About Tom Nelson
About Tom Nelson
After missing his senior season due to a broken foot sustained playing varsity basketball for Glenbrook South HS, Tom’s baseball playing career ended quickly and unceremoniously.
It wasn’t until the following spring while attending Illinois State University that the kind of positive impact that disappointing experience would later have on his life became clear. During a walk back from school to his dorm on a warm spring afternoon, Tom decided to sit in the bleachers and watch the Redbirds baseball team practice. At that moment, quietly watching those players work through their drills, he realized, “that could have been me down there.”
Instead of reliving the disappointment of the previous spring, he decided right then that somehow in the future he would dedicate himself to helping young players never miss their chance to play college baseball and beyond.
The fulfillment of that commitment took a while to get started, but with the birth of his son in 2002, Tom began the schooling and preparation for a coaching and training journey that continues today. Driven with the that same passion born on those bleachers, he now works tirelessly to do everything he can to help any ball player with the desire and goal to reach that next level.
Tom has coached youth baseball now for 12 years for organizations like St Charles Boys Baseball, Illinois Lightning, Aurora Aces, Northern Illinois Reds, and now Illinois Hawks Baseball. Primarily focusing on Infield play and hitting, he has, to date, coached four NCAA Division I, five Division III, and three JUCO committed athletes.
However, more importantly than any accolades, during that period he’s spent countless hours (just ask his wife) studying the game with an unquenchable thirst to find and develop a holistic approach to teaching and training that touches on every aspect of the game. From breaking down the individual movements of the fielding process to develop better drills for infielders, to making agility ladders for players out of duct tape, to reading books and attending seminars on the mental side of hitting, Tom is continually working to improve his approach to help make sure none of his players are ever sitting in the stands thinking, “that could have been me down there.”
Tom currently lives in St Charles with his wife, Judy (ex all-state softball player), daughter Maggie who is a Junior Animal Studies student at the University of Missouri, and Cole a middle infielder preparing for his first year of college baseball at Oakton Community College next fall.