PINE LAKE, Ga. - Baseball bats ping during a typically busy Thursday for Coach James Phillips at his baseball center in Pine Lake.
"Sometimes there will be about twelve or fifteen kids in here at one time. I have them going to different areas of their need," says Phillips.
While the young sluggers have Phillips full attention, his schedule is about to get a lot more full. Phillips plans on spending 40-45 nights this summer watching his most successful pupil. His son, new Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips.
"You know Brandon got traded [from the Reds] and when I saw that I said 'Oh my god!' Everybody was jumping for joy. Me and my wife and my daughter Porsha. We jumped for joy. We're home now so we have to enjoy where he is right now and I'm glad he's home. Plus I can see him a little more," says Phillips.
It is not like the elder Phillips wasn't keeping tabs on his son while Brandon was in Cincinnati.
"He always calls me, man," says Brandon Phillips. "He's like my personal coach everywhere I go. He watches every game. If he sees something he doesn't like or something I need to fix, he'll make sure to call me on the phone. My mom's the same way," says Brandon.
It's definitely a family thing. Brandon's two brothers were also drafted to play baseball and his sister Porsha played in the WNBA. The kids got their work ethic from dad, even before he had his own baseball center.
"We'd find a field somewhere. It could be Redan's field, it could be Clarkston, it could be a church field, we'll find a place to practice," says James.
"Me and my dad have practiced in the snow before, in the rain. I was hungry and my dad really motivated me.
And he continues to motivate future All-Stars every day in Pine Lake.