Ryan Wheat | Assistant Coach | Baseball | Saint Joseph’s College

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

Being a good person. Be the guy that wants to win and be a part of something special. Be the guy that puts the team in front of themselves in every situation. We live in a society that believes that children have to specialize in one sport. A society that holds so much stock in personal instruction. Today’s high school baseball player would rather represent their summer team instead of their high school team. If there was one thing I could tell every high school athlete in the country it is to be a teammate and understand when you step into a competitive setting you are representing so much more than yourself.

 

Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

My favorite player I have coached was a kid that everyone missed out of high school. We switched his position 3 times throughout his career. He hit in the middle of our line up as a freshman. We put him in situations to fail and he never did. He competed. If he needed to get better at something, he worked at his deficiency. He wasn’t overly talented athletically but adapted to the situation and overcame the challenge. He didn’t care about his personal stats. He didn’t have a personal agenda. He came to the park everyday to compete and to enjoy his teammates. To share the experience of playing college baseball with a group of strangers that quickly became his best friends. We gave him every reason to make an excuse for his rough patches of defensive play in the outfield, but he never had one. He attacked every thing we did with energy and enthusiasm. I think about this particular player nearly everyday since I stopped coaching him and have finally figured out the reason he attacked everything he did with passion is because he was competitive. He wanted to be great. He’s a self-less man that taught ME so much about how to go about practice everyday. Early in my coaching career I had trouble with practicing everyday and he taught me how to attack everything I did with energy and enthusiasm. And I’ve done that every day since because of him.