"Coach's Corner"


Luis Monell is the president of the Brooklyn Falcons. Luis grew up in East New York, was a four year letterman at Samuel J. Tilden High School, and played Division I baseball at St. John’s University as a pitcher. Of course, most Falcons know him as Coach Monell, and Luis started his coaching career at Norman Thomas High School, and is now varsity coach at Berkeley Carroll. And in case you didn’t know, Luis is a lefty—only part of the reason why he’s a special part of our program.


What was your favorite moment in your baseball career?


Wow, this is a tough one. I always tell my players that there's no better feeling than dogpiling on the mound. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do just that – but not on just any old mound on a barely raked city park infield, I got the chance to do it in the house that Jeter built, in the first year it was open – the new Yankee Stadium. On June 9, 2009, while I was the pitching coach of Norman Thomas HIgh School, under the bright lights in the Bronx, we beat Monroe HS 5-2, completing a perfect season and capturing the first city title in school history. Two days later, the starting pitcher of that team, Mariel Checo, was drafted by the Yankees and a few months later, the Yankees did exactly as we did on the same mound.


What are keys to becoming a successful player?


I believe there are many different keys to becoming a successful player, however, those keys change or mature over time. I'll break it down into three age groups that lead up to college:

9-11yrs old -

1. Listen to your coaches, they are your teachers on the field. Just as you sit in class and take in every word your teachers speak at school, do the same during practice and games.

2. Learn the game. Learn the rules of the game. Learn about the game, past and present. You will learn to appreciate the game and thus grow your love for the game.

3. Work hard, especially when it’s hard work. You will fail much more than you will succeed. Embrace the failure, it will be your greatest teacher.

4. Be a good teammate. Pick your teammates up every opportunity you get. Some of them may end up being lifelong friends.

5. Have fun. Never forget why you began playing this game in the first place. Find joy in being able to run out onto that field every day to play a game you love with some of your best friends.

12-14yrs old

1. Mindset - These are the most difficult years of your young careers. These are the transition years where many begin to realize that they may not be good enough to play on the big fields. Your mindset has everything to do with whether or not you'll come out on the other side of this transition and be well on your way to high school ball. Having a growth mindset will help with this transition.

2. Develop - This is the time where you need to focus on becoming stronger and faster. The game speeds up at the high school level, take advantage of these years by improving your strength, speed and specific baseball skills. This is where you begin to put in the real work.

3. Honesty - Be honest with coaches, teammates, family and most importantly, yourself. It takes a lot to play high level baseball. Make sure you're willing to put in the work and effort to be the best you can be for yourself and your team.

4. Be a good teammate. Pick your teammates up every opportunity you get. Some of them may end up being lifelong friends.

5. Have fun. Never forget why you began playing this game in the first place. Find joy in being able to run out onto that field every day to play a game you love with some of your best friends.

15-18yrs old

1. Take care of your body. Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Both in the off-season and in-season. It's that simple.

2. Hold yourself accountable at all times. If you want and expect the best from your teammates, you must first give your best during practice, games, in the classroom, and off the field.

3. Perform. These are the years when you have to prove your worth. Only those who have prepared for success will achieve it.

4. Be a good teammate. Pick your teammates up every opportunity you get. Some of them may end up being lifelong friends.

5. Have fun. Never forget why you began playing this game in the first place. Find joy in being able to run out onto that field every day to play a game you love with some of your best friends.


What made you want to become a coach?


During my time at St. John's, I would work a summer camp run by my head coach, Ed Blankmeyer. It was there that I found out that I could successfully communicate with kids and get them to perform their best. And it was then that I knew that someday I'd want to coach young ballplayers.


Who is your favorite pitcher in the MLB to watch work and why?


This one is tough because there are so many good pitchers to watch and learn from. In this city alone we have some of the best arms in the game. Although I'm a die-hard Yankee fan, I would have to say my favorite pitcher to watch is Jacob DeGrom. He's got a loose, athletic and effortless delivery that is repeatable. He throws all of his pitches from the same slot and he's not afraid to throw his fastball inside. He's got great command, of his pitches allowing him to pitch hitters in any kind of sequence he wants. His consistency also stands out. To be able to mow through carve lineups up every five days on a team that couldn't hit the floor if they jumped off a ladder is truly amazing and something every young pitcher should watch.


What are you most excited about for this Falcons season?


I'm excited to watch our teams compete. Our coaches have been putting in a lot of hard work this off-season and it's been paying off so far. It'll be interesting to see how it all unfolds on the diamond. I'm also excited for the continued growth of the organization. The amount of support we've received from volunteers, parents and players has been refreshing and motivating. We have a bright future in store for these kids.