3rds Coach – Matt Taylor

Baseball Experience, playing and coaching

First played at 18 in the Goulburn Valley prior to playing with Melbourne Uni then moved to a start-up team with RMIT. I also played winter with Monash Uni and Sandy when we had a winter team and recently at Dingley. I have played baseball year round starting at Sandy in about 2001 / 2002 with most of the time in the 2nds and 3rds.
I coached the RMIT team at the University Games for two years had stints at Sandy coaching the under 14s and under 16 teams plus the Sandy winter team coach and also helped out at various times coaching the 3rds where I am now.

Best tip a coach gave you growing up.

The saying “Practice makes perfect” is wrong, Perfect practice makes perfect.
In other words train with the same intensity as you would take to a game and it will carry over.

What’s your main philosophy when coaching a team.

Given my late entry into the game of baseball I don’t have a lot of experience in the technical side of the game so my aim is more around participation and learning to play the game the right way (respect your opponent, the game and your club in the way you go about things).

Who is a great role model for young players?

Not Bieber:).  Hard to say as I have no idea who the younger guys are relating too but for me I would push guys that have stories about coming back from adversity, there is always a lesson about the physical endurance and mental strength it takes to get back to the top. While there are a lot that have done it harder I know of Jon Lester’s story being a Red Sox fan. Drafted in 2002 he made his debut in June 2006 for the Red Sox but later that season was diagnosed with cancer (a treatable lymphoma). He had chemo during the off season and then had to start over again, starting in A, then AAA and eventually the bigs again in July 2007. Later that season he was the winning pitcher in the clinching game of the World Series – only the third pitcher in World Series history to win the clinching game in his first career post season start (I got that one from Wikipedia).

The thing I like the most is that in 2011 he started doing charity work raising money for Cancer research at the centre where he received treatment and soon after established a charity supporting children with cancer.

Something closer to home, AFL, I would recommend the doco that was done behind the scenes of Menzel recovering from 4 knee reconstructions.

What brought you to Sandringham Baseball Club?

After my Uni days I moved from the northern suburbs to Sandy a couple of streets over from the club. I was walking along Tulip Street one day, noticed a game of baseball being played and wandered over for a look. Long story short, chased a foul ball over Tulip Street, threw it back to the pitcher, a few minutes later had Mark Souter (aka Axe) introducing himself and a couple of hours later was pitching in the Fourths. That was about 13-14 years ago I think.

Team you support in the MLB & AFL.

Everything Boston or New England when it comes to US sports.
For AFL, I am a lifetime Hawthorn supporter (20 years a member).

An interesting fact not many people would know about you?

I don’t have any so I will go with something boring and pointless. I have been to Fenway Park 7 or 8 times and have never seen the Red Sox win. I have seen the Red Sox play on the road a few times and they have not lost.

Matt Taylor