Today’s column was quote-heavy, and that’s because Hawaii softball coach Bob Coolen is one of the most quotable sports figures in the state. An interview with Coolen is like a home-cooked meal by mom … the leftovers are really good, too.
Here’s what didn’t make the column about the Wahine and their 12-0 start to the season:
“People now pick each other up.”
“We do situational hitting, but our motto is reach for every fence, wherever we play at. We’ve had that happen 18 times (in 12 games).”
“We’re patient but aggressive. Not aggressive but stupid.”
Coolen had every player draw the hitting zone on a piece of paper, and had each identify a “special spot” in the zone. “A spot where you swing even at 3-0.” He also had them identify their most challenging spots.
“They’re believing in each other. Two years ago we had the same philosophy.”
“Last year chemistry wasn’t good. We had a lot of stuff bubbling in that vial. We had kids who wanted to do things differently than the way I wanted them to do it. It was the same team (as 2010) minus our leaders. This year we have very strong leaders, seniors and others.”
Coolen acknowledges that the competition gets tougher with Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M coming up. He also said that DePaul and Missouri Kansas City were tough opponents because of strong pitchers.
On the 11-day layoff: “It’s part by design and part by budget. We used the money we saved by not staying on the road another week to provide more guarantees (money for visiting opponents). This is good for us. Now we can rest, get back in the weight room and get back to maximum strength. We have our own little March Madness, playing what seems like every day in March. As many home games as possible.”
He said everyone contributing throughout the lineup, “makes the team much happier.”