SDSU coach teaching players to be great men off the field

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - This is a first for college athletics.

San Diego State University head baseball coach Mark Martinez wants to do more than teach his players the fundamentals of the game.

He wants to make sure they learn to become great citizens. Men, who manage themselves off the field, with family, faculty, and girlfriends.

"We want to be ahead of that, domestic violence," Martinez said. "We don't want to be that guy you see on ESPN pushing a girl or punching a girl which you almost see every week."

So Martinez has taken the unprecedented step of partnering with the Center for Community Solution (CCS), which works to end domestic violence and heal its victims.

CCS CEO Verna Tabor leads the sessions with the team.

"Let's start talking about what it means to have healthy communication, what it means to respect each other, including yourself," Tabor said.

The SDSU Aztecs are a Division 1 program. Elite athletes come here such as Tony Gwynn and Stephen Strasburg. These players are a big deal on campus and now, thru this partnership they have the opportunity to set the bar for healthy relationships and appropriate social behavior.

Aztecs left fielder Tyler Adkinson said he realizes the opportunity athletes have to change the culture.

"I feel like through the program we were put through real-life scenarios, talking them out with our group, kind of opening our eyes to realize like don't realize the scenario until you go through it in your head," Adkinson said.

Because decisions are made in seconds.

"Most young men out there won't hurt anyone, see challenging things and they don't know how to address it. This is teaching them to do that," Tabor said.

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