By STEVEN NALLEY
Mississippi State University baseball coach John Cohen delivered a presentation to Starkville’s Rotary Club Monday, showing Rotarians how his staff and players had prepared for the season.
Before beginning his presentation, Cohen said he appreciated the Rotary Club for the example they set for the community and for his players.
“When I look around this room, all I see are folks who understand responsibility,” Cohen said.
He also joked about his affinity for PowerPoint presentations, after some Rotarians had pointed out that they knew when Cohen had arrived the moment a projection screen was set up.
“Our players say, ‘Coach, I bet you taught your daughters the facts of life with a PowerPoint presentation,’” Cohen said. “And I say, ‘Yep.’”
During the presentation, Cohen said the SEC’s baseball programs were as strong as they’ve ever been, and as such, his coaching staff had made sure to stay ahead of the conference and the country in recruiting. He also said his scouting staff would not even let rain stop them from watching other teams play and gathering the best information on them, from tendencies of pitchers to those of hitters.
“Nobody in this league is as committed to recruiting as we are,” Cohen said. “Recruiting wins games. By far and away, no one else in the country is doing more with scouting.”
As for the players, he said they had placed an emphasis on time management. He said players were working 52 hours each week, including classes, study halls, strength and conditioning, baseball practice, road trips and community service.
“I think this is why businesses and managers hire student athletes,” Cohen said. “They have to be really good at managing time.”
Cohen also said time management was important during the game itself, especially when asked after the presentation how the NCAA’s new 20-second pitch clock would affect the team. He said another change was more important.
“The 20-second clock hasn’t made that much of a difference,” Cohen said. “Between innings, the 90-second clock has made a huge difference, in my opinion.”