Baseball coaches know it's not really a talent but rather an intangible to be worked on practice after practice, hoping it eventually carries over to each game.
Then, if everything jells, you've got a chance at a pretty good season. Then you build from there.
Possibly nowhere in Tennessee has high school baseball reached the consistency it has at Farragut. After winning their ninth state championship in spring 2014 - all but one in the 2000s - the consistency continues.
"I don't think there's much doubt Farragut has been the most consistent team in east Tennessee the last 20 years," said Pat Dorwin, a former Admiral who played on Farragut's initial state championship team more than 30 years ago. "That puts the Admirals up there with being one of the best baseball programs in Tennessee - ever."
Over the past three decades, the Ads have produced nine state champions and four state runner-up squads. State titles came in 1982, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014. Farragut has lost in four title games - 1988, 2001, 2002 and 2013.
"The Farragut baseball program continues to represent our school and community with pride and class," Farragut athletic director Seth Smith said.
During all those years, the Admirals have had just four coaches: John Heatherly, his longtime assistant Herky Payne, followed by Tommy Pharr getting Farragut back to state title winners, and Buckner, who won two state championships his first two years after Pharr left after capturing two in a row himself, leaving Farragut as the only state Class AAA baseball team to win it all four consecutive years.
"With this past spring's title, Farragut has been state champs, or runners-up, 13 times over the past 32 years," Dorwin said. "That defines consistency."
Farragut is also consistent in its community service, helping raise almost $6,000 over the past five seasons to help find a cure for Parkinson's disease. The event is held each May at the Ads' Throwback Game, where a doubleader is scheduled and the teams wear old-school uniforms with cheap concessions are sold.
"Farragut has an awesome booster club that is the backbone to the success we've had in raising money to fight Parkinson's," Dorwin said.
Dorwin, leading hitter for the Ads and an All-Knoxville Interscholastic League player in 1982, was diagnosed with Early-onset Parkinson's in 2003 at the age of 38, initiated a fundraiser for the National Parkinson Foundation in 2010 at the doubleheader.
"I called coach Buckner out of the blue," Dorwin said. "I told him my idea and he immediately said, 'Sure, we can do it at the Throwback Game.'
"He had no idea who I was," Dorwin said. "He just told me I was part of the Admiral family and they would help in any way they could. There's not many coaches out there that show class like that."
Dorwin's youngest brother Pete, a member of the 1988 runner-up squad and also an All-KIL outfielder, was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 at age 39.
"Pete's gutting it out," said Pat Dorwin. "I would not wish this disease on anyone."
Farragut business women Ellen Hubrig organized the first two events, bringing in vendors and holding silent auctions, Dorwin said. Dorwin then founded Project 20/20, with the goal of 20 area high schools holding fundraisers at sporting events by the year 2020. See www.pdproject2020.blogspot.com for more information.
Dorwin said more than $4,000 was raised the first two years and all the credit goes to Hubrig.
"I was just the unfortunate spokesman," he said.
The 2012 event raised almost $600 and nearly $400 in 2013, as Dorwin had partnered with the Knoxville-based KiMe Fund (www.kimecnd.org) as they focus on raising funds for movement disorders, primarily Parkinson's disease.
"We got back on track in 2014, helped because there was a tripleheader," Dorwin said. "We were able to pass on more than $950 to the KiMe representative at the game."
While Farragut has remained the consistent venue Dorwin said money has been raised at a local high school rugby festival (www.smacrugby.com) and at baseball games at Pigeon Forge, Seymour and Anderson County.
"That's where we need to get more consistent, getting more teams involved, and getting established so the event can become yearly," Dorwin said. "That's the tough part - getting the coaches and athletic directors to call or e-mail you back so you can explain the purpose of the fund-raisers: To get money to the KiMe Fund, which does a great job of finding key places to get money to for helping to cure Parkinson's or just help slow it down."
Dorwin, who also played high-level softball for a long time as well as playing for 15 years with the Knoxville Possums Rugby Football Club, relied on his speed as an athlete, but not anymore because of the way his Parkinson's has progressed.
"I'm slow most of the time. When my medicine works, I can get outside and run around with my kids (Eli, 10, and Addie Grace, 8) and my wife Angie, but the disease has spread from my left side to my right quad in the past 18 months," Dorwin said. "That's caused a new set of problems, so I have to use a wheel chair at times and I fall quite a bit.
"But you carry on. That's why Project 20/20 is so important to me - any donation could be the one that helps me eventually get on even footing to fight back at this disease. It would be great if this release reaches coaches and athletic directors and they set up whatever kind of fund-raiser they'd like. Farragut gives us the gate, which consists entirely of donations from spectators, but not all schools can do that. Baseball is a big sport at some schools, but I would appreciate help from any kind of varsity or club sport."
To contact Dorwin, use the email@example.com e-mail address or phone 865-363-9014.