ACS: Rafael Garcia, Marian University (WI)

Rafael Garcia
Marian University (WI) Baseball – Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
Hometown: New Britain, CT 
Education: Mitchell College/Marian University 
Twitter: @rafi_garcia_11
Email: rgarcia24 [at]

The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.

I first realized that I wanted to make coaching part of my career was during my playing days. Coach Travis Beausoleil of Mitchell College would trust me to run our team’s infield routines at times when he had to work with catchers or outfielders. I just enjoyed being able to teach my younger teammates. Those small moments of teaching led me to want to become an educator and coach. 

Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspects of coaching. 

Reading has been huge for me. I was not a fan growing up, but if the book has something I can use for coaching, I am all in. The last two books I have read were Heads Up Baseball and Heads Up Baseball 2.0. These two books have had an enormous amount of influence over my coaching. The mental side of the game continues to grow as baseball is a frustrating sport. One huge thing I have my guys do that was in the book was; 7 seven questions. That reminds the players why they play the game. I have the players keep it in their phone to read prior to games, or after a rough game. 

Special Education Masters Degree. Going through school I have learned as much about baseball during playing/watching as I have by working in classrooms. Everything I learn in the classroom or from assigned books I use for my players. Differentiations, growth vs. fixed mindsets, psychology, how the brain reacts to failure, rejection, rumination, etc. 

What is one thing you didn’t know (or fully understand) about what coaches do before you got into coaching?

I did not know all the behind-the-scenes work my coach (Beausoleil) put in. Small D3 school — the man would do all our laundry on a nightly basis. If there was rain the night before, he was working on the field at 5 am so we had a chance to play. All the hours spent away from his family, that was spent on us or recruiting. My appreciation for all coaches grew when I became one.

The other thing is all the small details our sport provides. Coaches always mention small details that most players are oblivious too. As a coach, I have now seen how one small detail can impact an entire game. For example, just last year we were up one run. We were on defense, runners on first.  A ball is smoked to right center and appears to be a sure double. Our center fielder hustles and is able to cut it off. He gets it in quick and keeps it to a first and third. Instead of the runner scoring and the game-winning run on second. The next hitter comes up (still one out) rolls over into a double play. We end up winning a huge conference game because of that one small detail play. 

Best career or work advice you ever received.

“Always Listen, you never know what you might pick up.” I was told by an infield mentor of mine at a summer showcase. I was a young coach who thought he knew it all. I was standing next to the coach and I told him I don’t agree with him. He nodded and said, although you may not agree, always listen, you never know what you might pick up.” Words I have lived by ever since especially for the ABCA conventions

Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?

I would say Bobby Cox. I was a huge Braves fan growing up. I just love how every one of his players admired and loved him. Not to mention the level of consistency it takes to win 14 straight NL east pennants. 

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