Briese Breakdown: The Intangibles

2022 15U National Team Manager provides insight into the makeup of a Team USA member

Representing Team USA is more than being a good baseball player – it is about being an even better person.

This week at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, Task Force members aren’t simply scouting the National Team Championships North Carolina for high velocity or the longest home runs; they are evaluating the kind of teammate these ballplayers are for the ones around them. 2022 15U National Team Manager Drew Briese and the rest of the determined group of scouts are watching every minute detail, even when the ball isn’t coming your way. 

“We are absolutely watching what’s going on when the ball is not around you,” Briese said. “That can be between the lines. We’re watching whether you are backing up a base or communicating with the people around you. It can also be outside the lines, like what are you like when you’re in the dugout. We go down and we sit in the dugouts. We listen to the way guys talk and the energy they bring to their team. We’re evaluating all aspects of their game and their personality. That’s really important to us that not only are we finding the most talented players, but guys who are going to fit the mission of what we are trying to do here - which is go win a gold medal.”

The mission is of the utmost importance to Briese. The opportunity to don the red, white, and blue is a special opportunity and carries more weight than many these young men have experienced before. While a gold medal is the ultimate goal, having a group of players eager to compete and play for the love of baseball is what he truly wants to see.

“I really want guys who understand the mission and what this is all about, and the value playing for Team USA,” the skipper said. “They play so much baseball every weekend throughout the summer, you start to see it in the way that they play and sometimes in the way that they carry themselves. What’s going to be a really important thing for our staff to identify in the training camp setting is how competitive are they. How much do they really love to play the game? When they’re at the end of their summer and we are in our seventh game of the World Cup matched up against Cuba, how much energy are they going to have?”

To accomplish the mission and achieve the gold medal standard Briese has in place for the 15U National Team, there will have to be adjustments and sacrifices. Players will be put in an environment they are not typically used to and how they react to adversity will be a true test. This will call for these individuals to be selfless.

“This is about giving yourself over to the mission,” Briese said. “We’re going to have guys that are hitting first, second, and third on every lineup they’ve ever been in their whole life. Some of them are going to be asked to take a reserve role. Some of them have been starting pitchers their entire career and will be asked to be relievers. They’re going to be asked to carry ball bags and push themselves physically beyond the limits they’ve gone before. They’re going to have to push themselves well beyond where they have been before.”

If there is any time to push yourself to the limit, the time is now, when an invite to National Team Training Camp or a final roster spot is on the line. Briese and the staff will be prepared to spread the message of how monumental this is to have an entire nation behind you, cheering you on.

“It’s important to talk about it means to represent your country,” Briese said. “What does that mean to stand and hear the anthem playing on a baseball field? We’ll talk a lot about that. This is an opportunity well beyond anything they’ve done before, in terms of representing a team or their school. Now, they’re representing an entire nation.”

When Briese leads the 2022 15U National Team in the coming months, expect a respectful, hardworking squad excited to prove Team USA is the best and prepared to bring gold back for their country.