Lessons Webb learned from football coach have stuck with him

  • Programming Note: The Game Changer Awards air Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area. Mark Kotsay, Logan Webb, Dusty Baker, Kevon Looney and Brandi Chastain will honor those who helped them fulfill their dreams.

Over the last couple of seasons, Logan Webb has developed into one of MLB's best young pitchers. He's the ace of the Giants' staff and will be an easy pick to start on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium in late March, which would be among the career highlights for any baseball player.

But when it came time to pick someone for this year's Positive Coaching Alliance Game Changer Awards and Benefit, Webb selected a high school football coach. It was an easy decision, as he views Rocklin High's Jason Adams as one of the most instrumental figures in the success he has had on the diamond as a professional.

"He made me want to be better as a high schooler. I had moments where I probably was a little lazier and I maybe wasn't taking practice as serious, and he would get on me. He would be like, 'Hey, take this stuff seriously,' " Webb said. "It would push me to try to get better in that aspect of it and I think that's something that I've carried with me throughout my baseball career, as well, is making sure I take every day seriously and not just when it matters.

"There's so much more stuff that goes into it in practice and working on your craft and everything. I think at the time maybe I didn't notice it as much but as I've gotten older it's like, 'Man, that was pretty special what you did for me.' It made me a better person, a better athlete, a harder worker, and I'm forever grateful for that."

Webb was a two-sport star at Rocklin High, leading the team's football team before he broke through on the mound as a senior and vaulted up draft boards. He always has been just as passionate about football as baseball, but in a sport that so heavily revolves around teamwork, a teenage version of Webb occasionally needed a reminder of what needed to be done. He smiled as he recalled showing up late for a weightlifting session shortly after becoming the starting quarterback. Adams wasn't pleased.

"He would get on you," Webb said. "He was very intimidating, very loud. There was always a meaning behind everything he did. It was something that I needed, personally."

Adams said he respected Webb because you could get tough with him if needed but also pull him aside for a longer chat when it felt right. 

"He handled coaching really well," Adams said. "You can help develop people when you tell them what their strengths and their weaknesses are. The kids that are ready to grow, they want to hear about their weaknesses."

Webb has remained that way to this day, seeking out input from Giants coaches but also veteran teammates like Buster Posey and Kevin Gausman. He never has forgotten where it started, though, returning often to his hometown, where he's a rock star now but also someone who often just wants to sit with friends and talk about their high school football glory days.

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A couple of Webb's former teammates showed up for the Positive Coaching Alliance's event, which airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area. The speech was one of his final offseason acts before returning to the mound to lead the way for the Giants, where every five days, he'll use some of the lessons Adams taught him.

"Those life lessons that he would give me have stuck with me forever," Webb said. "He's a big part of me, of why I am able to do what I am able to do."

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