Championship Coaches Corner

A few years back I did interviews with coaches that have had success with using the 1PW System and also teams I have worked with directly who were able to win the last game of the season. I have had the pleasure to get to know and work with Coach Jason Crawford from Cottonwood High School in Utah over the past few years. He and his program are the feature this week in Championship Coaches Corner. I hope you gain a little insight into what it takes to be a champion or his message reinforcing what you are already doing. 

What is your baseball/softball background? Resume? Talk about your program.

Played at Salt Lake Community College: All American 2002.
Played at Colorado Mesa University: All American 2004.
Coached at CMU 2006
Head Coach at Cottonwood High School since 2011. 135-58 coaching record
3 Region Championships and 1 – 5A State Championship
35 players have moved onto play college baseball since 2011.
We are successful because of our coaching staff. They do a great job creating a culture of toughness, caring, and respect for our players. We have solid young men in our program who care about who they are off the field as much as they do on the field. Our players and coaches are held to a high standard of character and leadership in our school. Daily we try to model pride in our community.

What are some of the biggest factors in your success?
We do quite a bit of team building, exercises. Family, trust, and responsibility are integral to our success. We are hugely successful to to the process over outcome approach. Our players have really bought into the TPI, Quality At-Bats and Quality Innings pitched.  That mentality has created a shift in our program into positive thoughts and worrying about what our players can control.

What role has the mental game played in your success? How have you implemented the mental game in your program?
The mental game is talked about daily in our program. We practice our routines in game settings during practice. Having our players talk about their routines, and doing Dehmer’s Lessons in Leadership create vulnerability, that allows our coaches to discuss and challenge our players in different ways. We try to connect with players daily to build on our connection with our team.
How have you created a program of excellence? What advice can you give to others about making those strides from good to great?
I feel our players are prepared for every situation  that comes up in a game. We compete against the ball and our process daily.  We don’t waiver on our preparation and commitment to excellence.

My advice would be to use systems you understand and feel will hold value to you and your players. Don’t try to do so much that is becomes taxing when implementing process measures. Stay consistent with your daily approach so the players know they can trust you. No moment is too big. Stay the course so you lead from the front.

What are the things you love most about coaching? What keeps you motivated?
I love  watching our players grow into solid young men. It’s rewarding to see the growth  each year that our players make.   I enjoy seeing the competitive spirit grow as well as the maturity.   To have a connection with our players and be model figure that they would hopefully want to emulate as they grow into their adult lives.

What is your favorite practice technique, drill, or game that you use at your practice that others can use right now within their program?
We lost in the state tournament 3 years in a row due to not fielding bunts. So we combined your bunt scrimmage and hit and run scrimmage. It’s an offense vs. defense scored gamed. That way the defense can’t cheat and eliminates them getting so casual and lazy with their defense. It has really helped with sign giving, executing, and competing.

I want to thank Coach Crawford for taking the time out of his busy summer to help our readers. As you can tell Coach Crawford has focused on measuring the process to provide feedback to his team, making sure that his coaching staff leads by example to be mentors to the young men in their program. They do a tremendous job at connecting with each one of their players to be transformational coaches and not just transactional. They realize that the impact they make on their players in one for lifetime not just the next season. They use baseball as a vehicle to teach how to be life leaders. I have seen it with my own eyes while I was on-site. They have a remarkable program and should be proud of the way they go about their business. 

If you would like to contact Coach Crawford for any further questions please reach him at jasoncrawford40@gmail.com.

If you would like to get Lessons in Leadership to use the over 40 Lessons to implement within your program to help create a championship culture use the code: LIL20 to save $20 for the next week only.

Play for the Present!
Coach Justin Dehmer
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