From coaching one sport to the next

Mike Giardi has been coaching since the late 1990s. Since 2017, Giardi has been the head coach for basketball, baseball, and an assistant coach for football at Marblehead.
Once one season ends, Giardi quickly has to reset and get ready to coach the next sport. Giardi feels coaching other sports helps him during this transition.
“Football and basketball have more similarities, but I feel coaching other sports is a beneficial asset,” Giardi said. “In baseball, we do not prepare the same way as we do for the other sports, but our competitive spirit, drive, and focus must be right on point right out of the gate.”
Giardi expounded this point further.
“During the baseball season, we are always affected by the weather, whereas this is not nearly the case during the fall or winter seasons,” Giardi said. “If we get a heavy rainstorm, we may not be able to take the field for numerous days, so we would be forced to practice inside. During this season, we all must be ready to adapt quickly, which is why our mental focus is so imperative immediately.”
“We watch film during the baseball season, just like we do for football and basketball, but it is more at an individual level,” he added. “We cannot watch tape to see what an opposing team is going to do on offense or defense, as the style of baseball is mainly universal for all teams. But, we do watch tape on what a swing looks like and how it should be adjusted, or what an opposing pitcher may tend to do when runners are on base or in a two-strike situation.”
Giardi has also been adapting his coaching style, saying it’s important to know how to get the best out of the kids.

“I remember coming into coaching in 1999/2000 thinking I was going to coach a certain way, but my style and approach have changed dramatically,” Giardi said. “Obviously things are a little bit different and you have to handle kids a little differently. You have to communicate with them, not at them.”
Giardi is also the lead math teacher at Marblehead, and he believes teaching and coaching are intertwined in helping him build the trust of his players.
“Being in the school and seeing the kids every day is a big plus,” Giardi said. “You build great relationships with students and their families. With that, you can have honest and difficult conversations with them.”

Giardi continued.

“Each kid is an individual,” Giardi said. “We see it in the classroom. You have to set up plans and programs for 20-plus students to get access to the educational process. It’s the same way in sports. You have to get in touch with these players in the right way to get them all on the same page. It might be a new path or different approach for each kid to eventually get everyone to the same mold.”
Giardi also feels coaching other sports helps him teach better and show his players how important the small moments truly are.
One thing Giardi said he loves about coaching at Marblehead is the commitment shown by the students.
“We got a core group over here,” Giardi said. “We have kids who are really committed to being at the top of their game.”

Between teaching and coaching three sports, Giardi believes the best part is seeing the opportunities that come for the kids.

“The teaching aspect has been great. You are teaching in the classroom and teaching on the field and court,” Giardi said. “Getting involved with them and seeing them have opportunities to be successful is one of the most rewarding things.”