About Coach Abate

 

Playing Experience

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 industryHis 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

Understand

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. 

Communicate

Once the goals are understood, the training begins. Clearly communicating and carrying out the plan is as important as the process to create it.

Repeat

Supervised repetition strengthens the neural pathways that are created during training and make things feel 'automatic' when the time comes to compete. 

Mike is an inspiration on and off the field. His balanced approach of physical skills integrated with the mental and emotional stresses of the game, teach young athletes to be prepared for higher levels of play. His advanced skills techniques demonstrate this integration, practicing what can be easily utilized into game play situations. In coaching situations I have witness firsthand his patience and inspiration allowing kids to perform beyond even what they believe are their own capabilities. He has that special ingredient of being a player/coach empathizing with what a young player could be struggling with yet inspires them to push beyond their own limits. I have never heard him raise his voice and he always keeps an even temperament which is truly lacking in today’s parent ranting world in youth sports. I have learned how to be a better coach just being around him.
— Jeff Toporek Father of 3 boys, Travel/Rec coach for 10 years and Interim-President of BPRBA
My son has been working with Mike since he was 12. Besides the many great things they do during workouts , Mike teaches the little things that are so important to being a successful baseball player. Those things make the difference between watching and playing. My son has improved while working with Mike to the point that he has had tremendous success. He has had the opportunity to play in the Babe Ruth World Series, American Legion state tournaments and in 2013 was drafted by MLB out of high school. He is currently playing D1 college baseball. Thanks to Mike my son has the chance to chase the Dream. Thanks to MIke and the OUTSTANDING staff at BVSA.
— Wayne Olmstead
We had the pleasure of having Coach Mike Abate work with our two sons, Michael and Kyle Dunster, for 10 years. Coach Abate was monumental in developing their skills from junior high school through high school. He played a large roll in helping them to reach their goals of playing Divison I baseball and my youngest son to be drafted by NY Mets. Coach Abate relates well to players of all ages and has a strong commitment to develop them to be great players on and off the field. His knowledge of the game is outstanding and his ability to get the best out of all his players is fantastic!
— Michael & Susan Dunster
 

See what the 2015 Greenwich Cannons had to say about being coached by Mike