Brian Dowd: Mind of a Coach, Heart of a Player

From suicide squeezes to sacrifice flies, Baseball is a huge mental game. At least that’s how the Kingsborough
Community College baseball team head coach Brian Dowd sees it.

This is Dowd’s second full year as Wave head coach. He sees a brighter future than their 5-18 record last season indicates. More than a second-year coach, Dowd has put his a serious amount of time in with this group. Two years prior to becoming Wave Skipper, Dowd was the teams head strength and conditioning coach. Seven years prior to that he was an assistant coach.

According to Dowd, this job was one he’s known he’s wanted for years.

“I’ve always believed I was going to make it big. There’s always been that thought and it’s never left,” Dowd passionately states. “Growing up playing wiffle ball, basketball, hockey, whatever – we believed on that field – that street that we were going to make it big.”

Make no mistake, however, going from player to coach has been a transition.

“Being a coach has made life a little more stressful,” laughed the 36-year-old. “But that’s okay because stress is not always a bad thing, stress can be good too. It’s given me a way to see that some of my ideas were really good and some of them really stunk. It also helps me figure things out with raising my family and children, and for future players for my team.”

Positivity is the key to Dowd’s approach. In fact, he even has a group text message with the team in which he sends them a ton of motivational quotes, pictures or videos.

“Building up confidence, giving my players positive acclimations leading into games,” said Dowd, as he strokes his reddish-brown beard. “Thinking on things we do well and improve on those things, and thinking of things we don’t do well and improving, but looking at it in a positive point of view and a good opportunity to improve on something.”

His day is not only filled with his and his team working on things. He starts his day as early as 4:30, where he makes breakfast for his family then heads to the gym to get a workout in. From there he heads to his job as an elementary school teacher in Brownsville. He then makes his way to the Kingsborough home field, works with the team, and finally gets home to spend time with his family before repeating it the next day.

He gets enjoyment from having a positive impact on someone’s life, saying, “if I couldn’t coach or couldn’t teach. I’d probably go crazy.”

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a stern side, either. Coach Dowd sees a bit of MLB managers Joe Maddon and Buck Showalter in his approach to the game.

“I think I’m a pretty good combination of guys, but I wouldn’t compare myself to someone individually,” Dowd says. “I’m a ‘no-nonsense’ type of guy just like them.”

The team has improved and is hoping to maintain that after coming off
a tough 5-18 season last season. Dowd is confident.

“This team reminds me of the Atlanta Braves, because nobody came into this year thinking the Atlanta Braves were going to win the National League East,” said Dowd. “And we’re going to win the region this year.”

Author: Michael Hicks

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