About Coach Abate
As a high school baseball standout, Mike earned numerous accolades en route to being drafted by the California Angels in 1996. Mike chose to go to college for two years earning Junior College All-American honors in 1997 and 1998 (he was chosen as the 1998 Rawlings National Junior College Player of the Year). He was again drafted, this time by the Seattle Mariners, in 1998. He went on to earn the Mariners Minor League Spring Training Player of the Year in 2000 before an injury ended his baseball career.
Rather than calling it quits on sports, Mike enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University and joined the SCSU Football Team as the starting QB. In 2004, he was named to the All NE10 and set the single-season record for most touchdown passes with 28. Mike also holds the career touchdown passes record of 53 (which was accomplished in only 2 seasons). After working out for NFL teams, he signed his first professional football contract with the Manchester Wolves of the Arena league in 2005.
Coaching and Professional Experience
In 2007, Mike began working at Bobby Valentine's Sports Academy. He has served as Director and Curriculum Coordinator for BVSA since his arrival. He and his mentor, Bobby Valentine, produced one of the most respected curriculum and training programs in the industry. His work with youth athletes translated into his being hired as the Head Coach for Greenwich Cannons Senior Legion 19u in 2008. In 8 seasons as coach, Mike has amassed a 191-53 record and earned the American Legion Coach of the Year award for CT in 2008. His teams have also won Zone Titles in 2008, 2011, 2012. His work caught the eye of the New York Mets, who hired him as a Spring Training Hitting Coach in 2014 and to the positions of Professional Northeast Scout in 2015.
Abate Training Philosophy
The first step of any coaching relationship is to understand the history of the player, strengths and weaknesses and develop their goals and strategies, The Plan.
Once the goals are understood, the training begins. Clearly communicating and carrying out the plan is as important as the process to create it.
Supervised repetition strengthens the neural pathways that are created during training and make things feel 'automatic' when the time comes to compete.