Ryan Beckman has been active in Pinellas County baseball as both a player and coach for the past 18 years. Ryan spent three years with the Toronto/Dunedin Blue Jays’ front office and another three at the Winning Inning Baseball Academy. After receiving his Associate’s Degree from St. Petersburg College, Ryan went on to earn his B.A. in Business Management from the University of South Florida. When he is not on a baseball field, Ryan enjoys golfing or spending time with his wife, Kathi, and their dog Zoe. To learn more about the Titan’s new Head Coach, read on.
Where did you grow up? What’s your favorite thing about your home town?
I was born and raised in Dunedin, FL. My favorite thing about Dunedin is how simple and relaxing the downtown area is.
Why did you decide to coach baseball?
After battling through some injuries while I was a player, I found myself coaching a Fall High School league. The one memory that sticks out in my head is coaching third base for the first time while on crutches. Sending the runner home, I had the ability to send them using my crutch rather than just my arm. I had a lot of fun doing that! It reached a point where coaching was more fun to me than playing was. Still is to this day.
What do you like the most about your profession?
The best part about being a baseball coach is building relationships with people. Every year I have the opportunity to spend time with players, families, and different members of the baseball community. We talk about the game, politics, different views on things, and, of course, tell stories. It truly is the most rewarding part of my job.
What do you look forward to doing for the SPC Titans this year?
I am looking forward to returning the great name of SPC baseball to the state of Florida. We have had a tough run of things the last few years, but SPC was a dominate power in this state for baseball for the last 10 years. It is my goal to not just return to that status but to return with a greater effort on campus and in the community.
Is there something you always tell your team before a game?
We do not always meet prior to a game. Before the game that is their time to do what they need to do to be ready to play. One thing I say to them repeatedly throughout the course of the game is “Lock In”. Lock in and focus on the key moments you have to control the momentum of the game. In most sports, one sporadic play can make or break the game (an interception, a blocked shot, a breakaway goal) In baseball our moments come and go before most people realize the opportunity was there. If the Titans can lock in on their moments and opportunities to succeed, we will be a better team for it.
What do you think makes a winner?
Goodness, this is a tough question to answer. If I knew the answer for this I would bottle it up and sell it. However, if I had to pinpoint it, I would say humility and adversity. In my 9th year of coaching I have seen and analyzed some of the top athletes in their fields. Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Wayne Greztky, and Payton Manning. The one common trait I found in each of them is that they had to overcome something on or off the field, and that when they overcame that obstacle they found humility. They have kept and held on to that humility and then bottled it into their work ethic.
A great example is Tim Tebow. His adversity is that everyone says he can’t do it. His arm path is too long, he is to slow, and he doesn’t understand the game. His humility comes in his religion. Tebow always puts the Lord and others in front of himself. The combination of those two things is where he finds his work ethic and drive to be a better player. He is humble enough to know that he needs to get better, and he has the hunger to fight and get better with every negative criticism that comes his way. Plus, everywhere he goes he wins!