Head Coach, Todd Butler
Team: Witcha State, Schockers
Experience: 27 Seasons at Collegiate Level
SKLZ: What does your fall ball schedule look like?
COACH: We begin individual work August 18-September 13. We are allowed 4 players at a time for 2 hours per week baseball skill instruction. September 14-October 28 we are allowed a 45-day window to scrimmage and practice a total of 27 days. From November 1-25 we are allowed skill instruction during this month and we are hitting the weight room hard at this time.
COACH: We are currently lifting three times per week and maintaining our strength in the weight room. We are allowed 20 hours per week of practice with no more than four hours per day. We stretch daily on practice days at 1:45pm. The practice schedules begin with individual defense than individual offense and team defense then base running and conditioning for our pitchers and position players. We scrimmage five times per week and practice once per week with a mandatory day off per 7 days.
SKLZ: Schedule of fall ball game(s)?
COACH: September 14-October 28; we scrimmage three days in a row on a five-day rotation. We will have 22-24 scrimmages during this time period.
SKLZ: How is off-season training / preparation different from in-season?
COACH: Fall ball is different than the spring season. We are not allowed to play outside competition unless we count them as part of our 56 games in the spring season. Therefore, we are teaching and developing our team with all of the small details.
SKLZ: How does that preparation differ between pitchers and position players?
COACH: Pitchers have a specialized strength coach and our position players have another strength coach. We specialize in maintenance during our practice season of September 14-October 28. Following our team practice we begin to hit the weight room and swimming pool hard for strength and weight gain.
COACH: Our expectations for our team are to work smart daily and have fun improving each day. Building a team bond is important but also difficult in the fall due to no competition verses outside team competition.
SKLZ: What advice do you give to new players joining your program on preparing to play at the collegiate level?
COACH: I tell our incoming freshmen to bring a positive attitude and effort daily. I want our young players to become coachable in the trust of development in all aspects of their daily life (i.e. classroom attendance, weight room, study hall, baseball field, off the field).
SKLZ: What tangibles and intangibles do you look for in players when you’re recruiting?
COACH: The better the student the quicker the learner. Student athletes that apply themselves in the classroom and baseball field are accountable and trustworthy in their diligent work to become complete student athletes on and off the field.
SKLZ: Please tell us about your most memorable coaching moment.
COACH: 1997 coaching at The University of Alabama and playing for a National Championship and 2009 coaching at The University of Arkansas and winning a super regional at Tallahassee verses Florida State and then advancing to the College World Series.