Hi, my name is Nick Wood.
Coach Wood or Woody to those who I have had the privilege of coaching over the past 28 years. This page is about me and why I created Hitting With Wood. I have created this site for two reasons. First, and probably the most important reason is that baseball is an incredible sport. The second is that kids now are different than the parents that are trying to teach the game to them today. That is not a bad thing or a good thing it is just different.
I have four sons that range from 26 to 14. I can tell you now from years of pulling my hair out (See photo I’m not kidding), my 14-year-old is nothing like my 26-year-old and his friends were.
Every time I went back to the beginning with one of my sons it was a different journey. Part of the reason for this is that every ballplayer has different skill sets and very different personalities. The other part is that you are trying to teach a group of individuals to move and think as one.
Team sports are, in my opinion, the most frustrating and rewarding teaching opportunities that we as parents and role models share with our children and proteges. One thing you should always keep in mind is you are a ROLE MODEL.
How it happened
I was six years old the first time I grabbed my glove and joined a baseball team. Since that day I have had a passion for this sport.
My passion almost got my parents divorced. I would beg my Dad to bring me to the field and hit me grounders or pitch to me so I could hit. My mom watched me at seven years old taking off my shirt to get into the tub one night after being at the field with my Dad. I had bruises all over my arms chest and even a couple on my back. My mom thought my dad was abusing me. When she questioned me about it, I had to explain that I was the one telling my dad to hit it harder and when I missed it just meant that I needed to do it again. She had to come to the field with us the next day to understand.
I am telling you this, so you understand my passion. If you are lucky enough to coach the modern-day me congratulations you are going to be a good coach. My dad told me one day when I was pulling my hair out at T-ball practice when I asked him how he managed to get me and my friends to be good and love playing, ” You guys made me a great coach because you just loved to play no matter what the game was.”
Playing multiple sports
I grew up and played baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. My parents coached my teams all the way up to middle school. When I got to high school, I had the opportunity to learn more about baseball. I had two coaches that were minor league baseball players. That was a big help because as a sophomore I hit .191 for the varsity team. It was the first time in my life that I wasn’t that good at a sport. I worked so hard, as a result, I made my coach late for dinner more than once and had to buy my first pair of batting gloves because the blisters on the blisters on my hands were bleeding every day we practiced. Yes, it is a passion.
My senior year of high school I moved to Colorado and was not eligible to play because the move was after the season had started. I thought my baseball life was over.
No worries though I grew up at a ball field watching my dad and my uncles play softball. When I got to my first permanent duty station in the army, there was a sergeant asking me if I could play ball. The first game was that night and I was starting a shortstop. That led to a very fun time playing slow pitch softball all over the country for various teams in and after the army.
It still wasn’t baseball. I always wanted to get back to baseball. Therefore, I always took the opportunity to coach even before I had kids. When I came across an indoor baseball facility near my home, I went in and talked to the owner. He gave me a chance to be a hitting instructor.
Increasing my knowledge base
Having no credible experience ( I didn’t play in college or the pros) made getting students hard. I went out and got certified as a Mike Epstein hitting instructor. Mike is a very knowledgeable man. He played for Ted Williams. Can you imagine the information you can soak in talking to Ted Williams about hitting? That led to a lot of lessons and the opportunity to coach at Becker College.
For five years I worked with Bob McLaughlin the head coach at Becker honing my craft as a hitting coach and a baseball coach. Bob is a great guy who played baseball at Northeastern University.
What I can do for you
I tell you this, so you know that along with my passion I have worked hard to create a network of minds that have made me who I am. These connections are also helping me assist you through the journey you are about to begin.
At any time if you need help I am your resource. I tell my 15-year-old son all the time, “If you have a question ask. If I don’t know the answer, I am sure that I know someone who does.” Feel free to drop a comment or question below if needed. My network and I are always available.
Thank you for your interest,
Founder of Hitting With Wood