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Coaches Corner: Q&A with Mario Martinez



A leader known for his dedication and passion for the game, Coach Mario boasts a history of fostering success on the field. In the 2023 season, his 10U team reached an impressive #34 ranking, even achieving a perfect game.


Mario's commitment extends beyond a single team, as he currently coaches both 11U and 12U teams with the 12U sneaking in at honorable mention nationally in only one season. In addition, Mario also serves as the South Director for the Houston Wildcatters.



Q: How do you adapt your coaching style to meet the needs of individual players?


MM: I'd like to say as a coach, I'm not a yeller. I'm more of a teacher/mentor towards the kids. My initial mindset is that I am getting the player ready for the next stage of their career, which is high school. While, we most definitely want to win, I don't consider it the most important item for the team. Being said, with this mindset it is my responsibility to adjust to each individual player accordingly. We are constantly working on character and holding each kid accountable according to the Wildcatters standards. 


Q: What are your thoughts on the importance of fundamentals versus advanced skills at the youth level?


MM: Fundamentals will always be worked on throughout the player's career.  From ages 3-9 I focused on basic fundamentals for a team during practice.  We were extremely successful having better basic fundamentals at those age groups.  I will always teach fundamentals to a certain extent, but from around 10 yrs and up.  Parents and the player should focus on basic fundamentals outside of a competitive team practice.  Ex:  In my opinion from 11U and up, at the Major level, a player or coach should not have to work on basic fielding fundamentals.  With my groups we have to put in plays and we are working on advanced skills.  Again, with the thought of growing each player's baseball IQ as they are getting closer to the next level.  


Q: What do you believe allows you to connect with players?


MM: I believe its my personality that allows me to connect with the kids.  As an athlete, if the players can see me as a coach do the same drills/workouts I am asking them to do.  It seems they gain a different respect and makes the player compete even more.   As a Wildcatters-Majors team we have to have them understand the importance of team and compete to push each other.  When this is accomplished, the team will get recognized.  As well as the individual who performed well during the tournament.  Baseball is a hard sport.  The more a player gets comfortable with their coach, the better player they become(from my experience.)  It also allows the player to gain trust in what we are trying to accomplish as a team and organization.  Lastly, they understand that I am truly here to get them ready for the next step of their career.






 


BIO: Coach Martinez played high school baseball and subsequently played college football at Texas Lutheran University. He began coaching baseball with the Hustle organization before moving to the Elite organization. Currently, Coach Martinez trains athletes in the realms of speed and agility via a number of different workouts and techniques.

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