The Art of Becoming a Dirtbag

Over the course of five years as a high school baseball coach, I had the opportunity to coach guys who set an example of how the game is supposed to be played. Dirtbag is a term that is thrown loosely around the baseball world. A Dirtbag is a special player that exceeds the expectations set forth by a program. A Dirtbag does not look a certain part, grow facial hair (think Yankees), or come home with grass stains every night. A player is a Dirtbag due to his actions. This list is a compilation of players’ characteristics and actions that exemplify a Dirtbag.

Dirtbags play the game how it is supposed to be played.

They play the game hard and unselfishly. A Dirtbag competes under any situation and knows how to execute when the pressure is at its greatest. A Dirtbag does not play dirty, they simply play with an edge. They are not pricks, but instead they are a classy prick (Coach Carel of Jefferson College).

Dirtbags go to work when no one is watching.

A Dirtbag’s work is not complete during the three hours of practice. Their work ethic spills over into a lifestyle. They take care of their bodies, they care about nutrition, and they train in the gym as if they are preparing for recording the last out of a world series game. Dirtbags are in a never ending phase of preparation.

Dirtbags hate to lose more than they love to win.

I stole this from the University of Missouri’s head coach, Tim Jamieson. Dirtbag’s do not like to lose. Just ask George Brett….

Dirtbags sacrifice.

Dirtbags sacrifice, meaning to give something up in order to grow. They give up chasing girls, cars, and partying to stay on course when they are not at the yard. Dirtbags do not go smash beers and play Xbox for the majority of the day.

Dirtbags have a vision.

“Anything you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon, MUST absolutely come to pass.”

 Dirtbags see something and they flat-out go and get it. Not only do they have a vision for themselves, but they have a vision for their team. Their vision is contagious.

Dirtbags want to be in the pressure situation.

One of my former Dirtbags, Bryce Harrison, always wanted to be in the pressure situation. Bryce had prepared everyday as if he were to be in a big spot, and in the postseason he got his opportunity.

Bryce hit the biggest homerun in program history to win a playoff game against our arch rival (overcame a two-deficit with two outs). I can credit his success to his work ethic and the way he prepared himself, day in and day out.

Dirtbags are leaders.

Last, but not least, Dirtbags are leaders. Leaders do not have to be outspoken, but they have a knack for doing the right things at the right time. Dirtbags are self-starters and their actions and words are contagious to their teammates. Imagine a car that is misaligned. If the driver keeps the wheel straight, the car runs off the road. A leader keeps the car (team) on the road and often times do so without the initiation from the coaching staff.


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