Connor Sheehan - Brandeis University '21/L&M Baseball 2015-2016
Though I was only a part of the L&M baseball family for two summers and one fall, I feel that I completely evolved as a ballplayer and person. Before entering the program, I was just a kid who had rough talent and did not truly know how to use my athleticism and talents. After hearing about Coach E’s program through the grapevine, I picked up the phone and asked if I could join. It was in the winter when I did this, and I was unsure if he would select me as the sign-ups had already passed; however, he welcomed me into the program with open arms and even invited me to have a one-on-one workout with him that same week.
Now I’m not gonna lie to you, Coach E surprised me with how intense the workout was, but that is what I love about his coaching style and program; nowhere else can you find premium coaching that compares to what you receive with Coach E. For two hours, Coach E put me through hitting, fielding, and running drills that I had never done before. He made my whole shirt drenched in sweat and taught me in just those two hours more than what I had learned in the past five years (most coaches after little league typically stop with the teaching and focus on bp and playing games). It was at this point that I realized Coach E was the guy I needed to advance my baseball career to the next level.
Throughout my 2+ years with Coach E, I became a better base stealer, opposite-field hitter, and a more polished fielder. In regards to base stealing, I was always a fast runner, but I never really knew how to actually steal a base. Fortunately, Coach E focused on base running more than any other aspect of the game. From doing drills that involved pumping my arms more, to pumping out some pushups as a consequence for not stealing a base or diving back, it became implanted in my mind that I can steal off of any pitcher whenever I wanted to. Coach E gave me the confidence to do this and also critiqued my running every time I got on base. As for hitting the ball the opposite way, we would spend hours of time on doing away tee work and soft toss work. For my other teams, I would just step into the cage and take 25 hacks or so. Coach E has an organized hitting system that emphasizes quality and fixing any imperfections in swings. There were even times when Coach E would put the pressure on by having two teams go against each other to see who would hit the most balls to the opposite field. By targeting mechanics and not repetitions, Coach E is able to form more complete hitters. Finally, I became a more smooth and smarter fielder. After being a shortstop for my whole life, Coach E made the transition to center field very easy. He could pretty much hit fly balls into the clouds and could place them wherever he wanted to. Things got even better when he brought “Coach Carve” to practice, enabling me to catch hundreds of fly balls in just hour. I would catch more fly-balls in one L&M practice than I would in an entire high school season. Once again, it was not about repetitions when it came to fly balls. We would catch tennis balls with our bare hands to work on securing the ball, and we would receive balls out of the pitching machines in the batting cages to read low line drives.
The one thing that will always stick with me from playing for Coach E’s program is the work ethic that he requires. The very first thing I did at my first outdoor practice was simulating running on and off the field. Coach E stresses looking professional and beating the opposing team in any way possible. No team would prepare for their opponent better than us. During the game, Coach E wanted to run through the base no matter what; there are always college coaches watching and you never know how many opportunities they will have to time you running from home to first. As I’m running, I can always hear Coach E yelling, “Hard 90!”.
I really appreciate what Coach E has done for me on the baseball field, and I can thank him for being one of the key reasons to why I will be playing college baseball for the next four years. Yet, I view Coach E as a caring and inspirational figure who will do anything for his players on and off the field. Yes, Coach E can be intimidating and sometimes crazy on the field at times, but he is one of the most caring people I have ever met. He lives down the street from me, so I see him around town all the time. Whether it is at Lincoln Creamery or my high school baseball game, I will not hesitate to have a nice conversation with him. Sometimes he will stop to say hello as I drive by his house. I remember driving to his house to pick up a wood bat on my birthday, and I was in his house discussing his family and my family for over an hour.
Just a few months ago, I received terrible news in that I had torn my ACL and meniscus in a high school basketball game, and I would miss my entire senior and summer season of baseball. The day I found out about the extent of my injury, I parked at my high school field and decided to let my emotions out as baseball is a huge part of my life. Out of nowhere, Coach E called me and asked why I was parked at the field. After informing him about my injury, he seemed to be just as upset as I was. Coach E attempted to lift my spirits and offered to help me out whenever I needed him. Less than two months after surgery, Coach E is constantly in contact with me and is tracking my progress. Coach E understands being in the shoes of an athlete and will not hesitate to do anything to help you out. It is this connection that Coach E has with his players that makes him such a tremendous coach.
I can confidently say that picking up the phone and calling Coach E to play for L&M was the best decision that I have made in my life so far. He has changed my life in so many ways that extend beyond just baseball. I will always recommend his program to younger players who have a deep and serious passion for the game of baseball. He has had my back at all times, and I will always be available to have his and advance his program. Coach E has provided so much knowledge and memories that I will never forget, and I cannot thank him enough for everything that he has done for me!