Ep. #20: Lou Colon- Drew University Coach/ Infield Instructor
Join Evan and Lou Colon, Drew University Coach and Infield Instructor, as Lou provides insight into his baseball journey, college coaching and passion for the game. Lou shares ways Infielders may take their game to the next level and so much more!
What You’ll Learn:
01:20 Lou’s youth baseball story
04:39 His journey to Professional Baseball
09:35 Coaching at the college level
16:09 Tight V and creating efficiency when throwing
17:35 Tips to increasing throwing velocity
24:18 Tips for executing the slow roller play
25:46 Ways an infielder can increase range and cover more ground
27:22 Reading the spin on the ball
27:22 Insight into the College recruitment process
27:22 What makes a Player stand out?
36:09 Lou’s popular infield clinics
Thank you for being here with us! Evan and the Born To Baseball Team are looking forward to celebrating your success and sharing this journey together.
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Now, let’s play ball!
Read show notes here.
YouTube: Coach Lou Colon
Born To Baseball Links:
Episode 020_LOU COLON_DREW UNIVERSITY COACH_INFIELD INSTRUCTOR
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Calling all ballplayers. Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Were you born to baseball? Then bring it in. it's game time.
Hey guys, and welcome to the born to baseball podcast. I'm Evan. And today we have Lou Colon joining us. Lou played three seasons professionally with the Baltimore Orioles organization, and played two seasons of professional winter ball in Puerto Rico. He's currently the first assistant coach, recruiting coordinator, fielding and hitting coach for the Rangers at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. I'm super excited to be here with you at Drew University. It's such a beautiful campus.
Lou Colon 1:07
Thank you, Evan, I am excited that you're here. And I just want to thank you personally for attending all my clinics, and doing so well in them.
Your clinics were great. And thank you so much for talking with me today.
Lou Colon 1:19
Of course, of course.
So yeah, I'm going to jump right into it. I want to start off with your baseball journey. What age did you start playing baseball and what was your youth baseball experience like?
Lou Colon 1:30
Oh my gosh, I started I guess I started playing organized baseball, I would say I guess seven or eight years old playing t-ball baseball. It was a lot different back then than it is now. I think, I think I played more with my friends then the organized part. I think today the kids, if there's not a coach or if it's not so structured kids kind of back off on it or won't practice or play. But back then we, any time, any moment, any sunny day, and if we had a couple of baseballs or even with three players, we would just play baseball. But as far as playing organized, I would say about seven or eight years old playing for Franklin Township Little League t-ball.
Yeah.That that first part and playing with friends too. It's what makes you love the game more.
Lou Colon 2:26
Yeah. 100% I think when you, when you play with your friends, you start to understand what competition is, right? You're trying to be a, trying to make a better catch then your best friend or trying to hit the ball farther than your best friend. It's healthy competition. There's not that coach kind of telling you Hey, you have to do it this way, you have to do it that way. You're just playing and you're trying to compete against your friends.
Yeah, that motivation too, just to beat one another. What was baseball like for you in high school?
Lou Colon 3:01
High School. We um, It was good. I was um, I played varsity. I started playing third base my freshman year and our shortstop, our varsity shortstop made four errors. The first two games so they brought me up to varsity. We didn't have great seasons my first three years but our senior year we were mid-state conference champs
Lou Colon 3:27
Yes, thank you. It took a lot to get there because we, believe me we'ds taken our beatings but that was um, I still remember that lineup and that team for sure.
No, I hear a lot of players they also grow and really mature during that time. It's definitely a good time for that.
Lou Colon 3:44
Yeah. You learn your, it reveals your character when you lose. And so that's, that's part of it for sure.
What adjustments did you have to make when going from high school to college baseball?
Lou Colon 4:02
So that's a great question. So every jump the game gets faster. Okay, so as an infielder you have to be more efficient. Alright, so I think the the biggest jump from from high school to college was in high school I could take my time as a shortstop. I could take my time making that throw across but in college these kids are bigger and faster. So I had to learn ways to be, to play smarter and take better angles. But um, yeah, that's, the biggest adjustment the game just overall gets faster.
Can you walk us through your journey to professional baseball?
Lou Colon 4:43
Sure. I played college at Fort Myers Junior College in Florida. So a kid from Somerset, New Jersey, central jersey. I think the reason I got into baseball and playing it at that level, was my, my parents, my dad did not play baseball, didn't even understand the game. In fact, my my dad grew up in Puerto Rico, loved boxing, boxing, loved boxing, and that was a great, legitimate volleyball player in Puerto Rico. My mother used to watch the professional winter league games in Puerto Rico. So my mother was the one who got me into baseball. And ironically enough, when we moved to New Jersey, the house that my dad purchased was right next to Franklin Township Little League baseball field. So my backyard Evan, four open baseball fields. So when I would wake up in the morning, I'd see four open baseball fields. And it goes back to the point we spoke earlier is, all we did every summer was play baseball, just play baseball, baseball, and I grew a love for it. Even though my dad didn't understand the game. It helped me. And the reason I say that circling back to your question is, that my last pro seasons were actually winter ball in Puerto Rico. So my mother actually got to see me play in Puerto Rico, when she would see all the others. So that was, that was a great moment for me. So that, that's kind of briefly my story. But I played at a junior college in in Florida Fort Myers Junior College. Back then they had two drafts. They had a fall Draft, I signed as a free agent, and didn't play professionally long. I was always a great fielder, but I couldn't, I just couldn't hit at that level, I couldn't hit at that level. So I knew that God put me on earth to be a coach to develop infielders and demonstrate my passion for it.
Now, that's an awesome passion.
Lou Colon 6:48
So how did you feel when you like signed that contract that you were going to play professional baseball?
Lou Colon 6:56
Nervous nervousness, right? Again, when you're, when you sign as a free agent, when you're not drafted, you're typically filling a spot of a kid who was, who didn't sign on the draft. So you really have to, you really have to perform right away. So, lots of pressure. I knew I could, I knew I could play defensively at that level. But I knew early on, hitting was a struggle for me. So I always kind of, when I was on the field I was relaxed. But when I was batting, I was a little bit nervous and had anxiety. So but the overall, I think the overall experience, the relationships that you built with the players are quite, you know, obviously, the fondest of memories for me.
Yeah, the relationships are the things you cherish, and you've take in forever.
Lou Colon 7:46
Sure, of course,
What were some of the most important things you learned while playing in the minor leagues?
Lou Colon 7:52
Um, great question, um, how to deal and cope with favor, with failure, rather. And what are you going to do about it? You know, it's all on you. You know, it's, I have this saying to my players F.I.O. (figure it out). You know, if I made if I made an error or two I would, I would, you know, what am I going to do about it? You know, it's my career, it's my responsibility. So I would work harder, you know, talk to the coaches and ask what I needed to improve upon or what do you see? But learning, ownership, accountability and responsibility on your actions?
Yeah, those are those are great lessons there.
Lou Colon 8:34
I know, you talked about how your, your mom used to always watch the, the Puerto Rican winter ball, those games. But how did the opportunity to play in the liga de beisbol profesional come up?
Lou Colon 8:49
They had a, they had, I was released from the Orioles. I went over there. They had open tryouts. And I tried out and, and I made the team for sure. Yeah.
Oh, that is awesome. And yeah, you mentioned your mother was able to watch you on TV, that had to be special.
Lou Colon 9:06
Yeah, she actually watched me in person. Because she went to Puerto Rico and I played for Santurce. And she, it brought tears to her eyes, you know, because as, when she was a young lady she'd watch, and she saw her son play so that, that meant a lot to me. Yeah.
That's that's really special.
Lou Colon 9:25
You've had experienced coaching at the high school and college level. What's been unique about coaching at the college level?
Lou Colon 9:35
Great question. college level it's a it's a process because you're recruiting these kids, right, So you're, I treat them as my, my kids. Okay, see your um, you may recruit them as sophomores and juniors in high school. You're following them during their summer, summer seasons, you're, you're constantly communicating back and forth via email via text. How are doing in school? There are lots of layers and responsibility on both ends. And then once they get on campus now you're, you're watching them in development for another four years. So, with high school, you know, I was the head coach at Franklin High School. So sometimes although you're responsible for the full program, you're typically coaching the varsity kids. So with college, it's, it's just a huge commitment. Athletically personally, and with the family. Yeah.
And that has to be a good time, bonding with those players. And really, and I like how you said, it's almost like a family there.
Lou Colon 10:43
We do, we do a good job here. I feel, at Drew University, building relationships and building that family program. We um, if our kids are struggling academically, we have mechanisms in place. Mandatory study hall, or you know, they all have to have a certain GPA, of course, to play at the NCAA level, but we exceed the standard.
That's, that's awesome.
In 2014, after you joined the Rangers coaching staff, the Rangers ranked first in the landmark conference in fielding percentage, and committed the least amount of errors in the league. That's, that's pretty incredible.
Lou Colon 11:21
Thank you. I'm, I'm proud of that accomplishmen.t We've been, we've been doing very well, the kids are, are committed to that standard. They work hard, that's probably 10% me and 90% of the players.
What were some of the changes you made and also the players to get to that level?
Lou Colon 11:44
A system, a system that they... you have to you have the players to believe in first, okay, Believe in the coach and believe in the system and see results like anything, right. So I love, I feel that baseball players are creatures of habit, right? They, they, you know, they're into routines, whether it's from the things they do in the morning to at night to till they go to sleep. So we put a system in place in our practice plans, a lot of isolation work. If when we practice six days a week we'll, four of those days, Evan we'll do isolation and drill work. And two days we'll do mass ground balls so it's more feel work. So the ISO days, today's an ISO day, we'll you know, we'll focus on possibly, maybe just handwork, isolation and handwork, you know, and then tomorrow, we may isolate the footwork. And then mass days, we kinda just put it all together. And we take a lot of video. We, we do a lot of video breakdown, you know sometimes when you're, when you're working with an infielder, and you tell him Hey, Evan, you know, you're not getting low, get in your legs more. And the player may feel that he's getting low, but when he sees it on videos,he's like oh my gosh, you're right. I'm not getting low. So I, we break, we do a lot of video work with our players individually. And we compete, we compete in our practices as well.
video, it's a great tool to help get better and have those players see like you said what they're doing wrong and help them adjust.
Lou Colon 13:19
The drew Rangers have consistently been at the top in fielding percentage since you started there. How do you coach to maintain that performance even with new rosters each year?
Lou Colon 13:31
That's also a great question Evan, you're crushing it with the questions today.
Lou Colon 13:37
So again, it goes back to having a system in place. So when my, my seniors and juniors actually coach the freshmen and sophomores because they're used to the system. So it's, it's amazing. Sometimes they'll finish my sentences, you know, and say, hey, what Coach means is this, this and this. And typically the first, a typical freshman that comes into our system, a shortstop, the first three months of practice, he is overwhelmed. He is overwhelmed with all this information. And we tell them hey, just survive your freshman year everything you learn your freshman year, you're going to take into that summer, we're going to place you in the summer, a competitive summer league, and you're going to start feeling it the next, your sophomore year in the fall. It happens all the time. The kid you know, we, we recruit, we recruit athletes and, and good players. But once they, they're in our system, we teach them how to be more efficient right. To understand, you know the spin of the ball, the speed of the ball, the flight of the ball, how to be efficient with your arm action, center exchange. All these small micro movements that collectively just make a better infielder.
No, having, having the systems in place, systems can be amazing to creating a player and how they operate, it can just either keep them at the same level or boost them to the next level.
Lou Colon 15:10
Yeah, for sure. You're exactly right. And that's why the results are measurable, you have to have measurable results
What do you enjoy the most about coaching?
Lou Colon 15:23
The relationships, the relationships with the, with the players, their, their success and, and their failures, right? Not every player is going to be successful, right? Not every player is going to go 4 for 4, not every player is going to field 1,000% so part of having that great feeling with moments of success is you have to have that talent, you know, you have to have moments of failure in order, you know, to feel the difference. But the relationships even now, you know, kids that have moved on to, you know, in life, you know, in jobs and just the communication back and forth. So I would say the relationship with the players.
That's, that's great. I've gone to a number of your infield clinics, and I've definitely learned a lot from them. I know you teach the importance of having a tight v after you field the ball. Would you explain what a tight V is and the importance of it?
Lou Colon 16:26
Sure, a tight V is simply bringing your throwing hand closer to your body kind of in a V shaped position. And that is the strongest position you want to be prior to throwing. If you're and again, I'm just demonstrating with my hand here. But if you're if your arm is outside your body, it's kind of akin to if you're lifting weights, right, if you're lifting weights, you're curling your hands tight, right? If you're lifting weights and your arms are straight or out, you're not going to have that integrity or that strength. So getting to that center exchange, it's either called a tight V, I call it your slot before you throw. And that's going to be the most efficient way to throw as an infielder.
See I know you've said it keeps you healthy, and you have to be healthy to be out there on the field every day.
Lou Colon 17:19
Yeah, baseball players throw every day, play 162 games 180 days, so they have to throw every day.
Can you share one or two tips for older players to help them work on increasing their throwing velocity across the diamond?
Lou Colon 17:35
Great question. Um, long toss, understanding how the ball moves, the flight of the ball, if you're, if you're a shortstop, you want to have 12/6 spin. 12/6 spin is kind of just really good backspin on the ball. And in order to do that, it has a lot to do with your throwing mechanics, right. Getting to that tight v, being short in the beginning, but long at the end, creating length and whip and looseness at the end that will, that will increase the flight and the pace of the ball. But you have to work on it. You have to work on it. I was just having this conversation with, with a player this morning. We were working on slow rollers, two hands to his right side. And I asked him Well, we'll how often do you work on this particular play? And he goes, coach maybe I don't know, maybe once every two weeks. Well, like what is the expectation of success if you only work on it, just once in two weeks. So you know let's let's come up with a routine or if this is a play that you're challenged with, let's put it, make it part of our, our practice plan, our sustainable practice plan. So now, you're gonna be one of the top players making that play simply because you're working on it every day. Your body understands it and now it becomes habit.
What would you say are some of the key things an infielder should work on every day to help them become fundamentally sound?
Lou Colon 19:09
I always, if you focus on three things, I tell infielders that if you focus on three things, moving with great posture, moving athletically. Having a clean catch point. Alright, securing that ball off your index finger, right into your control hand, out in front where you could see the ball and glove, bringing it to center exchange with thumbs down. Everything else will work. The dots will connect. The dots will connect those three simple things, if you work on those things. You will be fine. You'll be fine.
Do those things change at all when you go from the size of the field being like 50/70 everything's close to when you get older. 13 teenage years and above to that 60/90 field.
Lou Colon 19:55
No it's, it's, again, the change the consistant change as you get older will be the speed of the game. Okay, so think about it when you're swinging a bat. If, if you have a really good swing, if a pitcher throws harder, do you change your swing? Do you change your swing speed? No, it's the same swing, you just get there a better timing. And as an infielder, it's all about as you move up, it's all about efficiency, okay, it's it's now maybe in high school the kid is, you have to, when the ball is hit, from the contact of the bat to when the first baseman catches the ball, typical high school or college is 4.2 seconds. If you want to play pro baseball, you have to get that ball over there in 3.9 seconds. So we have to find ways to kind of take shortcuts and be more efficient. Right. So now we're, what's the definition of efficiency, right? Maybe more straight lines instead of long, you know, kind of curved lines. Better angles, right? Minimize those long actions with our arms and shoulders. The kind of things we went over in our clinic. And now we're, we're playing, we're practicing smarter to kind of catch up to that speed. So now Yes, I can, I can throw that left handed batter that gets down the line with that time if I use this footwork. You know if I'm if I'm consistent with our center separation, and I'm in a good throwing slot every time
Those key things you work on. Just they help you stay fresh and make those routine plays.
Lou Colon 21:31
In your opinion, what's more important for an infielder? Good Hands or Good Feet?
Lou Colon 21:39
Oh my gosh, that's I've never been asked that question. That's, that is a great question. Um, oh my gosh. Geez, that's tough. I would say. I would say, Man, you got me there. I would say hands I guess. They're so, both, both components are so important. I would say hands because there are going to be times when you're not going to use your feet. Let's say you're playing infield in. Right. And there's a hard hit ball right to you, you know, where you can't adjust your footwork or you can't move your feet, you have to just trust your hands. So I would say having soft hands understanding how to use your your wrist as a hinge and your elbow as a hinge. And, and yeah, I would say hands
The hands. They're, they're crucial and just being able to field a ground ball and the reaction time
Lou Colon 22:35
For sure. For sure.
I actually mentioned to you last week that the first time I'd ever heard the term heel toe roll was at one of your infield clinics. Can you share what heel toe roll is and why you see it and a lot of guys sure.
Lou Colon 22:53
So heel toe roll is your, your shortstop right handed throwing shortstop, the heel toe roll is your left, the landing of your left foot. Okay, oftentimes infielders when, their approach to the ball is, they get stuck, their both feet are flat. Okay. If you look at pro infielders, really focus on the relationship of when the ball makes contact with the glove and how the left foot heel toe works. Kind of like how we walk right, when we walk, we could walk heel toe, heel toe, heel toe, heel toe. well, why wouldn't we want that same action, that same fluidity going through. So we'll preset, we'll have some preset drills where we'll have the left toe up and kind of just heel toe roll. And that's going to keep your momentum, just going to press through the ball. And now when coaches see a play, they'll say well that kid has good action, he plays through the ball instead of getting stuck and having two parts to throw.
After I heard you say that in one of your clinics, I went and now every time I watch an MLB guy, I always see it and it's something, it's like, and I would never see it before because I wasn't aware of it. So
Lou Colon 24:11
There you go.
What drills do you do with your players to help them execute like the slow roller play?
Lou Colon 24:18
Slow roller play. We'll do a lot of, that's a great question. A lot of ISO drills. There are so many versions of the slow roller right, there's the barehand slow roller, there's the come get it two hand slow roller. We try to keep it consistent with that slow roller. One of our rules are If the ball is bouncing, kind of a slow roller bouncer and the ball is above your knee we typically field that with two hands to center exchange separation if the ball is approaching you below your knee, we'll field it with one hand. So the constants are, the constants are ball security out in front, bring it to center exchange and be athletic, be athletic. One of the things we, we really push on our players is, I don't want them thinking mechanics when they're fielding. I tell him just be athletic. In fact, there's two personalities when I coach, and my players will tell you, during practice, I'm a little bit more stern, a little bit more tough. And in the games, it's just fun time. Is it just fun time. I'm a totally different person in the games, because my job, practice time is my time. My job is to, to make sure they are prepared. So I'm a little bit more forceful and stern and practices but in the games, it's just fun time. Hey, let's have fun today, lets win, Let's win.
I love the way you think.
Lou Colon 25:44
What are some things an infielder can practice to increase their range and cover more ground?
Lou Colon 25:52
Footwork, footwork, understanding footwork patterns. Often times, when kids practice both youth and in high school and I see it in the college level, their practice regimen is just simply ground balls, you know, within their fielding radius, okay, maybe with five yards, five yards to the left, five yards to the right. So there's, there's no adjustability there. Okay, so I like placing cones, you know, I say alright, we're gonna, we're gonna extend this cone now. Instead of a forehand play to your left it's going to be a reach forehand play to your left where you have to, instead of replacing your feet, you have to crossover with good posture. And, you know, use your hinges to get in the right throwing position. So I'll, I'll challenge my players and place cones so we're isolating their footwork and they understand well, yes, now I can make that 5/6 hole play if I use this footwork pattern, instead of this other footwork pattern.
Footwork, it helps you get to the ball, create good angles, and really be comfortable when you're out there.
Lou Colon 26:57
Sure, and the mind, you know, it's, it sounds very basic, but the mind will remember things. Okay. And if you if you did it 20 times, you know, three weeks ago, you're going to make that play in the game. Right? Bbut if you've never ever practiced that play, you're probably going to make the play, but your throw may not be there, there may be one component of that play you're not going to complete.
What can you tell us about reading the spin on a ground ball and trying to get the good hop?
Lou Colon 27:28
You've been listening at my clinics huh? Spin on the ball. Typically, kids, when they're reading the approaching ball, they will read the flight of the ball and the speed of the ball. But oftentimes, they will not read the spin of the ball. So what does that mean? On a top spin ground ball, the ball will repeat it's hop, repeat it's hop. That's why you see a lot of big leaguers they'll field with one hand and that youth coach will say, well, that player is doing that because he's a big leaguer. He's super talented. Well, yeah, that's a player I want to see because I want to be a big leaguer. So I want if he's doing something, he's obviously doing something right and he's talented. So on that top spin ball, it will repeat it's hop and kind of die at the end. So that's the ball, you can come in, field it with one hand, with two hands. Where in contrast, that backspin ball on the first hop, it will check, the second hop it will reverse spin. And that's a lot of kind of bites you. You ever feel that ground ball, you think it's a perfect ball and it kind of gets on you quickly. So that's why it's important to read spin because it's going to help you with the approach to the ball.
We hear a lot about the importance of a pitcher-catcher relationship, but in your opinion, how important is the relationship between middle infielders?
Lou Colon 28:44
Huge, huge... we have, we have about six shifts with our infielders. So, when you get to the college level and the pro-level, even in now, I would say it's in the high school level, there's so much more going on. Okay we, they have about three checks, right. My infielders are looking at me in the dugout and I will tell them the speed of the runner, right, if i do one, it's a fast runner, two, it's an average runner, three, it's a slow runner. I will give them a shift. We have a.... now I'm gonna give you my secrets. We have a, we have a shift called Oregon, where we're shifting pull side right handed batter. Alright, so over 80% of ground balls to third base, third baseman are typically right handed pull batters. Alright, so we're gonna have that first baseman move over, but the infielders are, I will call the speed of the runner I will call the play, the shift and I will call the depth. So the depth is the distance, how deep they are. So my infield, my middle infield guys are not only communicating with each other, but they're always giving, they're also given signs to the outfield with the shifts. There's a lot, there's a lot going on. There's a lot going on within those, those 15 seconds, you know, 15 to 20 seconds that the pitcher has to throw the ball.
It's a whole different level in college. It's, it just gets that much faster as you said and things, the little things get more important.
Lou Colon 30:14
100%... I mean, think about it. We talked about, we talked a little bit about prep step, not here but in the camp, in the clinic. And in a typical game, you're going to pre pitch or prep step about 150 times for possibly, Evan, receiving maybe four to six ground balls. So the, sometimes the mind wanders, right, sometimes the mind wanders in between prep-steps so you have to be super focused and not miss, miss a pitch.
Yeah, staying focused, being able to be on task. You're there. And if you truly love it, it's gonna be fun
Lou Colon 30:55
I want to talk a bit about the college recruiting process. So what do you look for when you're recruiting and scouting an infielder?
Lou Colon 31:06
So Drew Universiy is um, we're considered kind of a high academic school. So grades are number one. So you have to have good grades. One advice that I would give most kids out there, get good grades, you will simply be more recruitable with good grades. There's more academic scholarships, more funds out there allocated for academics and then there are for for athletics. So we're division three and in the ivy League's, we do not offer athletic scholarships. So most of our kids here are on some type of merit, or academic scholarship. So the grades are important for us to get in. And then we of course, like any other school, we look at their athletic athletic ability. We have a recruiting board, so we know how many shortstops we need for 2022, 2023. We know how many pitchers how many first basemen. We don't, we don't try to over recruit. We try to commit to our board and the kids we're recruiting and there's different levels. There's, there's little interest, there's high interest, and we'll track these kids. It's typically hard to watch these kids during the high school season because we're in our season. Right. So we will go out in the summer and watch a couple of their their travel teams. And yeah, we, we, it's an overwhelming process for kids in the recruiting process. But I would... one of the things that I that I see trending is so many kids are focused more on marketing themselves. Right? They all have these Twitter pages and everything and, and instead of focusing on your development and your grades, alright. You don't need to have a Twitter page and have 10 million followers, you know, believe me coaches know. They'll say yeah, he can play, he can play at this level. Alright. So I would, you know, tell kids to hey, continue to to achieve academic success. Continue your development, and then focus on your recruiting after that.
That's, that's great insight. So, what qualities make a player stand out above the rest?
Lou Colon 33:32
He has to... that's also a great question. And that's where the the development comes in. Okay. There are so many recruiting events, right. There's PBR. There are all these recruiting events all over the country. And oftentimes, you may have about 30 college coaches there from Division one, Division Two, Division Three, NAIA, junior college. And these coaches are there all day. These coaches are there from eight o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the afternoon. Okay. And when you're watching about 200 players, right, after a while, they kind of all look the same, right? Kind of a blur, like this line. So you have to have something plus, something that's going to give them a plus or a check, whether it's your running speed, you're faster and everyone else, right. Whether it's your arm strength, you know, whether it's your range, whether it's your plus power. You know, those, those are typical tools that college recruiters look at right away. That's the immediate, Alright! He caught my eye. So you have to work on that. Right? You've been training all your life for possibly, maybe a two hour event.
Lou Colon 34:48
Right. And often, oftentimes kids are, kids are, you know, their, their training is um, they're kind of focusing on the basic stuff, basic stuff instead of well... I need to focus on how to relax in these events and execute my natural ability. Oftentimes, you know, these kids, I see them and they're, they're nervous. There's a lot of pressure, their parents are there, this is, I've been waiting all year for this. So part of training is understanding how to perform in front of pressure situations, how do I breathe? How do I relax? You know, how can I play the way I practice? And, you know, how does this surface when accounts,
Mindset, it also plays a huge role in everything really.
Lou Colon 35:31
Would you be open to coaching or joining the coaching staff of a big league organization in the future?
Lou Colon 35:40
That, that's a, that's, that's one of my goals. That's one of my goals. I'm working on that. There are people working on that for me as well. So we'll see. We'll see what happens.
Now, I hope you get that opportunity.
Lou Colon 35:53
I appreciate that. So do I.
So I want to talk about your infield clinics quickly. So you work with at least a couple hundred kids a week at your clinics. How did the idea of putting on infield clinics and filming them come about?
Lou Colon 36:09
So I always, I would run my Drew infield clinic here all the time, every year, once a year. Last year, well, prior to COVID, the year before, we had tremendous success. We had about 100 kids here, and just parents reaching out to me. I've always trained kids all year, I've always trained... when I was a head high school coach prior to college, I ran camps there. And it was fun for me. You know, it wasum... People always ask me, you know, put more stuff out there, you know, on my social media pages. It's almost like a, coaches use it, you know, because I can, I think because there's no bells and whistles. I can train a seven year old kid, you know, on a Tuesday afternoon and train a 17 year old prospect that a coach sent me to work on a Wednesday afternoon, okay. And it's, I could be training let's say slow rollers, right? I can be training the same thing. But you know, the language is different. Right? And the way you communicate, right, there's... I always say there's, there's people who communicate and there's people who connect. Okay, because kids will often forget what you tell them. Kids will often forget what you did for them. But kids will never forget how you made them feel. Kids will never forget how you made them feel. That's why we play baseball. Because at some point on a baseball field, you had a good feeling.
Yeah, all the time.
Lou Colon 37:40
Whether it's a good play, or otherwise, why would you play? Why would you play something that's not a good feeling? Right. So that's, so when kids come to my camp, you know, I hope they have a good feeling and that's why they come back. When kids train, they have a good feeling and they want more, they want more. But that's what got me into it. I love, I have a passion. You know, I tell people every day, two things I am every day is lucky and grateful. Lucky and grateful. You know I get a chance to make a difference every day. It's a constant, a daily great dream. I'm gonna wake up tomorrow, It's gonna be another great day. I look forward to this day. I'm blessed every day.
Lou Colon 38:18
I have to plug your YouTube channel because I think your videos are a must see if you're an infielder who's serious about playing at a high level. So the channel is coach Lou Colon. So listeners Definitely be sure to check it out
Lou Colon 38:33
Coach Lou Colon 24,
sorry about that.
Lou Colon 38:36
I have a few quick questions before we wrap up. So first, what's your favorite type of ground ball to field?
Lou Colon 38:44
Favorite type of ground ball is the short hop. Low topspin short hop. A lot of kids will say the the shelf, the kind of, the topspin shelf hop but I like the, the feeling of securing that ball and playing through it on the short hop. Two inch short hop.
Who are your favorite two infielders, one from the past and one who plays currently?
Lou Colon 39:05
Omar Vizquel was my favorite, my favorite infielder. He was he was amazing. Lindor, Lindor. If you watch Lindor play, when I'm doing a lesson or I'll break down Lindor's, fielding mechanics. He is, I think he is probably one of the best sound infielders mechanically in the big leagues right now. He is, if you want to study an infielder from a pasture, to tight V position, to band separation, to glove tilt, to everything. He's a great infielder to study.
Yeah, both of those, those infielders, they're incredible.
Lou Colon 39:47
And last but not least, I know you talked about how the passion and the love for the game makes you really want to continue what does that really mean to you?
Lou Colon 40:03
I want to do this for the rest of my life. This is what I do. This is what God put me on earth to do. To teach baseball. So, day by day, day by day, you know, tomorrow, I know I have my schedule. I have my lessons and practice. And if I'm not doing private lessons or clinics, I have my responsibilities, my responsibilities here at Drew University. And this is, this is what I want to do. My faith is in God. So whatever he has planned for me.
Lou Colon 40:35
Well, Coach Lou, thank you so much for coming on today. It was it was truly a pleasure.
Lou Colon 40:40
Well, thankyou for having me and much success and congratulations on your podcast.
Thank you so much.
Lou Colon 40:47
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