STUDENT Spotlight
Corey Branch, Baseball Player

Student Spotlight is a regularly-updated feature that highlights Baltimore County Public Schools students involved in a wide range of activities and programs. To see more student spotlights, click here.

Student Spotlight

Name: Corey Branch
Grade: Rising Grade 12
School: Towson High School

Why did you begin playing sports?
I've played sports ever since I could walk, and they've always been a big part of my life.

When did you start playing baseball?
I started playing baseball when the softball league for Towson Recreation Council (TRC) folded when I was eight or nine years old. I got serious about baseball in Grade 6. 

How did you become a baseball coach?
I became a coach when my old coach said that he wanted my help teaching pitching and mechanics. I took on helping run the practices and coaching at games.

How did you prepare your team for baseball games this season?
This season, my team was definitely the underdog in most games. So, I just made sure that the players knew it was important to have fun because that's when you play your best, and it worked.

Have you won any awards or honors for baseball?
I was captain of my travel team.

What is the most rewarding part of being a baseball coach?
The most rewarding part is seeing improvement. I worked with each kid on that team on an individual level. Everyone has something to improve on, but one kid stuck out, not just skill-wise. I saw his confidence grow through the season, and that's the most important part. The most rewarding game happened in the playoffs when we had to play a team that destroyed us just a week before. My guys showed up ready to play and kept their confidence up, and we came around and beat them to advance to the next round.

Student SpotlightWhat is the most challenging part of being a baseball coach?
When personalities clash between a player and a coach, that's when you aren't going to get anywhere. Sometimes, a player just doesn't listen to what you have to say, and that's when some say they're "uncoachable." On the other hand, sometimes, you have to be patient with a player, because you know that he or she will get it; it just takes a little longer for them. It's also challenging being a 17-year-old girl coaching a team of 13 to 15-year-old boys.

What advice do you have for other aspiring baseball players and coaches?
One piece of advice that I have is from a lesson that I've learned the hard way: don't let your emotions get the best of you, don't lose your cool. Baseball is a mind game, so once you get into your head, you're done. 
And, to coaches, don't give up on your team. Keep their confidence and momentum up through the last play – they're watching you and how you react. 

What are your plans for this summer?
This summer, I'll finish baseball within a week and then I'm a counselor-in training-at Girl Scout camp. 

What are your plans for next school year?
Next school year, I'll be a senior at Towson high school and I'll be applying to colleges.

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