As soon as Marblehead boys basketball coach Mike Giardi’s 2022-23 season came to an end, a season which saw the Magicians make a tremendous run to the Elite 8 of the Division II MIAA State Tournament, Giardi could barely take a breather before having to begin coaching the Marblehead baseball team.
This is far from unfamiliar territory for Giardi.
“I coach three teams for Marblehead, as I also am an assistant coach for the football team as well, so you can say I am used to this type of schedule,” Giardi said. “Our last basketball game was on March 10, and the baseball season began on March 20, so I only have a week this time to switch the focus.”
Despite having only just over a week to mentally prepare for the baseball season, Giardi feels coaching other sports helps him during this transition.
“Football and basketball have more similarities, but I feel coaching other sports is a beneficial asset,” Giardi said. “In baseball, we do not prepare the same way as we do for the other sports, but our competitive spirit, drive and focus must be right on point right out of the gate.”
Giardi expounded this point further.
“During the baseball season, we are always affected by the weather, where this is not nearly the case during the fall or winter seasons,” Giardi said. “If we get a heavy rainstorm, we may not be able to take the field for numerous days, so we would be forced to practice inside. During this season, we all must be ready to adapt quickly, which is why our mental focus is so imperative immediately.”
Giardi also emphasized having a sense of urgency during the baseball season is important.
“Baseball is a much more cerebral sport,” Giardi said. “The little things are really important and should not be overlooked or taken for granted. You may only have one out to make in the field or have a couple opportunities at the plate to affect the game, so everyone must be ready when those chances arise.”
Giardi also feels coaching other sports helps him teach better and show his players how important those small moments truly are.
“We watch film during the baseball season, just like we do for football and basketball, but it is more at an individual level,” Giardi said. “We cannot watch tape to see what an opposing team is going to do on offense or defense, as the style of baseball is mainly universal for all teams. But, we do watch tape on what a swing looks like and how it should be adjusted, or what an opposing pitcher may tend to do when runners are on base or in a two-strike situation.”
Marblehead’s first game of the season is against rival Danvers on April 5, and Giardi knows his team will be ready to go.
“Danvers is a really good team, and we will have to be ready not only for a competitive game, but season,” Giardi said. “I know that the team being ready is my job, but I am confident that the coaching staff and players will come together as a team in the next two weeks and will be more than ready for the rigors of the 2023 season.”