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ABCA Minority Member Spotlight: Elliott McCummings, North Carolina A&T University

The American Baseball Coaches Association strives to help diversify the baseball community and help bring opportunities in the game to all areas. The ABCA Minority Spotlight series looks to capture the experiences, coaching style, and impact that baseball has had on different ABCA member coaches. A new Minority Spotlight feature is released on the ABCA Podcast on the third Monday of the month and we will transcribe a small portion of the interview, which you can find below.

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The ABCA Podcast releases a new episode weekly featuring coaches from all levels of the sport. Discussions run the gamut of baseball coaching topics, from pitching, to hitting, to the mental game, practice planning, recruiting and more. The podcast is hosted by Ryan Brownlee, longtime coach and current Assistant Executive Director of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

Elliot McCummings began his coaching career as an assistant at Louisburg College (NC) in 2018. There, he was in charge of the outfielders and helped the Hurricanes post a 31-22 record. McCummings then spent a year at Austin Peay working with the outfielders and hitters. Now he is an assistant coach at North Carolina A&T, where he is in charge of the outfielders, assists with offense, and spearheads the recruiting program.

Ryan Brownlee: Who got you interested in baseball?

Elliot McCummings: I guess my friends did. They were all doing it and I wanted to do what they were doing. So I just went out there and had fun with it.

RB: What were some of the things maturity-wise you needed to clean up?

EM: The simple stuff. For me, I was that guy that if I got out, it was the worst day ever. I needed to change my mindset in that aspect and learn to take the good with the bad. 

RB: How did you get to Louisburg?

EM: I applied for it off the ABCA website. One of my coaches growing up went to Louisburg and I figured why not give it a try. 

RB: What have you learned from the different personalities you have been around?

EM: I have been around really good head coaches and observed how they operate on a daily basis. For me you know, coaches can’t have bad days. You can’t let your guys see that you're having a bad day or anything like that. When you’ve been around some intense and high energy guys you can kind of use everything they do and go from there. 

RB: When you were a junior college player at Potomac State College, how did you balance looking for your next school while working on being good where you were?

EM: I think you just have to take it one step at a time. For me, I just wanted to have a good season. The factor on where I wanted to go for school did not really play a part until after the season.

RB: How gratifying is it being at A&T?

EM: It is really cool. You hear a lot of good things being on the outside of it. Then you start learning the history and traditions here. 

RB: You were an assistant coach in the MLB Draft League in 2021. What did you learn?

EM: That was a really good experience for me. Being around that high level of players. The biggest thing I learned was what minor league baseball was really like. The draft league was on a minor league schedule with minor league travel and it really opens your eyes and makes you think, do I really love baseball?

RB: How long after you got done playing do you think it took you to find your voice as a coach?

EM: I would probably say as soon as I got to the JUCO level. I was in charge of the outfielders and helped with the hitters and I had to speak up. It was only me and one other assistant doing our thing. So right away you felt like you definitely had to speak up especially for me with what I was trying to do with the outfielders.

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