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Southlake Style

Q&A: Lessons From A Baseball Great

Dec 01, 2015 04:36PM ● By Dia

For anybody who wants to up their baseball game, just look to former MLB player Homer Bush. He wrote the book on it: Hitting Low in the Zone: A New Baseball Paradigm. In the book, the Southlake resident shares stories from his days playing with the Padres, Yankees, Blue Jays and Marlins, along with data on how hitters can experience consistent success every time they step up to the plate. Here’s what Bush has to say about his book, the sport and the power of perseverance.

Q: What inspired you to write your book?

A: About two years ago, I was looking for a competitive edge for my son. I started researching the data and video of some of the most elite hitters and recognized that their swing mechanics had a common thread.

I wanted to open up a dialogue about what swing mechanics are necessary for hitters to have consistent success at the plate.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from it?

A: I want readers to know that contrary to popular belief, hitters can be improved significantly. Elite offensive players are not born; they become that way through having the proper hitting approach and mechanics. Successful hitters have a plan at the plate, and they execute that plan no matter how big the moment may be.

Q: One of your biggest passions is teaching hitting. What message do you want to impart to aspiring baseball players?

A: If a player understands the dynamics of baseball and what it takes to be successful – things such as preparation, focus and execution, along with hard work – they can do great things in the game.

Q: You’re a regular youth instructor for a number of camps and clinics. What do you find fulfilling about coaching?

A: I pride myself on being able to help players of all ages take a sometimes-difficult game and make it easy. If players trust me, I can give them a plan in almost every phase of the game that will make it fun and allow them to have success at the same time. My goal is always to inspire players to reach their full potential while providing them a supportive and positive learning environment for personal growth.

Q: You were a member of the 1998 World Championship New York Yankees team. What’s the secret to your success?

A: Several things. I’ve always remained humble and I’ve tried to make the most of every opportunity presented to me. I’ve maintained intense focus, surrounded myself with people who would provide sound advice and remained a team player at all times. Those things have worked for me and are what I teach my own children.

Q: Tell us about one of your favorite memories from the Major Leagues. 

A: One of my favorite Major League memories is without a doubt my first Major League homerun, which happened to be at the old Yankee Stadium in 1998. The game was televised on ESPN, so all of my family and friends got to witness it as well. I’ll never forget the standing ovation from the fans as I rounded third base.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your pro baseball career?

A: I’ve learned to keep going even when things don’t seem to be going my way. There’s no replacement for a little hard work, dedication and perseverance.

Q: You’ve lived in Southlake for nearly two decades. What do you enjoy about our community? 

A: Southlake is full of good, hardworking people. I’m a real fan of the high standards that my kids are held to in the school system. I travel heavily throughout the year for baseball, and I like the fact that when I come home, I don’t have to leave my general neighborhood. Southlake has some of the best dining and shopping in the DFW area.

Q: Share with us a little about your family.

A: My son Homer Jr. is an eighth grader at Carroll Middle School. He loves all sports (baseball is his favorite, of course). My daughter Jailyn is an 11th grader at Carroll Senior High School. She’s very creative and loves art. My wife, Monica, and I have been married for almost 20 years and are high school sweethearts. She’s a great writer and one of the smartest women I know, which is why she’s my co-author on this book. She knows my hitting philosophy better than anyone.

Q: You’re working on a second book now. Can you give us a sneak preview?

A: Yes. After researching for Hitting Low in the Zone, it seemed like a natural progression for me to do another book on other aspects of the game. This book will talk about how to be a high-end baseball player overall. It will have more detailed hitting mechanics, as well as tips on fielding, throwing and base running.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: I’d like for players, dads and coaches to know that if you want to be an elite hitter, the information in this book will get you there. If you read the information with an open mind and execute the mechanics, I am confident that your path to consistent success at the plate will be substantially less difficult.