or we're talking about what my dear friend, Alan Jaeger from Jager sports would call. We talk about this a lot is we're all on a continuum. Like life keeps moving on your crappiest day on the day that it all fell apart. Girlfriend boyfriend broke up with you, lost your job, got in a car wreck, lost all the money in your checking account. You go through found out you had a terminal illness, you go through all those really, really bad days. What happened the next day? The sun came up, you got another opportunity. It turned itself over because we're on this continuum and it just keeps going and it just keeps going. And Luke, we're going to end this whenever we end it. You and I are going to go to sleep. You're going to take off your Blackhawks hat and put your little head down to sleep and guess what? That sun's going to come up tomorrow. And I think that's the beauty of recognizing when you step back, things are going to keep moving, man, no matter what, no matter if you thought it was final or not, another day is going to come, which presents another opportunity because you're on this continuum. Now the deeper level of a continuum is that process. We're talking about. It's that minute by minute, moment by moment recognition that if I'm trying to be again from a baseball college baseball standpoint, if we're trying to be the last team standing the first week of June, Then we don't need to peak the first week of February, but how many of us, again, college baseball, you coach that first weekend. You need to be three and oh, so you feel really good about it and it pumps you up. And in fact, one of the better teams I've coached on went one and two opening weekend, and then we won 22 games in a row. So you just go back to trust that process, the ability to play a baseball game. All right. That starts at one o'clock. How many guys at one o'clock are already thinking about what the feeling's going to be at four o'clock when we either win or lose that game, you have left the process and now you're living in the results world at one o'clock. Okay. I used to do a lot of showcases. And I would say the same thing at every showcase, the kids would come off the field. We do our opening speech that come on the field. It's eight, 15, and I know the way the day breaks down time. And I say, you got, I got, I'm looking at a bunch of guys that are nervous, like butterflies galore. And you guys are terrified because at eight 15, you hope you don't screw up the ground ball. You're going to get at 1130. You're already telling you a better feel those and a better throw them hard. And at 11, how about you go dominate stretch? Like right now, like I want to dominate this answer. I can't think about the end of the show when we sign off. And I hope I say all the things I want to say. I got to dominate this answer right now, because this is process. If I focus on the process and dominate moment after moment after moment after moment after moment after moment after moment fail this one, dominate the next one. The moment, the moment I'm going to get the result I want. If I could put a piece of plywood over the right side of our scoreboard, Because if we go back and on a bigger level, when every inning it's like a boxing match, it's like rounds. If I just win every inning, take it a level deeper process. How about we win every at bat, the bat on offense, let's win at the, at bat on defense. Let's win it. One more process level deeper. Let's win each pitch and you just turn everything into this finite moment. No, moment is too is big. no. moment of small. If you recognize a big game, you better recognize the small ones. Eliminate that. And just be right here in this moment. This moment is this moment and it'll never be another moment. It's going to be this one, because that last one just passed us up. And the one in the future, I don't know what's going to happen, Luke. We might lose internet connection here, but I'm going to dominate this. And that is truly mean, locked into the process. It's being completely present. It's being right here, inside every word down to the letter because you're locked into this moment. That is a powerful place to play from. There's no recognition of past. There's no thought of future. You are literally in control of what's in your control, which is your ability to eliminate drama and stay locked into what you have in front of you. Whether it's a baseball, whether it's a question on a podcast, whether it's a test, whether it's a job interview, whether it's traffic, doesn't matter, what's in front of you is all that matters. And if you dominate in the course of a day, if I get out of bed, don't hit the snooze. Once there's a wind. If I get to, uh, in my house, if I get to the bathroom and put my contacts in without stepping on a toy, that's another win. If when I get in the shower, I'm gonna go through my routine. I'm a dominate my. I'm gonna step out, get my pre prep in, uh, my deodorant, my cologne, my toothpaste. I'll I'm gonna get all that out of the way. I'm a dominate that step. I'm gonna pour my coffee. I'm a port the best way that I can. I'm gonna get my son in the car and to make sure we laugh, we cut up on the way to school. Make sure I give him his mask. That's a thing. Uh, make sure he doesn't walk out that as lunchbox cause that's a win because I've done that before it kept it in the car. And you just stack up these moments win after win, after win, after win. It keeps you locked into the process. And I think when we, when we worry about results, we're thinking in the future and you're trying to control something as baseball coach in February, that you're really hoping happens in June. That means you're not in February. That means your thoughts are not where they can be and should be. And you're trying to control something that hasn't happened yet. How many of us define ourselves Luke, by what happened in the past? I'm 40 years old and let's say I screwed up at 25 and I still hold on to that failure. And I make that part of the way that I conceptualize who I am. I haven't let go of the past. I'm making that mistake at 25, 15 years ago. I'm letting that affect the way that I view myself right now at 40 dude. I'm a better PR. We started this at seven 30. I got on at 7 32. I'm a better person at eight, 15 than I damn sure was at 7 32. And that's the recognition that man, you just you're constantly in this process. And the big picture is we're constantly in this continuum. It will always keep moving forward. You make sure you don't miss a moment. Sorry. There was a tangent for you, but that's

Luke:

No, no. I mean, there there's a lot to unpack there more than we have time to. I'll just, I'll just throw out a couple, a couple of thoughts. There's so much I agree with. Let's start with just the lighthearted one. I'm glad you recognize the Blackhawks had, I know you guys down south. I don't know if you really knew what hockey was, so that's a win for the

Sheets:

I've got to see her in Jersey, uh, St. Patty's day edition in my closet right now.

Luke:

Well, I'm definitely glad that you recognize the brand recognition of that. Um, and then, the idea of being here now, I worry about today's athlete because they are foregoing the moments of the now for what could be in the future. For example, because of NISL, we have kids for going their senior year in high school sports. And I think you will agree with me. And I don't mean any disrespect to collegiate coaches or players. There is nothing like your senior year. I mean, everybody remembers their senior year. Everybody remembers the last senior year football game, basketball game, baseball game, you name it. I get why the kids are doing it. I get why their parents may be counseling them to do it. We can't forego the now for what could be in the future, in my opinion. And, I'm a big fan of coach Peterson back in the Boise state days of football. And there was a saying, I stole from him that that magical run they have, or they won the, I think it was the orange bowl to beat Oklahoma. Their big saying was be here now. And I took that to my football team and I would talk to them like on Friday game days, we have a big game. I say, guys, when you're in math class, Worry about math classical, be the best damn math student that you could be at that moment. And I promise you that is going to help you win the game later at night. And they're so confused, right? Coach they're like, well, shouldn't I be thinking about my assignments. Should I be thinking about, we've talked about on film. No, you should be thinking about that math class at that moment, because if you're able to put yourself in that moment you're embracing the process and if we embrace the process, you're going to like the outcome. And the last thing I'll say the scoreboards scoreboards Jaimee me crazy. Cause they're they're liars. And we define ourselves by the scoreboard we win. That doesn't mean that we really won. And if we lose it doesn't mean we really lost. Right. And you know, talk about this idea of standard performance and look, this is what we want to achieve. And this year are the goals we want to hit. And that's really our true measuring stick. Yes, they're there. That's just a, it was an awesome answer. And we could have a whole episode just on your answer, but those are my quick, my quick points to counter with you. So as a statement, I've heard you say that I loved was outsiders wanted to define you by results and I love it. And it's so true. How can coaches help themselves and help their athletes to stay focused on the process and just block out that outside noise then?

Sheets:

number one is believe it like in you. And I talked about that before we started, you can say it all day long. If you're not walking that, then it's just words. It's it's it's, it's the middle school basketball. T-shirt play hard, play smart, play together. Like, and then? I've watched middle school basketball teams not play hard, not play smart and not play together. Like, just because it's on your shirt, doesn't mean you're living it. You have to completely embrace that. This is not a cliche. This is not like, uh, just a, Hey D trust the process, dude, it's a lifestyle. It's not even, it's more than a mentality. It's a lifestyle. It is a skill. It is a default that can change everything for you. And I think that's what you're, you're trying to help arm players with you. This is a good thing. You're not going to get lost and submit your feet in a failure that happened 10 years ago, 10 days ago, 10 minutes ago, 10 seconds ago. You can move past it, just like that. Cause it's a new moment. So you're trying to help them understand that. I think the other side of it is the power that comes from you as a coach, literally crafting messages in this way. So how about this? How about after a game win or lose the way you speak to your team when they are done and they break, I had a player say this to me my first year here and I've always held onto it. He goes, coach, I know we won, but the way you talk, I can't even remember what the score was. Now, because again, I don't care about the result. I don't care about the wind. I didn't care about the loss. You need to hear this message right now. This is important for us because we need to understand this so that tomorrow we come back to training with a mentality so that we continue to get better, because I know in the long-term, this is something we want to be about process over result. I think to do that as a coach, you have to remove yourself from the drama. That's what we bucket things as is drama. We got the pre-season number one poll. And I told my team, I didn't think they were going to give us that. I, I just, again, arrows, I thought for sure we were not. And that's it. I don't, I didn't carry their way, but I want to make sure they weren't setting themselves up for failure. Well, we got it. I put in the group. Hey, congrats. Remember this is them recognizing what we did a year ago. This is not. The indication of how good this team is. Let's be very clear on that. And one of my players literally responded with hashtag drama because we're not going to get lost in that stuff. We're not going to listen to outside noise and we're going to listen to buzz. We're not going to listen to, they're not going to listen to their parents when they come in for the weekend and see us play one time. They know how good we are. Yeah, dad, I got you, man. I got you. Yeah. We're not, we're not trying to strike out, you know that, right? Yeah. We're going to work. We're going to work on it. But we're going to trust the process of where we're going and we're going to go back to work and we're going to continue to get better at it. And we believe in the philosophy. And I think the ability to lead that as a, as a head coach or as an assistant coach and give that to your players, I think it's it really, it's not about us. It's their ability to eliminate drama and it's their ability to stay locked in the moment. It's their ability to understand process. It's their ability to start the season. Oh, for 12. But have the mentality, dude, I'm a, I'm a base it from this thing turning over. I'm not defined by over 12. It's this at bat that matters. This one, I'm going to compete in this one. And I'm one hit away from this thing fall back into place. Like that's a process oriented dude. So I don't care if we were, and we were 51 and 10. I don't care if we were 10 and 51, I'd be coaching this team the exact way that I am right now, because that, that, that won't, that does not define who we are. What we're about. I know in the maturation of program, we need to be talking about this today and we need to be working on this tomorrow and we need to be working on this next month. And we get back in January. We have to understand these core concepts that set the stage for who we want to be at the end of June. That's what it's about.

Luke:

And it's also about the players, right? The people I know part of that journey is investing in your players and all, that's also something that you really walked the walk in that. And you know, you focus on this journey of changing lives and not just focusing on winning games that we've talked about. So it's really clear that you invest in your players by teaching them that details and ownership matter. And how does having your players clean up the practice field and clean up the dugout? How does that equate to victories as you have alluded to on social media?

Sheets:

Um, yeah, I do again, arrows. Um, I realize it picking up a rapper doesn't seem like much to anybody else in it. It doesn't have to in your program, you BU but in ours it's a statement. Um, we're always going to leave people better than we found them. We're going to leave dugouts better than we found them. We're going to leave, you know, certain moments better than maybe we walked into it's the same way. When I walked into this program, I'm going to leave it better than I found it. That that's just a core concept of what, what we do and what we're about now on its deeper level. To be honest, Luke, there's a of superstition in there. So every rapper we pick up is a double.

Luke:

Spoken like a true baseball guy

Sheets:

No. Well, I mean, I'm, I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious, you know what I'm saying? Like we pick up a bottle cap, that's a home run. When people leave a bottle cap in the dugout, that's a Homer waiting for someone to pick up. And I think it's just a goofy way for us to create ownership and our players and our guys start recognizing that, Hey, we're at the world series final site. And I know I didn't throw that Gatorade bottle down, but I'm not going to leave it there. I'm going to pick it up. You know, why Gatorade bottle, man, that's, that's 10 strikeouts on the mound. I'm gonna go throw that away. And it's just, again, a way for us to, uh, help our guys realize that the end of the day, no one picks up after a GDC baseball player, he picks up after himself. So I don't, I don't expect anybody or facilities folks you know, our grounds facility grounds crew that comes through our campus folks. I don't expect anybody to ever pick up anything on our baseball field. We pick up every piece of trash. We dump the trash cans. We sweep the dugouts every day, we blow them out. We blow out the sidewalk that leads you to the baseball field. We blow out the cover cages area. We lock our shed. Our shed is organized. I'm going to personally, as head coach get in and clean our bathrooms tomorrow because no one picks up after us. I mean, we pick up after ourselves, it's our facility. Um, and I want that to carry over. So when we play a team and we go on the road, you're, you're never going to hear a coach walk over and goes, Hey man, I know they beat us, but man, they left the dugout like a pigsty. Nope. That's not who, that's not our brand. That's not what we're about. You're actually going to be shocked. That bottle that's been there for two and a half years. It was under the bleachers that you just, you saw, but you never, your player had never picked it up. We'll pick it up. DDC is going to do that. Like, and again, like you don't have, no one has to do that. That's just what we believe, man. We're going to make sure we do what's right by the game. I feel like our games different than others, the game knows. And the game knows what kind of people you are and, and, and at your core level, what you're about. And I'm gonna make sure we're always putting our best foot.

Luke:

Well, I love it. And you validate so much that I have done throughout my coaching career that my players and my assistant coaches would call me crazy OCD, you name it. So to all my players and coaches listen out there, you see, I'm not totally crazy in these things. I've had you do through the years because it does matter. It's the willingness. It doesn't matter. Like you said, it's not the fact of picking the piece of garbage up. It's a fact that you're willing to pick the piece of garbage up and the truly elite programs teach that to their kids. And I believe that's why they're elite. You also teach your players about gratitude and I read about your appreciation calls. I love this. I'm going to steal this from you. Talk a little bit about appreciation calls.

Sheets:

I worked for John Cohen, who's the athletic director of Mississippi state. And when I got to Kentucky for the players to enter Friday practice, they had to turn in an appreciation letter and myself and our other assistant coach would, Uh, cross names off the list as they walked in. They'd have to hand us that. I was responsible for going through and checking them and making sure that the kid wrote a few sentences. Didn't went, thank you. And we shipped it out because it's representing our program. So there was a lot of accountability went in with that. And, um, it was something I did when I got my first head coaching job. It's something I want to do when I got here my first year, I, I told my lady, Hey, I'm gonna need all the letterhead that you have. I'm going to need all the envelopes that we have, uh, my business, our business office SWA. She's like, Hey, you are, that's literally the last box of envelopes. I'm like, all right, it's got to get us through. And we got to COVID and of course, budgets get crunched and all that. And I'm like, man, I can't, they're not gonna let me order more letterheads. They're not gonna let me order envelopes. And my good friend, Steve Murray at Neosho community college had his guys making phone calls. Uh, and then my boy, Brad at Culver Stockton was having his. Call people. And I went the call, their appreciation call. That's it. It's not the letter. It's now a call we're on the digital age and every Wednesday, let's just how we, we, we finished our classroom. We do our message for the day and we explain the practice plan. Everybody brings their cell phone and everybody walks the field and, and makes an appreciation phone call, call a parent, call a girlfriend, call a former coach, call a teacher, call an uncle, call anyone a best friend, call anyone in your life and just tell him, thank you. Tell him that you love them. We don't do that enough. And let's just take a moment as a program. And it takes you 10, 15 minutes, half our guys literally walk over because we go from there right to mindfulness, half of them walk over and look up beyond half of them have tears in their eyes. You know, one time, uh, one of our players called his grandmother and she just started bawling. Of course, he's bawling too. And he's like, I don't know, coach, man, you just, you start thinking how much, how many more calls can I make to her? And you're like, oh my God, dude, that's it. I've had guys call it. And they got kids walking. He's like, why are you calling? He's like answer the phone. Hey dude, just want to tell you, man, I really appreciate you. I appreciate you taking me. You know, we live together, but you drive me to, and from school, you did this for me. Did that for me. Like, I mean, it, it is mega powerful and it takes no time. It's 10 minute investment that makes people better. And again, we're controlling the narrative of our program, man. Yeah. Yeah. Coach and I get, I love it. Yeah. Coach tells us to make an appreciation phone call. Aren't you guys at practice? Yeah, we do this before we practice. This is what we do every Wednesday. I love everything about it.

Luke:

Oh, it's awesome. I, like I said, I'm definitely going to steal from you. I, I would do a senior brunch. It was a mother, son, senior brunch, and I would have the senior and his mom stand up and the mom would say, I love you because, and then the senior would say, I love you because, and it was emotional, uh, as players, I'm sorry, as coaches, we learned so much about our players and like, it became a moment where our moms dreaded it, but couldn't wait for it because they heard about it. Right. So fresher minds, black, man. When do I get to do that? And just for the player to be vulnerable in that moment, but yeah, I mean, I love it. I'm definitely going to take it. You take it even a step further. Uh, another thing you do that is great. You teach your players about positive first impressions and the importance of education. Let's talk about pictures with professors. What's it.

Sheets:

So I got this from Brian Green at Washington state. Uh, he did it at New Mexico state and I loved it and I put it in my back pocket. And, um, Uh, it's, it's a way to kick off your semester and separate yourself from the pack. And a lot of our, you know, we wear a lot of our branded GDC stuff. And so to walk up to the teacher and our school has 13,000 students. So some of those classes, there's a lot of students in there and, and to, to separate yourself and not be enough. And go, Hey, my name is Jeremy I'm a baseball player here at GDC. We do this thing and we take pictures with our professors and it's a way for us to create accountability and the teachers love it. I get emails every time we do it, like this is awesome. And the beauty of it is man, like there's now this connection. Now what I love about it is when they miss class, they'll let me know. So, you know, cause you, you yay. There's a, there's a cost benefit analysis here. You just separated yourself. So again, if when you miss or you fall short, they're going to reach out. Um, but yeah, we do that every semester to kick it off and, and um, you know, multiple guys in a class and professor will, you know, put double arms around them and take the picture I've had guys like do like, you know, like Starsky and Hutch poses that we've had. We've had all of it, but I love it because it gets those people involved with us. And as we move throughout the semester, now they recognize it as a baseball thing, man. But they really want accountability from student to professor.

Luke:

yeah, it's awesome. I'm a teacher and a coach and it was just the first day of school was always amazing to me because these kids would come in my classroom and they would go sit in the furthest seat in the corner. And I would talk to my players about, Hey, what message is that students setting to me? Right? What messages he or she is saying to me about where my class stands their evaluation of life right now. Right now, tell my players 95% of the time you're going to be moved anyway. So why make your first impression that one sit in the front, shake their hand. Hi, Mrs. Smith. My name is John. I'm excited about your class coach Burton said great things about you. I'm like, you'd be amazed again that uncommon peace. No, one's willing to do those things. Be the one to stand out, to sit in the front on your own. Right. When you're doing seating charts, say, you know what? Mrs. Smith could I stay in the front because I pay attention better. I'm in the front. Like, yeah. It's great that you're having your players do that. Um, you're also talking about mental wellbeing of your players. So let's talk about mindfulness training and why it's important for coaches to implement new programs.

Sheets:

So I think first and foremost is the recognition of where we're at in a mental health crisis, you know, pre post COVID, man suicide rates, conversations about depression, anxiety. Those are things that I've had conversations with inside the walls of my own program. And I've had multiple coaching friends call me and say, men, are you dealing with this the way that I am? Yes, it's an epidemic, man. And you can't ignore it. And because it hasn't been part of the conversation loop doesn't mean it's not happening in your program. There is a kid in every program that anyone that's listening to, this there's a kid in your classroom. There's a kid in your, on your team. There's a kid across the street from you. There is someone around that you have a direct handle on that is. Life is kicking them and they don't understand why. And they don't have the experience and perspective to work through it. And they think it's crashing down and they think that failing this test is the end all be all. And they think that breaking up with this, you know, girlfriend or boyfriend is the end all be all. And they don't have the maturity to work through some of this stuff. And again, go step further. Their life is not our life. I can't look at an 18 year old player on my team and go, come on, man, buck up. You gotta, you gotta be a man right here. Hey, show up right here. Cause that's what my coach said in a different world. I'm talking to him in his world and his world is much different than mine phones, social media, the pressures, you go through all the different varieties of society that make their experience much different than mine. They're just dealing with things differently. And I think if we take a moment in our program and just let them for 10. Just slow down and be quiet. That may be the only 10 minutes besides the time they were asleep. And before they go to bed that night that they actually slow down. They're not looking at their phone, they're not consumed with information. They're not consumed with pressure that, you know, they just don't have all these things rattling around, but we go a step further. So that that's like our, if all you get out of it is a 10 minute, 20 minute nap. I'm good with that too. Cause they don't sleep enough either. But at the same time, what we're trying to do is give them something that will help them change their default from when things go wrong, you don't throw your hands up in the air and think chicken little, the sky is falling because most young adults have that opinion. When someone talks smack to you on social media, the world is coming. And that's just not reality and where you've got to help them as manage those moments. And then for us in baseball, that umpire raises his right arm and a call that you didn't think it was a strike, but he did. You've got to help them manage that. They've got to have a, a skill that allows them to not buy into the drama and the emotion of that to work through it. Got it. Can't control him where I can control is my reaction back to process. Big, deep breath. What's the sign coach. Another big, deep breath back in my routine. Now I'm here on this pitch. Not strike God discuss sucks. It's unbelievable. Every time we have this guy is some kind of call goes against me. It's unbelievable. It's why is it always me? It's always me. I'm getting screwed. You know, I've been gotten screwed all my life. You know, my high school coach had it out for me. My travel coach had it out for me. It just seems like every time I get stressed, cause they never left that conversation. They never got away from that moment. And the narrative continued to play and you help them change the narrative. You help them change the default. We do everything from visualization. It's a positive affirmations to guided meditations. Sometimes I play music sometimes I don't. But the whole goal is that you're allowing them to learn how to be present. You learn how to develop a connection and a relationship and trust with their breath, the breath, a big deep breath right now slows down my heart rate, which slows down my thoughts, which allows me to be eloquent inside this answer. If I'm trying to do it emotionally, I'm going to go down a road that was emotionally driven, not from a place of deep, rational thought, and you're trying to help them manage that. So we do this every single day. Every single day. I'm with my team, we come out of classroom, we go right to mindfulness. We stand up from mindfulness. We go right to stretch. That's how we start every day. If we're playing a game, we're there 20 minutes earlier than most teams, because we're going to have a quick meeting. We're going to lay down and do mindfulness. Even if we're on the road, we're going to stand up and stretch and get in the batting practice. We do it every single day. And I think it's one of the things that honestly, in last year's world series separated us from the other teams. We were playing our mental presence, our ability to move on our ability to be present in the, in, on every single pitch and stay process oriented. That was a separator for us on the field.

Luke:

Yeah. And there's no question that it's been scientifically proven that. Positive self-talk right. And also negative self-talk and you're right. We're in a mental health crisis right now that no, one's talking about really. I mean, you might hear glimpse here and there, but it's part of the motivation of this podcast. I think our kids do positive leadership more than ever in their life. So coach, it's great that you're doing those and I completely agree with the mindfulness training and it's great that you're doing it every day. Because again, you're walking the walk, you're showing your players, Hey, this is so important. We are taking time out of every day of our baseball practice to do this and that and that process piece. So given your commitment to the intangible, which is an investing in people, embracing the journey, not getting wrapped up in results, how do you assess if you're being successful or not?

Sheets:

Well, I think the players tell you, again, back to that pulse. I really stay in tune with individuals and, uh, stay in tune with the, with the mood of the group. There's definitely moments that that ebbs and flows. I think it's just like in any maturation of a team there's moments where I feel like, I don't know, man, there's some, there's some egos in the room. Uh, there's some internal stuff going on. We had a couple players that were kind of nipping at each other. One was kind of bucking up within his own positional group and, and wanting to be a leader, but kind of going about it the wrong way. And I have a pulse on all that, and I try to feel, you know, where do I need to interject sometimes it's best if I just let things work themselves out. It's really good. If the players can address it and work it out. There's a lasting effect that happens from that. But I think when it, when it comes to you know, having that, that real pulse, I, I, I don't know, man. I think making sure that I recognize how in the grand scheme of things, the player experience will always Trump my experience. And that's a really tough thing for coaches whose ego kind of greets you at the door. I think the ability to die to your own ego every day puts you back into a place of servant leadership. And if you're really about servant leadership, then you're consumed with serving those people. But for me, creating an environment that they feel like they can be themselves, who they are is enough and the value that they can bring when they bring the best version of themselves to the table. And you create environment that allows those things to happen. There's there's, you know, again, there's things that happen in practice. There's things that happen in the walls of our locker room. There's things that are said that I don't always agree with, but I'm going to let you be who you are. I'm not, I'm not going to like be the guy always over your shoulder. Like, Hey, you probably shouldn't say that. And like, if it's out of character, out of line, But there's things that go on. And I know again, these players are bickering Asher price step in. I'm gonna let them figure this out, the power of them working through it, and literally watch it happen in front of me. Stay, maybe you stick around for a minute. Hey man. So a couple of things let's get to the bottom of this, the power that that has that, that has just comes back to allowing your players to recognize man, that there is a process to this coach. Doesn't interject himself all the time. It is about us. It's about our experience about our growth. It's about us becoming who we want to become the goal of this coaching thing. I'm getting off on a tangent, but the goal of this coaching thing for us, for me, myself, and for our coaching staff is can you challenge them to develop in a way that they arrive at such a deep level of confidence and that, and this understanding of real internal courage that they can go attack life and act on their own thoughts and ideas. Not someone else's, I'm not going to be an engineer because my dad was an engineer and his dad was an engineer and his dad was an engineer. I don't want to be an engineer. You know what I want to do? I want to be in a rock band because I'm going to act on my own thoughts and ideas. And that's a tough conversation to have. When I had to tell my dad, I want to be a baseball coach. Well, cool. How much does it pay? Nothing. What do you mean? Nothing like dad? My first few years, brother, I ain't bringing home a dollar. Well, how are you going to make this work? I don't know. I'll figure it out. I'll work in a metal factory from 4:00 AM until 2:00 PM and coach at night, I'll be a substitute teacher. I'll hustle. I work every camp in the country. I'll do lessons. I'll go sell blood, done it to make money, to stay in coaching because everyone tells you, man, that's not? a great idea. I want the confidence and courage in our players to act on their own thoughts and ideas. That to me is the most powerful environment you can create to really empower people. Gosh, I'm getting jacked out of my mind to empower people, to go live the life. They want to live on their own thoughts and ideas. That that is the best gift we can give anyone that's under our care.

Luke:

Well, I love it. There's that authentic piece again? And this idea of it's. Yeah, I love it. And you know, it's their experience, not ours. I think so many coaches struggle with that, you know? So I always had music playing at practice and I'd have my coach, like, why are you letting them listen to the scrap on my guys? I don't like it either, but it's their practice, not mine. I mean, I, I'm just, I have, if it's going to help us, help them get through practice and make it more enjoyable, like who cares? Let's go. But, well, listen, you've been, you've been really generous. It's been an awesome conversation. There's one last thing I need to ask you. I need you to kind of get into your help out that ride in persona right now. Okay. The reality is many coaches and teachers, especially at the high school level are feeling undervalued, underappreciated, overburden. What piece of advice? What type of motivation? What positive vibe can you give these teachers and coaches that are listening today that were important. We need to keep doing what we do and believe in what.

Sheets:

Oh man. I could feel the goosebumps rising on my, um, well, and again, I don't have to change cause that same dude, that's on the, on the calls, same guy talking to you. And if you're listening, I really hope this hits home. You have to recognize that at this critical juncture in our life and where we're at as a society, we are needed now more than ever more than last week, more than a month ago, more than 10 years ago, more than an any point in human history. Leaders coaches, teachers, administrators, you are needed now more than ever. The people that were in charge of the people that we oversee, their development, they need us. And I understand being undervalued, understand being underappreciated. You have to recognize that not all rewards come when you want them to come. Sometimes these rewards have a five-year delay on them. And for every time I say that a teacher goes, yeah, I remember I had a kid that I really thought was a brat. And I had them in high school for four years, five years later, he got through college and he came back and visited me and apologized. I did that to a teacher. I know thousands and countless others have, because it may not be the right time for them to hear your message, but you continue to give it there's players right now. And Luke, you could, I could call them in here right now. And they may go. I mean, I believe in it, but I mean, you know, kind of want to do me, you know, I hear ya, but I keep talking about to your ego, selfless team, over individual, best version of you as the best version of this team, I'm going to keep preaching that message. And there's some guys that will graduate at 22, 23 years old. And that message may not be hitting home, but when they're 28 and they're trying to go for a promotion in their company, when they start to lead their own team inside their, their, their new business. When they at 30 years old, one of my former players calls me and goes, coach, I'm leaving the accounting for her. I'm working for, and I'm going to go start my own. I'm tired of working for other people. I'm going to start my own. That's why we do what we do. The message I gave him at 20 years old. I didn't realize he was listening to, and he didn't know how to do it at 20, but he knows how to do it right now. At 28, you got to keep showing up. You got to keep showing up for your people. You gotta be consistent in your message. Don't talk it, make sure you're walking it and play the long game. Play the continuous. Because right now in the process, you have this moment in front of your classroom, the big picture, you're trying to prepare them for life. If you've got four years with them in high school, prepare them for the next 40, because you don't know when that message is going to finally click and they're going to take off show up.

Luke:

I love it. Yeah, I got, I got the goosebumps. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to attack the day as you say. So I really appreciate you sharing all that. And it was just, I mean, you could just tell that that was just a really heartfelt answer. And I think a lot of teachers and coaches do need to hear it because they're human beings. And sometimes people forget that there's only so much negativity you can keep getting hit with. Right. And it's, it's good to hear that positive message. So thanks so much for sharing that. And if we have listeners that want to learn more about you or get in touch with you, would you like to share some more? I know we've mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, but some social media handles emails, websites that you'd like to throw out there.

Sheets:

Well, if you stuck around the solid thing, I'm gonna tell you, I love you. And I don't throw that word around easily, man. I do. I love you. And I care about you. And if I can help in any way, I would love to please reach out to me. You say that because a very small percentage of people will ever reach out, but you need to hear that I'll be here for you. I'll listen to what your issues are. I'll try to help you out. I'll try to point you in the right direction. I answer every direct message. Um, and, and somebody out there cares about you. I'm on all the social media channels @CoachSheets3, you can find me. DMS are always open. Um, my cell phone is (502) 767-7680. You don't give out your cell phone if you don't want people to reach out. Uh, I do not know what my office line Is. I'm three years into this job and I can't tell you what those numbers are because that's my cell phone and, um, reach out, shoot me an email Sheetz, S H E T S. ggc.edu. I'll help you out any way that I can. Cause this is a community man. We're trying to grow together. We're all on the same journey and we're all in the same fight together. We just got to have each other's back

Luke:

I appreciate that. And I'll be sure to include all that in our show notes and your generosity with your time, your heartfelt commitment To the process and just making kids better. I loved it. I could talk to you for hours. So I need you to leave the door open for maybe a part two of this coach, because there's a lot more waiting to dive in on

Sheets:

whenever you want. Look, it was an absolute blast, man. And I, I mean this, you made me better. You made me better by asking thought provoking questions. That force me to dive a little bit deeper. I got better and I hope someone else did. And I hope you did it.

Luke:

Well, I absolutely did. I appreciate you sharing all your wisdom and, uh, I'm really pumped to hear that it was a good experience for you as well. And look forward to, uh, maybe another, I know it's not the goal all the time, right? It's the process, but looking for another ship coming up here in 22 for Ray, Ray's that re get another ring, you know, maybe I could get one as like a consultant or something. We'll see. I've never gotten one of those national championship rings. Yeah. All right, man. Well, thanks so much coach. Appreciate it. And uh to our audience out there, I know this was longer than we normally go, but thanks so much for hanging in there, but I think. It was worth all the time and the conversation we had. So thanks so much, coach

Sheets:

Thanks guys. Appreciate it.

Luke:

There's no way I can do Coach Sheets justice by trying to summarize this episode, there's just way too much to unpack. I'm grateful. I learned so much from every guest on this podcast, but Coach Sheets has challenged me in a way to rethink really my whole approach. This is going to be an episode for me. I'm going to have to refer back to all the time because it just provides so many intangibles that need to be met in order to achieve the outcomes we really all desires coaches. The bottom line: positive mindset, relationship driven, environments, mindfulness training, and creating a lifestyle that focuses on the now and trust the process is going to afford coaches the opportunity to develop their players into a better version of themselves, which is far more rewarding than any championship banner trophy. And on a different note. As I mentioned in my previous episodes, I've been wanting to start a newsletter. And as of last week, it's finally here, I'll be providing my weekly notes on each episode. I promise I won't spam your inbox, nor am I trying to sell you anything. It's just one email each week with my main takeaways of each episode. If you're interested, I link the sign up in the show notes or you could also will sign up on Twitter @LukeMertens. Thanks for sticking with us for this extended episode. And remember the more I's we impact this world, the more everyone wins. That's the "I" in Win!

Jeremy C Sheetinger Profile Photo

Jeremy C Sheetinger

Head Baseball Coach

Experienced collegiate coach and administrator Jeremy Sheetinger became the second coach in program history for the 2020 season.

Sheetinger guided the Grizzlies to the 2021 NAIA World Series title, marking the program's first national championship. He was named the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year from the Collegiate Baseball Foundation. He is the first NAIA coach to earn the prestigious award since it was founded in 2013.

Georgia Gwinnett College won all five of its Avista World Series games, defeating the No. 1 seed, No. 2 seed twice, No. 4 seed and No. 6 seed. The team defeated Central Methodist (Mo.) 8-4 for the championship in 2021.

In his first season the Grizzlies won 22 consecutive games and finished the campaign ranked No. 3 in the NAIA. Ten players received Association of Independent Institutions all-conference recognition. Sheetinger collected his first win at GGC with a road triumph against No. 4-ranked Southeastern (Fla.).

The team's 22 straight victories to end the season is the second longest winning streak in program history. GGC concluded the 2020 season with a 23-2 record.

Sheetinger took over a Georgia Gwinnett College program that’s been consistently ranked among the nation’s top NAIA teams. The Grizzlies have advanced to the semifinal round of the Avista NAIA World Series for the past two seasons, along with another world series appearance in 2014. The 2019 team had a 48-13 record, won the Association of Independent Institutions title and had five players sign to continue their playing careers as professionals.

Sheetinger has served as the college division liaison for the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) from 2016-19. He was responsible for organization communications and relationship building within coaches and administrators at NCAA Division II and III, NAIA and junior college levels. He helped facilitate a 200-percent growth rate in ABCA membership and attendance records for three of the organization’s annual conventions.

Sheetinger’s recent outreach efforts were as creator and executive producer of the ABCA’s “The Road Show” and “Extra Innings” video features, where he would interview coaches about a variety of subjects about the game, game-day operations and program management.

He has served as an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves since 2015.

As a coach, Sheetinger spent three seasons as head coach at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky., posting an 86-43 record, including a school-record 33 victories at the NCAA Division III level in the 2013 season, and three conference postseason tournament appearances. The Eagles had top 10 statistical rankings in numerous offensive and defensive categories among Division III teams.

Sheetinger’s coaching experiences also include being director of baseball operations at NCAA Division I University of Kentucky for three seasons, the lead assistant coach at NCAA Division II St. Joseph’s College (Ind.) for two seasons, and assistant coach with NAIA programs at Brescia University (Ky.) and Georgetown College (Ky.).

He received a bachelor of science degree in fitness and sport management from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2004. Sheetinger also earned a master of business management from Brescia University in 2007 and a master of kinesiology and health promotion at the University of Kentucky in 2009.

Sheetinger and his wife, Chelsea, have a son, Cooper, and daughter, CJ.

(ggcathletics.com)