Gibson imported lessons from youth hockey

Gibson imported lessons from youth hockey

PHOENIX -- Kirk Gibson was determined that in his first Spring Training as D-backs manager, the team was going to spend an enormous amount of time on fundamentals and controlling the running game.

As a result of all the morning drills, the team struggled in the afternoon games.

"I didn't care," Gibson said. "We were going to do that for sure. I did believe that it would help us expand our comfort in what we were doing and that we were going to have to fight through it and grind through it."

Pushing teams to expand their comfort zones is something Gibson did even while coaching 7- and 8-year-olds on a Mite hockey team just after his retirement from playing.

Gibson said he taught the kids some advanced tactics that others were unsure they could handle.

"What I found out was we were the ones putting the limitations on the kids," he said. "I've taken that into here. Sometimes we predetermine, 'Oh, they wouldn't understand that,' or 'They can't do that.' How do you know? Who says?"

It was also in that experience that Gibson used the same formula he does now, playing everyone on his roster regardless of what others may think of his lineup decisions.

"I played all my people," he said. "In reality, I've always felt, this kid -- how do I know what he can become, so I played him. What I found out was we were a better team. I also believe in that here."