The Greyhound Baseball team travelled to Judsonia on Tuesday, February 27th to take on White County Central for the season opener. The Hounds defeated WCC 15-2 in the light rain, but the fans turned out in support of the team. The Greyhounds are led by Head Coach David Smith and Assistant Coach Mark McGee. Coach Smith took time to answer some questions about himself and his philosophy.

            What is your baseball background? I was an assistant coach at Cabot for eight years before the opportunity at Newport. This is my second season as head coach for the Greyhounds.

            What is your coaching philosophy?  My coaching philosophy is to try and teach the boys about the game of baseball, but more importantly, teach and show them how to be men.  This includes being respectful, being responsible, take pride in what they do, be trustworthy, be leaders, and more.  This also includes the characteristics it takes to be a good husband, father, or friend as they get older.

            Describe your leadership style? Would you consider yourself a micro or macro manager? I have a mixture of both micro and macro leadership styles.  I am hands on and want things done the right way.  However, this is the boy’s team and I urge them to take charge and do things without me telling them.  I can adjust my schedule if they are working on weaknesses that they want to improve, but I bring it back when there are areas I need to cover.

            What are your strengths and weaknesses as a coach?  My strengths include being able to relate to the players and they trust in what I tell them. I believe everyone is going to mess up, including myself, and when I do, the team will tell me.  They need to know it is alright to mess up and that everyone does.  My experiences are also a strength. I have seen many things in the last 10 years of coaching and learned from them.  I am not the smartest or the best coach, but I am constantly learning and talking to other seasoned coaches. I would say that is my weakness. I feel that I can never know enough about the game. I stay hungry and continue to learn.

            What are your plans regarding our youth/feeder program? I think the Jr. High program is doing a great job. Those coaches last season and current season do a wonderful job and should be proud of the work they have done. They are helping build the Newport baseball program.

            What is your philosophy regarding multi-sport athletes? I have a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration. The final tested material concerning injuries among single sport versus mult-sport athletes. What I found was single sport kids are more likely to experience a significant injury than those that play multi-sports. I want every kid to play more than one sport.  The become better teammates in different environments and gives needed rest from continuous use of the same muscles. 

            What are your thoughts on a summer program? I think every player should do something with baseball in the summer.  It is a long time from May to January without playing and baseball is not a sport most can just pick up and be really good at.  It takes time and practice.  I understand that some may play on travel teams or legion, but I just want them playing.

            Give an example of what I would see if I attended one of your practices? One of your games? I hope a team that is working and improving. I would hope in games you see a team that is disciplined and respectful. 

            What is your pitching philosophy?  My pitching philosophy includes throwing strikes, hitting the spot, and when a pitcher misses, miss low.  Give yourself a chance to win. The team cannot defend walks.

            What is your philosophy on discipline? How do you handle discipline? My philosophy is everyone at some point in time will adhere to it.  We have team rules and if broken, there are consequences dealt with before the player can play a game.

            Are there any other plans you would have for the program that you would like us to know about?  Just win! Go Hounds!

            Make plans to attend a game! The Hounds play at George Kell Park today against Bald Know. Game time 4:30.