In the world of college baseball, August is both the culmination of the previous years’ hard work and a fresh start. It is the former because the foundation of returning players who understand routines and expectations is already in place. It is the former because a year of recruiting pays off in the abundance of new faces. It is the latter because coaches can change and create expectations. It is the latter because the potential of this brand new group of athletes is unlimited. Individuals can improve, and the group can click like none have before.
In August, anything can happen, and there are six months to make it happen (nine months if the team has the tenacity to peak late). August is full of hope and anticipation.
For a college baseball coach’s wife, August is about meeting new players and forming new bonds while welcoming back returners with open arms. It is a time for a clean slate, to welcome players back with excitement. Yes, even the knuckleheads. After all, two months of summer can bring many changes for a twenty-year-old young man—for better or worse.
While the coaching staff works to weed out the weak and identify the tough, I work to make players feel welcome and at home. I greet them with smiles and study names. I bake. I prepare our home for team dinners. I let the excitement run wild now because I know every year is a rollercoaster of its own, and you have to cherish the highs while you have them.