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20 Questions: Nebraska City High School Baseball Head Coach Kyle Ferguson

Looking for more information about Nebraska City High School Baseball? Contact Head Coach Kyle Ferguson today! kferguson(at)

What is your team outlook for 2024?
We are returning a large percentage of players from our 2023 varsity season. We look forward to competing at a high level and being a contender for the 2024 season.

Players to watch in 2024?
We have a solid group of seniors retuning this season. A few to watch are: Keston Holman (12, P/INF), Sloan Pelican (12, SS/P/C), Zac Hawley (12, P/3B), Tristan Kingery (12, C/1B).

How long have you been coaching high school baseball?
The 2024 season will be season number 7 for me.

What inspired you to become a high school baseball coach?
I grew up around the game of baseball and it has been a huge part of my life. The lessons learned along the way have helped me become the person I am today. Once my playing days were over, I wanted to stay involved with the game and pass my passion onto the next generation.

What is your coaching philosophy when it comes to developing high school baseball players?
As a high school coach, my goal is to teach my players how to be quality baseball players, but be even better young men. We focus and being good students first and baseball players second. My players learn to analyze the game and make the necessary adjustments to be successful in both games and practices.

Can you share some key principles you instill in your players regarding sportsmanship?
We always stress to our players to respect the game and all those involved with it. We want our players to be quality young men and that starts with how they handle themselves in competition.

What is your approach to balancing academics and athletics for your players?
Our players are absent a lot during baseball season. In order to alleviate some of the academic struggles, we try to adjust their schedules 2nd semester to allow for study halls at the end of the day so they aren’t missing any key instruction. I do weekly grade checks and conditioning plans are setup up based on player grades. This allows us to get ahead of any issues with academics and keeps the kids accountable for their actions. We also implement a day after policy that requires all players to be in their 1st period class ON-TIME days after we play. The importance of academics is stressed all season long.

How do you address the varying skill levels and experience within the team?
I am fortunate to have great volunteer assistants and good facilities to be able to split up into smaller differentiated groups. Having extra volunteers help with our program allows more individualized instruction to work with all levels of players and increase quality reps.

Can you describe your strategy for preparing the team for important games or tournaments?
I am probably different than most coaches in this case. I am not one to spend countless hours scouting and breaking down opponents. I always tell my players to focus on what they can control and that is themselves. We work on keeping things simple and not being too up or too down in big moments.

How do you encourage players to set and work towards both individual and team goals?
We goal set prior to starting our season. Each player compiles a list of both individual and team goals. These goals are then reviewed for common themes and we discuss how these goals can be achieved.

What emphasis do you place on mental preparation?
We don’t dive too deep into the psychology of the sport, however, we do discuss the importance of creating routines, thinking one play ahead, and moving on to the next pitch when things don’t go our way.

What role do statistics and analytics play in your coaching decisions?
As previously stated, I don’t worry too much about opponents statistics. The coaching staff utilizes game stats to create lineups, diagnose potential issues, and setup practice plans. We do not have access to any of the newest analytics technology so we don’t dive into any of that.

How do you manage playing time and ensure fair opportunities for all team members?
At our lower levels, we look to get all players time in games. As for our varsity team, you earn your spot and time is not guaranteed. During practice, all players get equal or close to equal reps to prove to the staff they deserve a starting spot. Players are evaluated daily and no spots are guaranteed.

What role do leadership and captaincy play within your team, and how are leaders selected?
We do not assign captains to our baseball team. Leadership roles are taken on by those who lead by example and take charge both in season and off-season. Coaches may pull certain individuals aside and talk to them about taking on a leadership role in practices and games. When we do this, we look for athletes who can be an extension of the coaching staff and have positive peer relationships. We have been fortunate to have quality leaders the past few years. We will have a great group of senior leaders this season.

What resources or facilities are available to the baseball team for practice and games?
Clemmy Holmes field is located in our city park and is our home site for games and practices. When mother nature decides to have other plans, we utilize school gymnasiums and indoor cages.

What qualities do you look for in assistant coaches to ensure a cohesive coaching staff?
I have been blessed with great assistants over the years. When looking for assistant coaches, I look for goal-oriented individuals who share common ideas. I don’t want yes guys on my staff. I want guys that will offer up ideas and challenge thinking of those around them. I look for guys that have a strong passion for the game and a solid foundation in fundamentals of the game. I try to piece my staff together with guys who bring knowledge in different aspects of the game so we can come together like a puzzle and serve our athletes to the best of their abilities.

What advice do you give to players aspiring to pursue baseball beyond high school?
We talk about the grind of the game at the next level and how they need to have a strong passion for the game and desire to achieve great things. No matter what level of baseball a person pursues after high school, it is a great accomplishment. I also make sure the players understand they represent our program once they graduate. I tell them to represent us proud and help pave the way for future Pioneers to pursue college baseball opportunities.

What services do you utilize to help players that want to pursue baseball beyond high school
Currently, we utilize FieldLevel for those who are interested in playing at the next level. I help athletes get their profiles started and then they are in charge of uploading game film and practice film as they see fit. I have also expressed to them the power of X (Twitter). I tell my guys to promote themselves and their teammates as much as possible to gain exposure.

How do you engage with parents to ensure a collaborative and supportive environment for the team?Each year we kickoff the season with a player and parent meeting. We send home a handbook for both players and parents to sign. This allows for everyone to be on the same page and understand the common goals of our program.

What else should we know about your baseball program?
The Pioneer program is entering it’s 24th season in program history. We are excited about the makeup of our team this season and can’t wait to kickoff action on March 14, 2024.

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