Johnson changing team’s mindset

Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 02:34 PM.

The night included, among other things, physical training sessions, drills to rescue a downed pilot, players serving turns on night watch and the team watching the classic Clint Eastwood movie, “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”

Many of the activities came from Johnson’s military days.

“Basically, what we need is when the umpire points to the batter and says, ‘Play ball,’ we know that we have nine soldiers on the field, nine players that are going to play as hard as they can play,” he said. “They are going to do everything the right way. And if they don’t do it the right way, they are going to do it as hard as they can and learn from their mistakes.”

Johnson, who was most recently at Choctaw and has coached at other large schools and at the junior college level, likes what he has seen from the Gators.

He has been most impressed by the players’ willingness to ask questions as they digest the new drills he’s installing with the program.

“One of the things I like about these kids is there is a lot of automatic feedback,” he said. “A lot of the things we do, at bigger schools, the players have done travel ball and they take those things for granted. Well here, the kids have never heard those things and they do a good job of picking up on them.

“What we consider the littlest thing is something these guys have never heard of and they jump all over it and they listen. They are getting a lot of stuff thrown at them and I’m going to be excited to see how it turns out.”



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