Mack – Okay, we’re staying at the high school level with another Florida boy, Tampa Jesuit LHP John Kilichowski. Hey John (or, is ‘Ski’?). Are you watching the Giants/Cowboys game tonight?
John - No I'm actually watching the Korea Japan game tonight because it decides the gold medal game for this weekend.
Mack – I like to start off these interviews with the same basic question, Take us back to that day someone first put either a ball, bat, or glove in your hands and take us through the steps it took to get us here today.
John - For me, it took hard work for years and just never giving up. It sounds cliche but honestly when I look back on it, I spent year after year working with my dad or different coaches always with a way to better myself in mind, whether it be with a new pitch, different mechanics, or being more conditioned. I always worked towards a new goal. Another thing that I just realized recently is that you can always learn something new about the game. Playing with team USA has really blown me away with how many little aspects of the game I didn't even know about, so keeping an open mind to learning new things is key too.
Mack: I’ve got a current interview also in progress with Andy McGuire (last heard from him sitting out the rainout with Australia). How much more elevated is your game when you are not only players with the country’s best, but competing against the best in the world?
John - Playing the Asian teams has not only elevated our games, but really opened our eyes to an almost different form of it. They rarely make any errors and throw even less walks. They are extremely disciplined batters and play small ball better than anyone. Seeing the game played like this exposed our weaknesses and showed us what we can improve on.
Mack – Asian teams are never afraid to let you lose a ballgame… John, take us through your current repertoire and tell us anything new you are working on (or keep it a secret, of course J ).
John - Well over the past six weeks I really just worked on new mechanics. I just wanted to stay taller, have a better weight transfer into my hips, and keeping my arm in line so I wouldn't have so much pressure on my shoulder. When I get home my primary focuses will be more towards getting stronger and resting my arm.
Mack – Well, I’m going to let you go. Bring home the gold and I’ll check back with you during the season.
John - Alright thanks Mack!