Johnson changing team’s mindset

Baker baseball

Scott Johnson demonstrates the proper swing for handling a pitch in the strike zone’s upper inside portion during Friday’s practice.

RANDY DICKSON | News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 02:34 PM.

BAKER — Scott Johnson’s first offseason as the new Baker baseball coach has finally ended.

With the official start of preseason practice last week, Johnson got his team on the field for a crash course in the Gators’ new way of playing baseball.

The week concluded Saturday with an overnighter that started with 3 p.m. practice Friday afternoon.

“We’ve done the overnight thing at Mount Dora in Orlando, we did it in Georgia at Harris County and we did it three years at Choctawhatchee High School,” Johnson said. “It builds some camaraderie. What the guys understand is baseball has to mean something to them.

“If we gave them today off, a lot of these kids, under normal circumstances, would be sitting at the house or in the woods or something. Now, they have to be here practicing baseball just during baseball season. It brings everybody closer together and we learn a lot.”

The overnighter was more than a giant sleepover at the school. Every aspect of the 20-hour event had a specific purpose in teaching players to work with each other and strengthen the Gators’ bond.

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