About the Author
Bill Seamon was the head coach at Owensville High School in Missouri for 25 years. He has been active in baseball associations at both the state and national levels; through the associations, he has written articles for national publications, given clinic talks at clinics across the country, been a member of executive committees, served as President for both MHSBCA and NHSBCA, and been on the National Ranking Committee representing the Midwest Region. He was inducted into the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001, the National Sunbelt Hall of Fame in 2011, and the National High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. He currently serves as the Director of the MHSBCA and coordinator for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Interview with the author
How did you get into playing baseball?
I used to sit and watch baseball on TV on Saturday afternoons with my grandpa when I was a boy. I didn’t see my first game until my first year of playing on a Little League team (sponsored the Carpenter’s Union). They bought tickets for all of us and took us to watch a game at Sportsmans Park in St. Louis: the St. Louis Cardinals versus the L.A. Dodgers, who were my favorite two teams. That day, I got to watch Sandy Koufax pitch against Ray Sadecki.
How did you get into writing?
I got into writing when I decided I wanted to write this book.
So then the more important question becomes this: What made you want to write this particular book?
It’s very important to me to stress to coaches how important it is to educate themselves; I also wanted to stress that being a coach is more than just what comes in the job description, which is why I spend Section 1 on attributes coaches need in order to be successful. I define a successful coach as one who is a good teacher, leader, motivator, and more for their athletes. There are a lot of books on the specifics of baseball (like hitting, pitching, etc.), but I wanted to educate coaches about what it truly means to be a coach while still providing basic groundwork for the mechanics of the sport.
Who do you hope will read this book?
The most obvious answer is “coaches.” I believe coaches of all levels–from Little League to high school to college–can use the book. I even think it would be useful as a college text to help mold beginning coaches. Certain aspects of the book could even be helpful to Major League coaches. Beyond coaches, though, the book is written in such a simple form that a parent can use it to coach their kid out in the backyard. Not every part of the book will pertain to every reader, but it’s written so that readers can pick and choose the information that fits their needs.
Why do you think it’s important for coaches to read your book?
It’s important for coaches to evaluate themselves and their coaching philosophy. I put in examples from my own experience, but I don’t want readers to just do what I do–I want them to interact with the material and figure out how it can apply to their own programs. My goal for the experienced coaches who read the book is for them to evaluate what they’re doing in their programs. My goal for the beginning coaches who read the book is for them to start establishing their own philosophy instead of simply copying someone else’s style. Coaches need to learn to be themselves.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to write a nonfiction book?
For whatever subject you choose to write on, make sure you have a passion for it, as well as a good foundation in that subject–a good foundation is vital to successfully express your views. For me, I drew on my 30 years of coaching experience to provide the content of the book, and my passion for the sport (even after retiring, I’m still involved in it) helped me keep writing. Also, don’t get discouraged–writing a book takes a long time. My process started about six years ago when I first got the idea to write a book on coaching baseball. Starting was the hardest part because I had to figure out what approach I wanted to take to be different from the other books already out there. I also had to figure out how much information to include–I didn’t want to go into great detail in the book but wanted to touch on enough details to spur interest in readers to do their own research on the topics. Once I figured out the direction and scope of the book, writing got easier–and faster. Finally, make sure you have a good support team. You’ll need it.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m focusing on marketing this book. I’m doing a lot of interviews, book signings, and so on. During the editing process, though, I started taking notes on things I wanted to add to the book; I’ve continued taking those notes as I watch games and talk to other coaches. I want to use those notes to eventually expand this book for a second edition. That’s a goal for the more distant future. My primary focus now is on getting the current edition out there.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing or working with baseball?
Hunting, fishing, and woodworking. Whenever I have time for those things, it’s really relaxing for me to get outdoors or in the shop.