Stepping into a head coaching role with brand new guys is never an easy task.
Hoppers coach Brett Lindsey was tasked with not only joining the crew as a first-year head coach, he had to coach in his first game right away.
Lindsey is an assistant at Indiana University Southeast and due to his team making a run in the postseason, was unable to make it to Hopkinsville early to get some work in with his new team.
It was trial by fire for the new skipper.
“The hardest part is me not seeing anybody play,” he said. “Opening night, I hadn’t seen anybody’s bullpen so I was just asking them if they were ready to go. They’d say yes and we’d get them ready. It’s mainly been not knowing what we’ve had available, but throughout the season we’ll know each other’s strengths and I’ll do my best to put everybody into a position to be successful.”
Despite not knowing what pieces he has and what those pieces are capable of doing, through the early portion of the season, Lindsey has been pleased with what he has seen so far.
“It’s easy when you have the coaching staff I do,” Lindsey said. “It’s even easier when you have a team that wants to be here. We don’t have any egos or premadonnas out here. Everybody is showing up to work every day.”
As he and his fellow Hoppers get to know one another, not only will he get more comfortable with them, he will know how to coach them better as well.
Lindsey said he is excited to see how each person will do when given the opportunity.
“They’ll show what they can do,” Lindsey said. “They’ll set themselves up in great situations and as guys come in, we’ll give them opportunities. I’ve told all of them, ‘We’re all going to make mistakes.’ I want them to play care-free baseball. I’m going to make mistakes, my assistant coaches are going to make mistakes, the umpires are going to make mistakes. Just go out there and we’ll learn from it.”
Through less than a week of the season, Lindsey is ready to get to work to improve his team and put the Hoppers in a position to repeat as Ohio Valley League Champions.
“Infield, we need to do a better job of helping our pitchers out,” he said. “Sometimes they were getting some ground balls that were allowing baserunners that shouldn’t or balls that we’re not bodying up and limiting the extra base. As far as pitching, I think we need to find the strike zone more.”