If you are willing to pay attention, and take the time to understand that baseball is a game where each failure is a lesson, each person you meet is a teacher, and every success is proof that baseball gives you every chance to succeed, then baseball will show you some pretty interesting things. Most of us will have to learn the hard way. But this is a good thing. We learn through experience, but a little friendly advice never hurt anyone.
Here is what I learned in my 5 years of college ball.
1.Learn to be a great fast-ball hitter– Guys are throwing harder here. You may not be seeing 95 mph fast-balls on a daily basis, but you better believe there are at-least 2-3 guys that throw consistently in the upper 80’s and can hit their spots. Being a good fast-ball hitter means understanding the concept of timing. The harder he throws, the earlier you have to start.
2.Learn to hit to the opposite field– Hitting to the opposite field is absolutely essential. If you can’t drive the ball the other way, you’re just a dressed up out. You won’t be a good situational hitter, will struggle in the clutch, and will struggle with the off-speed.
3.Learn what foods are good for you and what foods aren’t– You will be playing more games than you are used to at the lower levels. The college baseball season is a marathon, and your longevity will depend on a few key things.One of them is the type of foods you put into your body. Eating foods that will alkalize your body and help promote recovery will give you an advantage
4.Listen to your mom– Honestly, can you remember a time when your mom gave you bad advice?
5.Clean your cleats– Do this before every game. It shows that you care, are responsible, and have a sense of pride. This will show in your performance, and the scouts will always notice.
6.Never show emotion on the field after you fail– Failure is a part of the game. Your focus should be on the adjustments you need to make. You don’t have time to give in to frustration.
7.Stay away from alcohol– I have nothing against kicking back a few beers. But alcohol gives you no benifits. Neither nutritional, phycological, or emotional. If you happen to be an average player, than you will need all the help you can get. You won’t find it from booze.
8.Learn how to stretch correctly– I have seen to many players miss playing time from injuries they could of easily prevented had they taken 5 minutes to stretch. Make it a habit to stretch after you shower. Your muscles are warm and pliable. You will be amazed at the benefits.
9.Learn how to be a great two-strike hitter– This ties in closely with hitting the ball the other way. Not putting the ball in play consistently becomes a burden in the line-up. If you can cut down strike-outs, it could be the difference in hitting .300 or .350
10.Take care of your arm– If you feel discomfort in your arm, shut it down. Your arm strength is your livelihood. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
11.Take extra batting practice– We live in a universe where we get what we put in. You want to see results? You have to be willing to put in the work.
12.Learn from others– Baseball is a games of failure. You can learn a lot not only from your failures but from the failures of your team-mates. Pay attention.
13.Bring a book on road trips– You will be traveling a lot. Take the time to get aquatinted with the thoughts of someone else. Books are formed by knowledge. Knowledge is power and interestingly enough it’s the same power you use to turn on a fast-ball.
14.Trust your instincts– Your instincts will guide you. The whole point of practice is so that you can forget what you have learned, and allow it to come naturally.
15.Don’t play to win. Play to succeed– You have no control over results. You can do everything right, and still lose. Play to succeed. This come from within.
16.Respect the game– Do I really need to explain this?
17.Never steal with a big lead– Unless you wan’t to get one of your teammates hurt, just take my word for it.
18.Don’t get out of the way of a pitch when your team needs runners on base– This is part of doing what it takes to win. No pain no game. (Sorry for the cliche)
19.Pick your teammates up, always– This game may be defined mostly by individual stats, but you will always win and lose as a team. Be supportive. Their will be a time, when you will need someone to pick you up as well.