Montana State University Head Baseball Coach Aaron Sutton

Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development

Guest Bio:

Aaron Sutton, Head Baseball Coach at Montana State University.

Summary:

On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayer sits down with Aaron Sutton

Show Notes: In this conversation, Aaron talks about:

  • His coaching path and some of the coaches he learned from along the way.
  • His coaching style and why it works for him.
  • What player development means to him.
  • How his approach and style has chance as he progresses through his career.
  • What is all included in his player development plan.
  • Implementing a system to communication and having guys taking some ownership of what they want to accomplish.
  • The different between practice at the NJCAA and NCAA.
  • How he stay on top of guys and their academics.
  • What it is like when guys first report and getting everyone on the same page.
  • What does the fall season looks like for them.
  • What does the spring season looks like for them.
  • What the administrative side of the coaching looks like.
  • What the business side of coaching looks like.
  • How to deal with guys that do not want to be there.
  • How to deal with guys that are good but not as good as the guy ahead.
  • Summer ball for college baseball players.
  • What are the main measurements of tracking in their player development plan.
  • Capturing real data and not getting carried away and losing fundamentals.
  • How he developed the communication skills that allowed him to be a successful coach.
  • and much more.

Website: www.baseballawakening.com

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Email Address: geoff@baseballawakening.com

– Transcript –

Geoff Rottmayer: On today’s show, we have on coach Aaron Sutton, head coach of the Montana state university baseball program, and soon to be the manager for the Minnesota twins high a team in Fort Myers, Florida, and we’re talking coaching from the coaching side, the administrative side and the business side.

Outro: Welcome to another episode of the baseball awakening podcast where we dive into the raw unfiltered unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host, Jeff rot. Meyer

Outro: Welcome to baseball weighting podcast. I’m Deb Roberts.

Geoff Rottmayer: Today I’m sitting down with coach Aaron Sutton, head coach of the Montana state university billing yellow jacket and soon to be the manager of the Minnesota twins high. A affiliate team coach doesn’t have the add, the very strong and a very accomplished coaching career. He would the head code debt tread to Valley community college where he went on to win the Northwest Atlantic conference, East region coach of the year, three times more, taken over at Montana state university in 2017. He continued to have ticks that breaking numerous of school record and conference record and leading the program for the very first ever gene act championship title and the program. Very bird birth into the NCAA division two West region championship. So a lot of the staff and a guy were excited to learn a lot from today. Coach, how are you sir?

Aaron Sutton: I’m doing great. Jeff. How are you doing?

Geoff Rottmayer: I’m doing great. You know, listen, coach, you know, I’m excited to learn from you today and I’m sure everyone that’s listening in is as well. But let just that, let’s just kinda start to get to know you a little bit more, you know, so talk a little bit about your path into, uh, being a coach and then, uh, maybe some of the coaches that you learned from along the ways.

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, man. Um, I’ve got a pretty unique story. I’m a small town kid. I’m from Fruitland, Idaho. It’s a one stoplight town. Um, was very fortunate, man, like growing up, being around some pretty good baseball minds. Um, we went from Fruitland to a junior college down the road, treasure Valley CC and I played for a guy by the name of Russ. Right. Um, our hitting coach has actually his dad. So Russ is in the ABC hall of fame. Um, just a tremendous baseball mind and he was really the first guy that taught me that there’s more to this game than just showing up, throwing, hitting and sealed. And so I owe a lot to him as far as my development actually kind of barking, you know, my interest in to getting into coaching later on down the road. Um, from TVCC, I ended up getting the opportunity to go to Oregon state and, uh, so I got a chance to be around guys like Pat Casey, Marty Lee’s, Dan Spencer, I in all three of those guys had a tremendous impact on me in the short amount of time I with them.

Aaron Sutton: Um, I ended up leaving Oregon state to get a chance to play and, uh, and finished my Kroger at Western Oregon university. And, um, Jeremiah Robins was, that was his first year as a head coach. Um, coach Robbins and I have a tremendous relationship still to this day. I mean, he moved on to LC state where I think he wants three national titles. And you know, I, it’s, it’s neat to say that probably all three coaches that I got a chance to play for in college are going to be in the, in the baseball hall of fame as far as their resumes and what they’ve done. And so I owe a lot to them as far as teaching me the game and teaching me how to respect it and appreciate, you know, an opportunity to get out there every day.

Geoff Rottmayer: Very, very cool. So, so with that, you develop a style and you’ve had a lot of success with your coaching style. Can you talk a little bit about your style and then maybe why you think that it works?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. You know, the other day I had someone in my office, they’re asking me about like putting it into a nutshell and I think it’s hard to define it, but you know, the one thing I told him, I think the, probably the most important piece as a coaching staff that we talk about is love your people, man. Love your assistant, coaches, love, love your players and try to create a family like atmosphere where everyone um, understands you, care for them and then they start to put that trust in you. Because I think at the end of the day, like we want to have shared ownership in our program. Um, we, we communicate a lot with our guys development key for us, like development development. That’s, that’s a big thing for us in our programs, but we also want them to be invested in that as well. So we give a lot of, you know, freedom for them to talk to us about what they’re feeling, what their goals are. Um, and then leadership’s a big thing for us. We want player led culture. So we, we think that those areas provide our guys the opportunity to lead, to develop as young men. Um, cause at the end of the day like you want to win baseball games, but I think he coached him the right way. You showing me love them. That’s just when it’s going to be a byproduct of all those small things you’re doing with them in their everyday lives.

Geoff Rottmayer: I agree. You know, when we talk about development, you know, this is the word that gets thrown around a lot. What, what does development mean to you?

Aaron Sutton: I think it’s a, it’s a full time gig. It’s not just on the field, it’s off the field. You know, it’s teaching them how to be great young man. Um, I think the student athlete experience, a lot of it is baseball, but I think the reason why we’ve gotten a lot of success or had a lot of success and got some really good players is the fact that they know they’re coming into a place where we’re going to make them take their hats off when they eat. You know, we’re going to teach them how to shake hands properly. We’re going to teach them open doors for people. Um, I doing those things. Then when you get the field, like baseball is the easy part of your day, you know, they’re excited to be out there and get coached up and, and have a plan and stick to the process. Um, you know, Nick saving year, that guy talked about the process until he’s blue in the face. And I think we’ve really tried to embody that everywhere we’ve gone as far as keeping your nose down and working hard and get better every single day, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Awesome. So let’s go back to when you first started out at the, at the coach. Um, you were at treasure Valley community college. What had changed since you were there, uh, to where we are today because the good lot of things have changed. You know, the kids are a little bit differently. They’re grown up in a, a different environment. So what, what did chain, you know, how have you evolved in terms of your style and your approach?

Aaron Sutton: I think, you know, when we were growing up playing, um, you had that respect for a guy that was a coach that you did things because they told you to do it and you believed it was the right way. Um, I think now, um, the way we coach and the way you kind of connect with players is you gotta show why, um, these guys have so much access to technology and information, um, that you’ve gotta be prepared to show them this is the plan and this is why we’re going to do it. So I think that’s a big change for us because we have those resources now. I mean, we need, when we grew up, you got a bucket of balls and with your buddy went through BP to each other and he said, Hey, I think your, your shoulders flying open early or you’re collapsing on your backside, you know, that’s, that’s how you’ve taught yourselves.

Aaron Sutton: Um, and now, I mean, you pull out your cell phone and we can get film and you can break it down slow-mo frame by frame. And so you have to be prepared to, to coach guys that way. Um, other things, I think as a coach now, like you got to put your ego aside. Like you can’t have an ego as a coach. Um, it’s not my way. It’s the best way and you know, and that, and that’s going to be different for each individual player. And that’s gonna be different for each individual coach, but finding the best way because at the end of the day it’s about the results for the players to go have success on the field. Um, so those are two really big areas for me. And then I think the other one is trying to separate how we play the game for practice. Um, practice time is our time as coaches.

Aaron Sutton: Game time is players time. You know, I, I don’t think when we coach him, games are not, we’re not yelling and screaming from the dugout anymore. The game’s already hard enough. So trying to take a back seat and let them go perform and have fun and enjoy themselves when they go out and compete. And that’s been a pretty good balance for us. And breaking that down and making sure our players understand that that’s, you’re going to get coached up during the week, but then when we get to Friday, Saturday, Sunday, like that’s, that’s your time to go have some fun.

Geoff Rottmayer: That, that’s awesome. You know, that we’re thing need to head if it’s not already, because like you said, you know, they, they, they had the information at their disposal and you and I both know that just enough. It dangerous.

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, it is.

Geoff Rottmayer: So you, so you had mentioned, you know, um, your big thing is a, the plans and you put together for guys the, the player development plan, what does that look like? What does, what’s included in this plan?

Aaron Sutton: I think, you know, you look at each, each guy and you want to have meetings and communicate with them on what their goals are, you know, and I think if they can be goal oriented into their development, um, then we as coaches then can dive in and aid them along their, their process and their road to become who they want to become as a baseball player. So that’s where we first start. I mean we, we will film guys off offensively on the mound defensively and then bringing in and break it down with them. But I also want to know like what’s their plan when they’re showing up to the field every single day cause um, they’ve got to understand that their career too. Like they should have as much say as we do. So I think that’s where it all starts is getting a base for him.

Aaron Sutton: Um, doing a lot of baseline testing, you know, mobility stuff, strength stuff, um, ball exit speeds. I mean all those things. I think giving them a baseline and then go into work and this is how we’re gonna improve in these areas and then testing them again so that they get to see, because I think at the end of the day, we know baseball, you’ve got to have a confident mind. Your mind is going to be right. But if you’re going through that process and you know you’re developing, your numbers are increasing and you feel like a better player than that correlates to confidence on the field. So I think that’s a big part of player development helps us win games because they also get more confident and trust their ability to play as well.

Geoff Rottmayer: I love it. So then when you get a young guy, a freshman, they may or may not have the best social skills, which is kind of becoming a little more common though. The lack of social skills. How do you get a guide to openly communicate what his goals are and actually be kind of proactive in the process of putting the plan together. You know, instead of being a guy that just said, yeah, coach, whatever, whatever you want me to do.

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, everyone’s different. I mean, you’re going to have guys that are breaking their own film down and wanting to come in weekly and talk about those things and then you’re going to have guys that are a little bit more reserved. Um, so as coaches, I think we have to respect each of those personalities, um, ways out. We try to open up lines of communication in our fall. Um, probably for the last eight years, uh, everyone we bed, we do weekly goal sheets. Um, so we have players turning these in every Friday before practice. They turn them into their position player coach, um, and it has like their goals academically. So we kind of have an idea of what they’re doing in the classroom and then also their goals. Baseball lies on the field for that coming week. So then as coaches we get to read through those, um, over the weekend. We respond to them by email back to them before Monday so that we have a good plan heading into that week. So that opens up some lines of communication, especially for the guys that aren’t really vocal. Um, and then you always have the opportunity to, Hey, we’re on the same page, man, you got to come by the office, let’s, let’s hash this out and make sure that we’ve got a good plan has into this week. And I think our players have really appreciated that piece.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah, I would just going to ask why, what their response was like doing that every single week.

Aaron Sutton: I think, you know, at first you’re kind of like, man, there’s a lot of work. I got schoolwork and I’m lifting. And all this, but then once they get into it and they start to understand like the importance of it and the value, um, then they really buy into it, you know, and, and we’ve only done it in the fall because I think that’s a big developmental time for us. Once we get to the spring, I mean you’re on the road, it’s a little tougher to navigate and we want to make sure if our player’s going to put the time into us, coaches were able to put that amount of time back for them. Um, but it progresses because at first like you get guys right now like I wanna I want to throw harder or I wanna you know, I want to be a better infielder.

Aaron Sutton: Well like no, like let’s have purposeful practice. Like what are you working on today man? Like you want to throw harder? Like let’s let it rip three out of the five days on our pull downs. You know, be specific in your work as an infielder. Ham on a tough time going to my glove hand side, like when we’re going to BP, like make sure that machine set up, I’m getting extra ground ball works in my glove side. And also just being more purposeful in our practice. And they, they come to the practice that we’ve with a plan and you get done, you can evaluate and he goes, did I get what I wanted to accomplish? You know,

Geoff Rottmayer: very nice. So, so when I, when I think about this, I think about time commitment involved. So, so for the coaches that are listening, you know, I, I would assume coach that

Speaker 5: [inaudible]

Geoff Rottmayer: when you first started off developing and implementing the systems that it took time, but over time it became the norm and it got easier and easier. So can you talk about that a little bit?

Speaker 6: Yeah. I think anything you’re trying to implement, like you’ve gotta be organized as a coach, um, cause players can see right through it if you’re disorganized. So if you’re going to do something, you gotta do it all in. Um, that was a big learning curve for me as a young coach was like, as a player, you show up and you and you go to practice and that’s what you think it is. But as a coach, you’re there three hours before and three hours after and you’re losing sleep over it. So you just have to find your routines. Um, and once you start getting that implemented into your routine, just like your players are, like, I know every Sunday morning I’m hopping on my computer and I’m filling out goal sheets back to these guys and responding, then it just becomes a part of who you are. You know, it’s just everyday life. It’s just waking up and brushing your teeth,

Geoff Rottmayer: I think. I think you nailed it right there. You know, I, it’s gotta be a part of your routine, you know, and I see it all the time, you know, code, you’d have this desire to have some success. They want to try something new. And when they go into implementing, it’s only within a couple of weeks. Did they go back to the norm because they haven’t stuck with it long enough for it to be a part of their routine or maybe it would more work then they expected to be, but it does pay off if you want to be successful at the coach.

Aaron Sutton: No question. No question.

Geoff Rottmayer: Okay. So let’s, let’s go back to your treasure, your treasure Valley days when you were the assistant and you are now the head coach. So can you talk a little bit about the different between being an assistant coach and now being a head coach with more of the administrative side and the business side of things. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. You know I was put into a really fortunate situation where, you know, I, I didn’t know I was going to coach baseball, I was doing insurance cause I know with college and it took me about 30 days to realize that that wasn’t for me. I walked in, told the guy I was out and jumped over the volunteer under a coach Rick balm. And he was, he’s really a big mentor for me. I was always fortunate enough as I worked through that process with him, I was under him for five years. Um, he gets kinda gave me a little bit more each year. You know, he, he knew he was going to retire. He said, Hey study, you get your masters and I’m going to retire. So by the time like I did finish my master’s and he was ready to hang them up. Um, I felt like he had prepared me to take over a big job.

Aaron Sutton: Um, but I think the biggest thing moving from that assistant role to the head coaching role, cause like he told me, man, like no one’s jumping in your van anymore, man. Like you’ve got to wear that bigger hat and, and still have that relationship with your players, but also have the separation because you’re going to have to be the one that lays a hand down on discipline and all that, all that stuff. But, um, I felt like I stayed the same as far as the coaching side, developing all that. You just, you just wear a lot of hats, especially at the junior college level. Um, and that, that business side of it that no one else sees is what makes the program run. So the fundraising, the grade checks, the academic advising, trying to make sure you guys are NCAA eligible to move on. Um, you’re placing guys for summer ball, you’re recruiting guys. I mean you’re trying to place guys at four year schools. I mean, I feel like the Juco level that that job is gonna prepare you for any job you want after baseball. You know what I’m saying? Or if it’s going to be at another stop before your school or professional level, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. I know you’re really big on the academic side of thing. I know as a player you received a national award for where you’re academic, which is awesome. So how do you and I know part of that ball non, you know, the recruiting side of thing, the finding the right fit, but when you get a guy in and high school was easy and he heat now just getting hammered, which scored with the workload. And, uh, he probably didn’t expect that type of a workload on top of the, how do you get guys motivated and staying on top of their academics?

Aaron Sutton: I think, you know, a big piece of it is make sure that they understand it’s important for you and for them. You know, we have a player’s handbook and our number one goal is to graduate all of our sophomores when I was at Juco and now it’s, you know, all of our seniors. So I think it’s important for them to know that’s a big goal for them. Um, and one thing we really talked to our players a lot about is, you know, being great isn’t just a part time job. Like if you’re going to be Greg on the field, like you’re great all the time off the field in the classroom, in the weight room, as a boyfriend, as a son. Um, so that’s the thing, I think for them to kind of take that, that mindset that if I’m going to have success in life, it’s in all avenues, not just baseball.

Aaron Sutton: Um, and then show me care by keeping them accountable. You know, all this stuff. Great check. The weekly goal sheets are big for us. Um, we do study hall hours, we have academic meetings with guys. Um, we had our guys print off all of their, their schedules and we track them or do classroom checks and all that because if they see you putting in the effort and they know that you care, that them getting an academics done and getting the degrees important to you, like they’re going to, they’re going to own that a lot more as well.

Geoff Rottmayer: Awesome. So, so at the Juco level, the uh, the rules and the regulations are a bit different than where you are now at Montana state, a Dovid and two program. Can you talk about the different, in terms of the practice, the academic and the recruiting side of things?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, there’s a lot of, I mean Juco is kind of like a wow. I mean there’s not as many rules. You know, there’s more scholarships available. Um, you can get pretty much any kid in this school. Um, so that, that transition was, um, a little difficult for me moving on to an NCA division two program. Um, obviously you have care log hours where you’re limited to your time with the guys. Um, so that was a big adjustment for us as far as how we organized practice and then also what’s the importance of what we’re working on in practice. You know, we don’t have five different book plays and seven different first and thirds and pick plays because I don’t feel like those were things that we needed to put our time into. You know, so you have to really find that balance of what’s gonna really help you win ballgames.

Aaron Sutton: Um, the recruiting piece, um, is a little more difficult because now you’ve, you’ve got to check the transcript, you’ve got to make sure that they’re a qualifier out of high school and, um, and especially the Juco guy. That’s, that’s one area that I’m pretty passionate about moving off from a junior college to the four year level is a lot of these guys go to junior college and they don’t get advised properly. You know, we go through the kid and we get a transcript and I’m going, dude, you gotta go ahead. And I like, you got no shotgun into the NCAA school. Um, so making sure that you’re recruiting those guys and then informing them of what they need to do academically to get themselves in a position, get to the school that they want, you know? So those were things that I think were the biggest adjustments was getting our practices organized and then also making sure the recruiting side of things, like we’re recruiting the right guys.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. Awesome. So let’s, let’s talk about, and we’re still in your tread Valley days, uh, when guys are first reporting, you know, at the end of summer, what does this look like when, when they first come in? You know, and it’s probably similar to what you’re doing now, you know, uh, at Montana state, but in terms of, uh, in terms of practice, they end getting everyone on the same page and, and understanding what the expectations are of you and of them. Can you kind of take us through that process?

Aaron Sutton: Um, that I always felt like in the recruiting process, I hear expectations of your student athletes should be clearly communicated then. So when guys show up on campus in the fall, um, they know what’s expected. You know, we, we were on, we were kind of a tight ship. I mean, you guys gotta have clean cut hair cuts, we all wear a pants up, you know, kind of a blue collar mentality look. So I think that’s clearly communicated and the recruiting process, so they understand when they show up on campus, they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, you know, um, once they get into the fall junior college, you know, the nice thing is is you get them in early. You know, we used to bring them in two weeks before school started, so it’s, you know, two or three days practice for 14 days and you really get to kind of implement everything.

Aaron Sutton: Um, and then I always felt like the fall was about two things, developing and competing. So we really try to tie both of those avenues into our practice plans and the way we went about, you know, scheduling things for our players. Um, the winter, once you moved inside, it was focused on development. Take the results away. Like, let’s really break film down, let’s have a plan and let’s get after a skill set that we’re trying to improve. And then once you move into the spray, I feel like the hard work has been done. And like that’s the reward. So it’s more about performance, you know, and especially at a junior college where these guys came to you for the sole purpose to develop them and get them the opportunity to move on to the next level. So that springtime is about maintenance. I’m still still developing, but also it’s about going out and showing out now boys, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Awesome. So, so when you say that the fall is about developing and competing, can you take us through what a typical week would look like?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. You know, I think as far as junior college, we, we lifted three days a week. Strength was a big piece for us. A lot of guys are getting a physically underdeveloped, so we would lift Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, early in the morning, 6:00 AM we can get after it. Um, we’d practice at least six days a week. Um, we typically try to give them Sundays off. Um, so as we would go through that week, early in the week would be a lot of skill set development stuff. Um, middle of the week we would try to get more team oriented and then by the end of the week, like we’re strapping it on and we’re scrimmaging and, and we’re playing as many meetings or baseball as we can. So I think it’s kind of aligns with what you do in the spring, uh, but just at a higher intensity and a higher level because now it’s, you don’t have to worry about the results. And on the weekends it’s let’s go put, put a test and see how we do against you. The other type of deal.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. So it’s the, how do you keep a big picture focus? Because when you talk to coaches, timeframe is a thing and it always will be a thing. So instead of vain, we have Jeff two months, um, that of your thing, you know, I w w I really just have two to four years, you know, how do you work that in and turn uh, you know, how bad guy the develop me versus what you were expecting.

Aaron Sutton: I think the, the big picture, you know at the junior college level is getting them the opportunity to move on but also competing for a championship. I mean I think winning is, is very crucial to players development and competing. Understand the importance of that. So really early. Maybe we communicate right away, Hey, our goal is to congratulate yet to get you a four year program opportunity and to win the championship and then, Hey, let’s listen. Like that’s the last time we’re going to talk about it. Like we know that’s the expectation and where we want to go now we got to get back to the process man. Like getting, getting better every single day and keeping our nose down and taking every opportunity for what it is. And I thought the guys that could really buy into that, that mentality, we’re the ones that typically made the biggest jumps and typically have the best opportunity when their careers were done for us there.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. So what do you do with the guy that are not all in, you know, they’re not developing like you thought he would or could, uh, what the conversation like with them or what do you do with those guys?

Aaron Sutton: I think honesty is always the big piece, right? Whether they want to hear or not, I need to hear it, you know? So having those tough conversations in the office, um, the one thing I think is a coach, you, you as you move through your career, you’re going to find out, like they don’t always know the conversations and things you’re telling them right now or the best in the moment. Um, but down the road they’re going to realize that at some point. I mean, every year I get a text message from a guy that I had no idea that he was listening or he cared what we were talking about, but it’s like, Hey coach, just want to reach out and say, I really appreciate what you did for me, you know, eight years ago. And that really turned me into who I am today.

Aaron Sutton: You know? So having those conversations are, are, are vital for their success and their development in the long run. And you’re going to run into kids that maybe they don’t have the work ethic or they don’t have the buy in, but you recruited them to be there. So try to get the most out of them. You know, that’s, that’s one thing I’ve always told all of our coaches like, Hey, we recruited them. Like you never up on a player. Like you can continue to push you to continue to coach them. Cause at some point it’s going to click for them and someone doesn’t. Um, but you at least you can look yourself in the mirror and say, I gave them my all for those kids, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. So what about the kid he is, you know, he’s your favorite, uh, you know, you put them to work, he listens, he does everything you ask. He worked hard, but the result is in what he was expecting or hoping what that combination like to keep him going.

Aaron Sutton: Those are the top ones, man. I mean we all have them like that, that practice all star, that that’s pushing the guy in front and the guy in front of them maybe is more talented and he gets more opportunities. Um, I think it’s, it’s easy to overlook those guys. So I think making sure you’re paying attention to everyone on the team and then defining roles for every guy on the team. You know, a big thing we have here is we don’t compete against each other. We compete for each other. So understanding that we might have two or three guys at that spot competing, but our goal is to be at our absolute best. So that’s when the guy that gets the play, we’ve prepared him as a team and I feel shared ownership and his development and our success as a team, as a result of me give a mile every single day. So if you can get guys to bind to that, and I know as hard as it sounds or for them to realize like that, I think you recruit the right kids, like they’re going to understand that process and then when it is their turn, like that’s the most rewarding thing. Now when those guys do get the opportunity and they take it and they run with it, I’ve, man, that’s a great day and that’s a, a great relationship you’re going to have with those kids moving on.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. Awesome. So what about in, you know, we’re still talking that the Juco level, um, what the fall, you know, because you had mentioned that, uh, you had the administrative duties, the, the Foundry, the recruiting and all that stuff, but what the main focus on the administrative side of coaching during the fall?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, I think everyone’s a little bit different. Um, you know, I think the administrative side of things at the junior college in the fall, um, you’re really putting an emphasis on recruiting. Um, you’re also putting an emphasis on your fundraising. You know, I, I know that not a lot of jucos out there that are, are fully funded and can get anything they want. So we’ve got to find avenues to raise money to make things go. Um, I think you’re also looking out, promoting your players to four year institutions. Uh, we were always really detailed and writing reports on our guys, um, getting film of them during the fall to send out to the schools and colleges. Um, so that when they, they look at those emails like they have good content for them to look at. Um, I think the summer ball pieces and other piece that you’re looking at it in the fall as well. But then obviously academics, I mean making sure those guys are in line with, um, getting themselves prepared to graduate and be NCAA afterwards. But those are probably the biggest pool that you’re putting your focus into, especially in the fall.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. So you mentioned a couple of times, uh, the summer ball. Are you, are you a big fan of the summer ball for the college guide?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, I think it depends on the situation. Um, the more I’ve been in it, um, I love our hitters to go out and get a bass and, and play up a level and get challenged. Um, pitchers more detailed as far as any limits and you know, what was their workload like in the spring? Or, Hey, this guy had a really good spring, uh, let’s get them out in summer, finish it out and shut them down in the fall. So just that communication with the player and your plan for them I think is crucial throughout that process. I think summer ball plays a great role for guys development. Um, but you also have to make sure it’s just don’t just send your guys out, turn them loose and they’ll check in. Like, make sure you’re communicating through the summer. I mean, there’s been times when we’ve pulled guys home just cause Hey, body’s beat up, coach, I gotta get home. You know, I want to get ready for the fall and those types of things. And also making sure that it’s not them just copping out and wanting to go hang out at the Lake and relax too. Like they made a commitment. So you’ve got to kind of know your guys along those lines as well.

Geoff Rottmayer: Okay. Cool. So let’s, let’s take a two and we’re still in a, at the Juco level this spring. What the focus during the spring, you know, I’ve thought of winning. Obviously winning games are super important, but what the folk at the, during the end state and during the spring seasons,

Aaron Sutton: I think NC is, is um, what you’re going to really deal with at the junior college level is a lot of kids that are stressed out cause they don’t know where they’re going to play yet. So I think that promotion of them and communicating the coaches, making sure that you’re involved in the recruiting process for them, with who they’re talking to and making sure they’re staying on point with their communication with other schools. Um, that, that was a big focus for us. Um, cause at the end of the day I, I knew like winning games was important to us, but also like they came to school that a junior college and move on. So making sure that you’re providing every opportunity for them to achieve their goals as a player. Um, all the other stuff, I always felt like the fall would do all the dirty work, man. So you put a lot of times in the fall and the spring it’s about playing and promoting guys and trying to get a place.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. And then I assume that the administrative side, it’s sustain year round, you know, trying to get guide to the next level, summer ball fundraising and all that stuff.

Aaron Sutton: Yup. Yup. And I think that kind of just goes year round.

Geoff Rottmayer: All right, very good. So, so now you’re picking up your family and you are heading to Montana state. What was that like? I mean, you know, listen, coaching coaches, why are our special? So what would that like for you, your wife and your son?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, I think it was a exciting time, but a stressful time. Um, I’m kind of a home body. You know, I grew up in Fruitland, Idaho, Ontario, Oregon was just across the river. I, it was my Alma mater. I spent nine years there. Um, I don’t think I would ever left that place if it wasn’t for my wife. She’s always kinda been the one to, to see the bigger picture in our family and uh, kind of give me a boost. Um, he, she’s my biggest fan. My son is my biggest fan. They love baseball, they love the players. So the transition for her was probably a little more than an ellipse for me to be honest. And she was excited for that next opportunity. Um, but kind of going through that process and obviously trying to find, you know, the right assistant to go with me.

Aaron Sutton: So that’s what I called Ryan. Right. You know, he was down at Cal state Northridge as a volunteer and I called him and said, Hey, I’m getting this job and bill and if you think you want to come up. And he packed his Subaru up and drove from LA to billings in three days. And he met me in billings in an office. We were running. Um, the interesting thing was it was, it was a late hire, you know, the school had already started our guys on a session. Um, so I spent, you know, when I got the job the next two days, calling all our current flyers of treasure by informing them of the change and then also calling all the new players at MSU billings. Um, I lived in the dorms for three months. I never thought that my first time the doors would be when I was 30 years old.

Aaron Sutton: But, um, they put me up in the doors for three months, which, which was awesome for, for us as a staff. Cause it was a lot of late nights, early mornings getting caught up, getting ready for the, for the team. Um, and then my wife, I mean, she’s a rock star man. She had a one and a half year old. She stayed home and she packed up the house all by herself. Um, got it ready to sell. And then we finally got them moved out right around Thanksgiving time. Um, and it was great to see them come out, you know? Yeah. Awesome.

Geoff Rottmayer: That’s it. So now you’re there and you jet left Juco and now you’re part of the NCAA. And we talked about the little bit, but what was like the biggest, Oh geez. You know, when it came to the rules and the regulations,

Aaron Sutton: uh, yeah, I was in the compliance office. Um, Becca gas is our compliance officer here and cheeses. She’s a Saint man. I, I owe her a lot in that first year. Um, I was seeing her every single day, um, just as far as what we can and we can’t do in the recruiting process cause obviously everything starts with the players. So recruiting was a big emphasis for us right off the bat. Um, understanding you can’t pay for meals on the road for recruits, you know, when, when you can bring them on campus, what you can do with them on campus. I mean, so that was a big adjustment for us. Um, and she really helped us get through that. Um, but yeah, I mean baseball’s, baseball’s, I felt like a lot of other stuff kind of ran pretty smooth. Um, it was just making sure that we were doing everything by the guidelines and not breaking a bunch of rules.

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. So, so unlike the last situation, you know, the last dish relation, you, you help build that team that you took over. Now you recruited them, they all knew who you were, but here you now went to a brand new program where a different code, we brought these guys in. What would that process like? You know, getting them to buy in and understanding that, you know, does it the way it’s going to be, you know, what, what, what would that profit like? You know, you don’t know them, they don’t know you and we’re all better to go out there and win games.

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. You know, that’s, that’s the exciting part about coming out was, you know, MSU bees have a pretty new program. Um, so we were really excited about putting our name on something special, you know, and coach Bishop, who was here before me did a tremendous job of, of turning around. I mean going from a 10 that was at the bottom to finishing that 500 to finally get some Winnie seasons in there. So we felt like we were in a good spot as far as trying to build on that. Um, we knew we had a really strong senior group of a group that was experienced. Um, so it was a lot of meetings with those guys right off the bat to say, Hey, listen, like we’re here to take this thing the next level and we need your buy in to this. Um, and there was a special group man, um, going through those guys.

Aaron Sutton: I mean they bought in right away and that made it a lot easier for the younger guys, um, to continue to progress and make that transition as smoothly as we could. Um, but yeah, I mean anytime you go into any place you want to put your stamp on it and change some things. So I mean, we were just very fortunate that we had a very accepting group that was, that wanted more, that understood the visions was to not just win a conference, you know, regular season championship. But to get to a regional to get to a world series. Um, and so that by, it happened pretty quick for them.

Geoff Rottmayer: Nice. So, so do you get input from them, you know, like, do you try to get an idea of what they like or what they don’t like, you know, how, how, how did that work?

Aaron Sutton: You know, I think one thing is just setting your standards. You know, again, like I kind of mentioned earlier, we have a player’s handbook, Oh, this is a 10 page document of this is what we’re going to do and why we’re gonna do it and how we’re going to go about our business. So just making sure they understood like where I was coming from. Um, and then I asked them to, I said, Hey, what are some things here that you guys feel are crucial to your success or traditions that you guys have that you want to keep and maintain? Because again, that shared ownership. I think people, they get excited about hearing your stuff. They also, you know, feel like they put input into something before he got there. So you want to make sure that they feel collectively, you know, included in those decisions. And at the end of the day, you’re the head coach and got to make some tough decisions. But, um, I think asking them what they had done before to have success, I mean that’s important man. That communication is T. yeah.

Geoff Rottmayer: So, so now, you know, what, what did with your practices, you know, from the Juco to the NCAA, um, obviously the goal and what you’re trying to conference it all the same, but what changes now that you have the rules and the regulations?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. Um, I, I laugh about this and I joke around with Ryan cause he played for me at treasure Valley and, uh, we were probably a little crazy back in the UCO days. And so you get to the four year program and you’ve got the rules and regulations and the one thing I’ve found in a hurry was you have to be really efficient. Like your practice planning is down to the last second, you know, and we’re rotating and we’re moving on, like when we get to the timeframe. And if it’s not right, like we’re going to come back to it the next day. You can’t sit there and beat a dead horse. So I thought the move for me really helped me just manage my time better. And then I mentioned it earlier, just making sure you’re putting the right amount of time into the parts of the game that are gonna help you win. So immediately we had to really evaluate our personnel and figure out what were we, what were we, what talents, skills that we have to have success on the field. I came from a wood bat league or, I mean it was pitching defense. We sold a ton of bases, we bonded a ton. So now we don’t have team speed and we’ve got some big boys. So let’s try to hit the ball in the gap and run it out of the yard. So we had to adjust like our philosophy

Speaker 6: to be around what players we have. Does that make sense?

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. So you mentioned that you went through a period of trying to figure out how to be more efficient and a theme, like you kind of documented more and really tried to figure out and really tried to reflect on it, you know, how long does it take you to find something that works? You know, obviously these are things that you’re always tweaking and making an adjustment to, but, but how long did it take you to sit down and today this is the most efficient thing we can do at that moments?

Aaron Sutton: You know, it probably didn’t hit, hit me until we got to the spring. Um, did I, I’d never coached at the four year level yet. So I didn’t know, you know, what was out there as far as how good quality programs are ran. Um, in the preseason we went down and we played Colorado Mason university’s power powerhouse, division two. And um, I think we took two out of the four games from them. But I’ve just remember looking over in the dugout and seeing the way they did things and I go, okay, that’s, that’s what we got to get to that. That’s the team that is competing at the national level every year. So that’s when it clicked for me on like, what do we need to work on? We got a really pitch and we really got a hit and we got to defend at a higher level.

Aaron Sutton: And those were the things that we came back and we were evaluated and athletes are putting our time into those three avenues. And as simple as that may sound like you can’t, we didn’t put time into the PFPs and the pick plays and all that stuff as much anymore. Like, let’s hit, let’s pitch and let’s defend. And you know, and I think that’s, if you look at our three years here and all avenues, we’ve increased in those avenues every single year here. So we set a goal and I think we accomplished that to some extent as we progressed through our coaching here too as well.

Geoff Rottmayer: Very cool. So, so you, you are player development focus, you know, what kind of thing are you tracking, you know, are you using technology, you know, what, what, what kind of thing do you track? And I’m talking on the, uh, the, the player side, not the, the personal side, not the, but, but on the player side. What type of thing are you guys looking at and what type of things are you tracking?

Aaron Sutton: So a couple of things. I think that we track. Um, we do a lot of ball exit speed stuff with our guys. We’re big in the generate and bath seed. Um, so we tried to get a baseline test with him early and then we kind of continue to go through that throughout the year with them. Um, we do a lot of speed stuff based running times. I mean that, that relates to me correlates like how are we doing in the weight room? I’m always getting faster. Are we getting stronger? Um, but those are the two problems on the offensive side of things. Um, we film a lot. Um, so that we have, you know, film of guy swings that we, we’d go back and look at and see the progression as they go. And then defensively just infield patterns. We tried to put a watch to them, um, to step four step patterns.

Aaron Sutton: Things that we can see if we’re improving, um, because at the end of the day, I think players want to know if they’re getting better. So, so track it for them and see where they’re at along those lines. Um, pitching wise, um, we just have different stats that we track through the fall. You know, pre-pitch mentality. We were big in the temple so we have a stopwatch on them consistently as far as getting pitches off. Um, other small things like third down efficiency, which means like once you get to two hours to get off the field right away. Um, so just some of those things that we track for them. Um, but I think give them a good idea of their progress and things that are important to us. And I think embodying or compassing all three of those things. We love to compete. So when we’re doing these things and practice team settings, individual settings, we’re constantly competing or we’re putting scores to gains.

Aaron Sutton: We’re putting scores to the process in side those games. And then we’re letting them know who wins at the end of the day. Cause I, I really truly feel that competition is really the driving force behind player development. Like you, you want your guys to get excited, you want your guys to play faster and, and become better players like compete and track it and tell who wins and then that way, you know, they’re not taking any days off. Um, but yeah, those are probably the big areas as far as what we’re tracking with those guys on a daily basis for them.

Geoff Rottmayer: Cool. So, so, um, what about, you know, if we were to med you, your active ball speeds, how do we do that without guys totally losing fundamental and just trying to chase the number?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. One thing we’ve done is as we, when we do [inaudible] his face, like we don’t, we put a square up in front of them and that’s going to be however the distance is, it’s going to be at about an eight to 10 degree launch angle. Um, and they to hit it in the bat because to reproduce a sling that’s going to create an eight to 10 degree launching lots of line drive. And that’s what our goal is to hit line drives. Um, then they’ve gotta be mechanically sound like the hook, the hook, ground ball that a guy blocked that one 10. We’re not counting that. Like that’s an out man, you know. So I’m kind of giving them those external cues

Aaron Sutton: as far as what they’re trying to accomplish with your slings and then testing them in that.

Geoff Rottmayer: Awesome. Do you know, we mentioned earlier how kids are, are different and no, they’re kind of getting a little bit harder to relate to. You know, because if we think about it, if we think about when grandpa already dads and dabbed radar and then when we raised our son, when we’re grandpa rates dad’s, he raid dad the same way he would braise because much hadn’t changed. And then whenever dad raised me, it was still a very similar approach. But now, um, now we’re in a culture that the culture different. We have accident information, we have math to the technology, the kids are getting a little harder to relate to in that sense. Um, but as you get deeper into your coaching career, you know, and did turn conditioning’s happening, how do you relate, you know, how, how do you work on that?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, I think, I think number one, um, one thing I talk about a lot of are coaches is like, we hear that a lot like, Hey kids these days, kids these days, like I, and I’m sure they said that about us when we were growing up as well. And I think one thing for us as coaches that we try to stay consistent with is, yeah, kids are changing these days, but at the end of the day, like they still want structure. They still want discipline. And it’s on us as leaders to to change that, that culture and to keep things consistent and for them as players. Because I think when we look at human beings, like the deeper meaning for all humans is that they want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves.

Aaron Sutton: So communicating that to those kids that, Hey, we’re going to be consistent. We’re going to have a standard. We’re going to hold you accountable. Um, and they fit into that mold. Um, I think as far as like the technology and how all of those things have changed, like as a coach, like you’ve gotta be a chameleon, you know, you have to adjust to each situation you’re going to be in. I tell guys every year, I’ve been coaching college baseball for 12 years and every year I learned that I don’t know anything about the game. Like you have to have that growth growth mindset that I’m going to adjust to the guys we’re going to get by. I still keep my core values and my standards and all that stuff has to stay the same for these guys. Cause they, they, they do want it. They really do. I’ve found if you give, give, get away from that, like then that’s when stuff goes haywire. Like they, they want that, that structure. They want to be coached and they want to have a, a leader in front of them, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah, no, I agree. Yeah. And you mentioned a communications, you know, when you study success for coaches and you’re worn, you know, and I’m sure there was a book out on you, it would mention how effective you are at communicating. So is this something that you always had or is this something that you develop, you know, what advice you have for the young coaches that need to really improve on the skill?

Aaron Sutton: I think it’s like a baseball skill man. Like you gotta develop it. Um, anytime you do something that’s uncomfortable, like it’s going to be an opportunity to grow. And I can remember my first speech class getting up there and I think it was supposed to be a five minute speech and I railed off that thing in about two minutes. And our, our speech, the speech instructor said, Hey Aaron, you got a lot of great content but you got slow down man. So I don’t, I don’t think it’s a skill that you just have. It’s something like anything, like the more you practice it, the more comfortable you become and the more efficient you become added. Um, and, and when you’re not ready, then you got to prepare more. You know, I remember as a young coach, um, getting ready to have team meetings and sit down conversations with kids and having notes like written out and being prepared with what my message was going to be and, and practicing that in a mirror to see what that was going to look like for those guys because communication is so crucial to any organization’s success. So the guy at the tops gotta be phenomenal at it. So you got to practice it and got to develop it. And when it’s uncomfortable, keep, keep preparing more, you know,

Geoff Rottmayer: so, so we’ve all been in a position where we said something that we wish we hadn’t and that part of the learning practice. So how do we communicate that to the guys?

Aaron Sutton: I think, I think when you mess up and we’re all gonna mess up, we’ve all been there, um, showing that vulnerability and apologizing, like we got to own it. You know, there’s been plenty of times in my coaching career where I felt like we were doing what was right for the group and it went completely the wrong direction and getting up the next day, swallowing your pride, bringing the guys together and Hey, I screwed up man. I was like, I thought this was going to go this way and it didn’t. And I apologize. Like I hope that you guys know that our best, your best interest is always in our hearts. And I mean, just mad enough, I guess is the right term because I think we expect that from our players to own their mistakes. Never pass the blame, um, as a coach. Like you have to reiterate that with them and, and be that figure that if you’re going to talk to, to occupant or walk the walk as well with them, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. And what about the code that just doesn’t have that awareness, you know, and they’re probably not going to be a pretty successful coach, at least not for long but, but maybe they’re more listening and he started to think that I need to maybe start kind of paying attention and gain more awareness and self evaluate themselves. So can you talk about, you know, how you do your own stuff? Evaluations?

Aaron Sutton: Yeah, I think you know, being honest with yourself and you know going through that process of your development as a coach. I think a lot of times coaches feel like these successful guys, like they don’t have self doubt, they don’t question that they’re doing it right like everyone does. So like having those reflection days. No, I have a notebook that I carry with me all the time and I, and I reflect back on things we do and how we fell. What was the feedback from the players and then having that core group of guys on your team that you trust that you can communicate with them and get feedback from the players as well. Like, I’ve always been that way as far as, Hey, I want to know what you guys feel, how is this working? Um, because at the end of the day, they’re the ones falling yet, so you’ve got to make sure it’s working for them as well. Um, another thing I would say is finding a mentor, find a great mentor that you can bounce ideas off of, or great assistant coaches too that aren’t afraid to tell it how it is. I mean, me and Ryan have had some knock down drag out fights in the office and, and we love each other and we walk out of there and we’re still best buddies, you know, but we always try to keep things in perspective of what’s doing what’s best for those players. And sometimes we’ve got to check ourselves as well.

Geoff Rottmayer: Nice. Let’s talk about the, the, the, the business side of baseball. What, what did that part entails?

Aaron Sutton: I think, yeah, as a young coach, um, the operations of a program, um, a lot of times it’s just the head guy that knows it. So I would suggest that if you’re a young guy and you’re getting into it, like shadow your head guy asked him if he can sit in on meetings asking if he can go to meetings with administration. Um, so that you get that experience because if you want to be a head coach someday, like you need to learn all avenues of what makes the program run. Um, because there’s things that you’re going to have to take into account as far as what’s the budget. Like, like how do we increase our budget? Where do we have to add and subtract from, um, roster moves. Like I’m having those communications with players and exit meetings and their developmental plans. How are you handling discipline, you know, and being consistent and having a plan.

Aaron Sutton: Um, so that when things arise, like you’re prepared for those things. Um, I think other things like as far as the business side of things, I always told our assistants to help prepare it is have a vision man. It’s like have a coaching manual. I know I’ve been working on one since the first day I started coaching and I think it’s up to 60 pages long now. Like who are you as a coach and why do you do things the way you do? Um, I mean we have the player’s handbook that I always felt like was a business side of the thing that gives our guys guidance and directions and then at the end of end of the day, like be consistent with what you’re doing and know you’re going to screw up, like it’s going to happen. And I think those business decisions that you’re making, um, is it part of your growth and development as a coach? But it’s also a crucial part to what makes the program go, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Awesome. So what, uh, you know, good, real quick, you know, when you are talking with the administrative team, you know, what type of conversation do you guys have in terms of, you know, being on the same page with what the program time to accomplish.

Aaron Sutton: And I think that that communication relationship with your administration is crucial. Um, we have a phenomenal athletic director. Krista is a rock star. Um, all the success that you’ve had, like he’s been behind all of that with us, um, through this process. And so I think communicating your plan and your vision to your administration is key. So they know what, what you want to do and make sure that you have buy in from them. Um, and then being honest and being realistic. Like w we have some 15 hour bus trips here when I first got here and now we’re making those in the flights. But at first like I had to be really seeing myself, can we afford to fly? So having those tough conversations with your athletic director, um, and telling her, and not just coming in and asking like, Hey, I want to fly this drone.

Aaron Sutton: You need 25 extra thousand. Like, Hey, we want to find this trip, but we’re going to add this fundraiser in the fall that’s going to make this amount of money. Um, and this is X, Y, and Z. It’s better on my guys’ bodies and better for the student athletic experience. They’re going to be in the classroom more having the reason why and being prepared when you go present that information. Eighties, always, always appreciate the being prepared and detailed when you come in and ask for stuff because they got a lot of people look over, you know, we got 40, 40 dudes in that locker room. We’re looking over where she’s got a lot leg department and look over. So make sure that you’re, you’re respectful of her time and being prepared, you know?

Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah. Awesome. So the now coach you, you’re getting ready to head down to Fort Myer, Florida. My, my hometown now I’m, I went to Florida Gulf coast university. Uh, I love that area. That’s my, my place. Um, and now you’re going to be the, the manager of the twins organizations. Uh, can you add inhalation, uh, on that by the way? So, you know, what, what are you expecting that to be like,

Aaron Sutton: man, it’s, it’s going to be a great opportunity, um, to grow as a coach, as a person and for our family. Um, we always tell our players like nothing great happens when you’re cozy and comfortable. Man. And I’m about to get uncomfortable here really quick again. Um, so we’re, we are, we have been on the phone for the last, you know, four days just trying to get prepared for that transition. And, um, the one thing that I think really excites me that I feel like with the twins organization, a lot of their core values and what they hang their hat on aligns with our family’s core values and what we believe in. And so I think that transition’s going to be pretty smooth. And, um, man, I can’t tell, I, I never thought I’d be signing a, a pro contract and I can, the opportunity to jump into pro ball as a coach and, um, it’s like dream come true. It really, really is.

Geoff Rottmayer: That’s awesome. So what, what the what the conversation like with the guy that Montana state, you know, obviously, you know, they, they want to see you do well and advance your career, but, but it’s still tough. So what, what was that like?

Aaron Sutton: It was tough. Um, a lot of, a lot of reach out when people only got the job. Like how excited are you? And I said, Hey man, initially when you took the job, super excited. But then about an hour later, I’m going, man, I gotta tell the guys. Um, and that, and that was the hardest part about this. Um, so obviously it came as a big shock for them. Um, we let them process it and, and we kind of opened our doors and my Ryan and myself are in our office for the whole next day and, and I’m be honest, man, we shed a lot of tears with some of those kids and that, that really showed me that it really meant a lot to them and that really meant a lot to us as a program that we were doing it right. Um, but every single one of those kids said, Hey, while while my heart is getting ripped out, like we can’t tell you how proud we are and can’t tell you how excited we are for you guys. Um, so that, that really helped our, he isn’t processing and goddess going in the right direction. It’s unfortunate for us, man. Like, alright, let’s stay on here until January. So we’re staying through this, this whole individual time. We’re still putting our focus on development. Um, and this last week has been phenomenal. I mean, our guys are getting better. They’re getting after it, the fist bump in us and, and that’s probably been the best part about this is just seeing their excitement and their continuance to buy into what the big picture isfor their seeds in the spring because they got a chance to do something really special and I’m excited to follow them.

Geoff Rottmayer: Very cool. So, so a couple more questions if I can. Um, what, what had been number the best resources that help you develop as a coach and as a person?

Aaron Sutton: there’s a lot out there. Um, having a mentor, you know, code bombing was always a great mentor for me. Um, Russ, right. It was always a great mentor for me. Gary van [inaudible], who’s the new head coach at Boise state. I mean, he’s been a huge mentor for me. So finding those guys that have been in the trenches, I’ve done it the right way for a long time that you trust and those guys are there to help you, you know, they want to help young coaches develop. Um, so I, I would say that’s number one and then the ABC has been a huge resource for me. I, I remember the young assistant, I didn’t have enough money. I was making 1500 bucks a year just to make ends meet, to put food on the table. I mean, I was buying ABC videos online and washing them in the office in the mornings. And now I’m fortunate enough I get to go to the convention every year and that’s a great resource for coaches and get in and get new ideas of, meet new people, network. Um, and then reading, I mean, this is old school. This sounds like finding books that interest you and trying to develop yourself in all areas. And I read a ton of books, military books, leadership books, baseball books, mental health books. I mean just finding those little nuggets that are going to help you develop the young men that are underneath you.

Geoff Rottmayer: Nice. So what would your favorite, you know, one that you highly recommend?

Aaron Sutton: Man, I would say one that’s kind of unknown that my dad actually turned on to me is a book called the influencer. Um, and it’s a book that studies like hi, um, hire organizations that are very successful and, and what they all have in common and how you influence people to see your vision. And, um, that book was tremendous for me and just the way we develop leaders. Um, so that’s a little, little hidden book that not a lot of people know back that I really enjoyed.

Geoff Rottmayer: Very cool. So, so one last question, coach. Uh, if you were me and you are interviewing yourself right now, what question would you have asked that I didn’t ask?

Aaron Sutton: Man, I, I listened to a lot of podcasts and I, and I always, uh, at the end of that, so typically they’re asking coaches what their hobbies are or something. So, um, maybe what asks as what my hobbies are. Uh, as far as with my downtime, but, um, kind of a funny story about like hobbies, uh, coach Bob and one of my mentors, when he handed me the keys to the program at treasure Valley, he said, Hey, Hey Sadie, like, I know you love to fly fish. I know you love to golf, man, but I’m going to tell you what, like, you show me a baseball coach that’s a great fly fisherman or a great golfer. I’m going to show you a crappy baseball coach. So as a coach, I think you’ve got to be careful with having those

Aaron Sutton: hobbies and really putting your time into your job and your family and, and finding your downtime as well. But yeah.

Geoff Rottmayer: Very cool. Well, coach, um, thank you very much for coming on. Uh, for, we’ve, we’ve covered a lot of things. You’ve, you’ve, you’ve poured it out man, and I appreciate it.

Aaron Sutton: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. Yeah, it’s been a pleasure and a chance to share some info with ya. And, um, thanks for reaching out.