Spring 2021 Magazine

Lance Berkman's biggest challenge as high school baseball coach

Former Major League Baseball star Lance Berkman admits he still has a lot to learn as a high school baseball coach.

After finishing his 15-year career in the bigs, Berkman took the head coaching position at Second Baptist High School in 2016 and teamed up with former teammate Andy Pettitte. Before Berkman could begin his work on the diamond, he realized the administrative side of the job was a little tougher then he thought.

“There’s just a lot more that goes into this position in particular that you certainly never had to think about when you were playing, Berkman told Jason Romano on the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “Everything from scheduling, to ordering uniforms, to making sure you have umpires at the games, to providing the baseballs and the equipment.”

Playing most of his career at first base and in the outfield, Berkman quickly realized that as a coach he had to master the other defensive positions as well.

“On bunt coverage as a first baseman I knew what I was supposed to do but I wasn’t worried about what the middle infielders were doing, they did what they were suppose to do, Berkman said. “But, as a coach you have to know exactly where everyone’s supposed to be and you have to become somewhat of an expert on each position, which it takes a little bit. Even though you know it, I mean you instinctively know it, but being able to communicate it in a way that an 18-year-old or a 16-year-old to 18-year-old can understand that’s certaintly a challenge as well.”

Speaking of communicating to teenagers, understanding the culture of millennials has also been an adjustment for Berkman.

“Things like social media and the responsibility that comes with that,” Berkman says. “There’s a whole lot of things that you have to be aware of as a head coach and it’s been a great learning experience for me over the last two of years.”

On the first year on the job, Berkman led the Eagles to a 32-8 record and the TAPPS 4A state championship.

ONECoach is now part of The Sports Spectrum Network. For more stories like this, visit OneCoach Facebook page.