We have seen some of the best coaches come and go. Ray Searage is not only a great coach but a great man as well.
Ray Searage pitched in the Major Leagues for the New York Mets (1981), Milwaukee Brewers (1984-86), Chicago White Sox (1986-87), and Los Angeles Dodgers (1989-90). He was a relief pitcher whose career won-loss record was 11-13 with 11 saves and a 3.50 E.R.A. 2018 marks Ray Searage’s 41st year in professional baseball as a player and a coach. He has been the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach since late in the 2010 season.
I got to know Ray Searage very well when he was the Indianapolis Indians pitching coach during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He is a great guy with a “heart of gold ” who helped a number of pitchers get to the Major Leagues during his time in Indianapolis. Late in 2010, Ray became the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach. Ray Searage has thrived in that role under Manager Clint Hurdle.
Not only has Ray done a terrific job with young pitchers, but he has helped to resurrect the careers of veterans like Francisco Liriano, J.A. Happ, A.J. Burnett, Edinson Volquez, Ivan Nova, Joe Blanton and others. Ray takes into account that while each pitcher is different, he wants his staff to try to make something happen in 3 or fewer pitches and they must be able to command the fastball. Great coaches seek first to understand then to be understood. Ray Searage is a very understanding man who instills confidence in his pitchers.
Searage is the kind of person that really boosts people up rather than tearing them done. MLB had the chance to talk about Josh Smoker about making the Pirates’ Opening Day roster. He shared some words of wisdom from Searage:
Late in Spring Training, pitching coach Ray Searage pulled aside Smoker and encouraged him to trust his talent. Smoker can’t utilize his arsenal, Searage said, if he continues to fall behind in counts. After a first-pitch ball, for instance, hitters slash .271/.405/.551 against Smoker. After a first-pitch strike, he’s allowed a career .242/.309/.363 line.
“He shows flashes of being a consistent left-handed reliever. There’s a lot of deep counts that he gets into,” Searage said. “There’s something to work with there. There’s tools. There’s weapons.”
How can we achieve our goals and maintain confidence, too? Jack Klemeyer talked about this issue as he explains how to make goals stick.
The main reason most goals don’t stick is because there is not a big enough reason to follow through with them. For example, losing weight is a great goal. However, why do you want to lose weight? See, if the goal is just “lose weight” then when that surprise birthday party happens, it’s easy to talk yourself into letting loose and stuffing your face because that goal can be pushed aside, delayed, or even forgotten.
On the other hand, if your reason for losing fat is to avoid health problems or gain confidence, now you have a reason. That reason is your passion, your fire, your spark and your fuel to keep going. When you identify the true reason behind wanting to change, write it down. Keep it with you. Read it when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Let your mind know what the reward will be because most people focus on the process when it is the reward that keeps you going.
We all need a boost to our confidence every once in a while. Sometimes, self-doubt can creep in and make you second guess yourself. Losing confidence in yourself can mean that your goals end up getting lost amongst the internal turmoil. During times such as these, remind yourself of the successes you have under your belt and the goals yet to be accomplished. Maintain focus on what’s to come and you’ll find positivity in yourself naturally.