Coach John Plunkett’s secrets to success in sports

Nani Wong, Staff Writer

You see him walking through the gym wearing a Seabury Hall hat, shorts, and a t-shirt, and you wonder, who is that? John Plunkett is not just a part of the maintenance staff, but he is also the head coach of the Seabury Hall’s boys baseball team.

Plunkett has coached at Seabury since 1991, and during this time, he has developed students through his three basic rules:

“With the right attitude, you can do what you have to in the classroom and with your workouts. With the right attitude it takes you to the next level,” said Plunkett

“You need to condition your body and you need to condition your mind. When you have that at top shape, the best as possible, then you can undertake the last step.”

“The fundamentals of the game, learning the techniques, and then mastering the techniques.”
When talking about these rules, Plunkett explained that, “Without the first two, you will never understand the last one.” Not only does Plunkett install these rules into the minds of his players, but he also teaches them to his coaching staff.

For many years, Plunkett coached different teams here on Maui, as well as in Florida. Whether coaching here on Maui or in Florida, Plunkett has never failed to share his wisdom with his players.

Current Seabury Hall sophomore and baseball player, Kapena Hoopai said, “He is a man with a lot of knowledge. I have learned his values of taking responsibility and being a leader on the team.”

Plunkett started coaching because he wanted to give back to the younger generations. “As a youth playing, I grew up on Maui while my father lived on Oahu. So many of my coaches were my father figures.” The knowledge and wisdom Plunkett gained from his coaches helped him coach for many years.

Every year is a different experience for Plunkett. This year, the team is a very young team. However, they are all experienced in playing baseball. For this team, Plunkett’s goals for the season are for his players to learn maturity. “It doesn’t matter how old you are; it is the maturity that I am after,” he said.

Plunkett said, “Over the years, everyone gets bigger, faster, and stronger, but to win championships you need to be mature. How to handle the good as well as the bad. When you become mature you can achieve anything.”

To help his players and his coaches mature, Plunkett uses five things: preparation, confidence, execution, self control, and success. All of these things lead up to one another. For all of his coaching life, Plunkett has been using these little steps to help his players and coaches become the mature people they are today.

Like any other sport, these players work hard on and off the field. “Coach Plunkett has taught me to focus on my grades before baseball and how to be a student athlete,” said sophomore Ben Belew.

Plunkett believes since this is a young team that knows how to work well together, they will be able to accomplish a lot this season and the seasons to come. “I do not do anything halfway. We are going through a period right now with the young coaches we have and the young players we have. We will grow together and I predict in the next two years we will win a state championship,” said Plunkett.