Sept. 13, 2012
Follow Golden Eagle senior Chase Fowler of Cumming, Ga., as he and his baseball teammates go through individual workouts and then fall practice as they work on their quest to get back to the NCAA Tournament. Chase will write share his thoughts on Southern Miss baseball and other happenings each Thursday during the fall semester.
When I said that this team had a different vibe this year, I meant it. I have never seen a group of guys work as hard as this team has been working since the start of the semester. For the first time in my Southern Miss career, I am waking up before the sun rises and for a good reason. Taking one more step toward our goal.
Our strength and conditioning coach, Shelton Stevens, is drilling us this year and in a good way. When we had our first team meeting the day we got back to Hattiesburg and when Coach Stevens got the floor, you could tell he meant business. You could tell he was not satisfied with our performance last year and I don't blame him. We weren't satisfied either, but that's another story for another time. The first thing we heard from Shelton was that we would be having morning workouts. Great. I'm not a morning person. New year. New Challenge. Let's do it.
The first morning was the most intense workout of my entire life, yet it was only nine minutes of work. The only thing you could hear throughout the room was heaving breathing and Shelton screaming, "Let's go, FINISH!" That single word has been his theme since he arrived last year for the 2012 season. He has installed this in our minds, that in order to be successful on the field we must finish every drill and every exercise. No matter how tired and no matter how bad it hurts. Finish. That is how you get to Omaha.
The team has responded extremely well to the morning workouts. The attitude around the locker room and when we get in to the weight room is to do whatever it takes; even if it means we have to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday to do a little team conditioning. No matter what Shelton puts in front of us, we will finish, because that is the Southern Miss way. Blue collar. Hard nosed.
One Team. One Mission.
Shelton Stevens has a blog of his own with very educational pieces on how to improve your strength and conditioning. It's worth a peak when you get the chance. SheltonStevens.com.
You can also follow him on Twitter @SheltonGStevens.