Fairleigh Dickinson University – Teaneck, New Jersey
Hometown: Elmhurst, Illinois
Education: Bradley University
Email: sadkins [at] fdu.edu
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
I was drawn to MLB managers as a young kid, critiquing batting orders and pitching changes. I read Tony LaRussa’s 3 Nights in August in the 8th grade. That might have been one of the moments. Two high school coaches I played for, Phil Bodine and Dave Kalal, both showed me the impact that the game of baseball and a good coach/role model can have on young men. I was decidedly going to be a baseball coach at some level after my time playing for those two men.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
I try to make a habit of studying people in the profession that are really good at winning games and developing pitchers. I’ve made an effort to listen to and observe how successful coaches communicate with their pitchers. Pitching can be such an internal craft, so the better equipped a pitcher is with positive cues, self-talk, conviction, the better prepared they are to execute pitches. I’ve learned this is a big part of a pitching coach’s job. H.A. Dorfman’s The Mental Game of Baseball and Coaching the Mental Game of Baseball are two books that outlined for me how to train your thoughts to induce successful performance on the mound. I use principles from these books in the way I communicate with our pitchers every day.
What is your favorite memory from a coaching conference or clinic?
My first year at Siena, I went to the Inside Baseball Coaches Clinic and ran into Phil Cundari, who was at Seton Hall at the time. He introduced himself, bought me a coffee, and we talked about pitching. I just appreciated how generous he was with his time. I was still adjusting to the coaching circuit on the East Coast and he really made me feel welcome.
Best career or work advice you ever received?
“If you give 110% toward what you’re doing, you will never look back with any regrets. You’ll never wonder what if?” My dad taught and instilled this in me. I’m pleased I can look back at my playing career in that way. I want to be able to say the same about my coaching career.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Bill Belichick. The maintained level of championship success, would love to pick his brain.