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The best baseball advice ever

It’s not how good you are, its how good you want to be

The level of competition particularly in baseball, is such a unique thing. It’s the only sport that signs as many professional contracts as it does to players on an annual basis.

If you don’t know, its a lot.

It’s safe to say that the pool of talent in the United States alone can be quite intimidating for most players.

I know it was for me.

For a long time, especially in high school as well as my first year in division one baseball, I constantly compared myself to other players that I competed against.

Now during this time, I was playing against players like Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, Rickie Weeks, Yonder Alonso, who are all either already causing a ruckus in the big leagues or are having successful minor league careers.

So for me feeling intimidated was a battle that I had to first become aware of it’s negative impact on my game before I could overcome it’s grip.(Which I eventually did.)

First I had to be completely realistic with myself. I didn’t throw 98 MPH of the bump, and I didn’t hit .400 with 14 hrs in the ACC conference. So what skills did i have that gave me an edge over these players.

I had passion.

I had faith that if I could focus on the things that are within my control, good things can and will happen.

Now to be completely honest, I do have some natural talent. I run about a 6.4 sixty yd dash and have an average arm by professional standards, which is the ability to throw in the upper 80’s as a MID-INF.

I also had a pretty good idea of how to hit, but was I a first rounder?

No…..not by a long shot!

So it comes down to this.

It’s not how good you are, its how good you want to be. No matter what level you are currently playing at, you can play with the hope that because of your desire to get better and play for a long time, it might just happen.

I can’t help but think of the short conversation I had with former MLB player Greg
Litton. His daughter was a student of my mother’s and I had the pleasure of receiving some advice which was this.

” if you can find a way to just get better, even if its just a little, every year, you just might have a chance”

Now this is coming from a former big leaguer who didn’t even make his high school baseball team!

It was the greatest advice ever given to me, which is why after almost ten years later I can recall our conversation like it was yesterday.

So what does this mean for you? It means that your development as a baseball player is solely your responsibility. There is so much information now that is easily accessible, specifically on the web, and most of it is free. Not only at this site but there are countless sites that can give you helpful advice. So getting the correct education in baseball should be a given.

So you have no excuse! Remember….”it’s not how good you are…it’s how good you wan’t to be!”

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Beating a slump with a sense of purpose

Many of times throughout my baseball career, I have felt the emotional pains of a slump. When I was younger making an error or going 0 for 4 sometimes felt like the end of the world for me. I admit that a part of the reason why I let results affect me so much emotionally was because I was so passionate about the game. My first years of college, I felt like baseball was the only thing that could make me truly happy and truly sad.

Eventually as I got older I began to see the bigger picture. I started to realize that there was more to life than just baseball. Wait… Wait I know, you probably hate that phrase. I know if you’re willing to take the time to read this, baseball is a way of life and you can’t imagine doing anything else. I think its great for players to be truly invested in the game like that. But ask yourself. Do you play this game because you think this is your only ticket to success?

Or do you play because it gives you a sense of purpose?

For me when I realized that playing baseball was a way for me to challenge myself to become a better person, things started to fall through for me. I started getting letters from scouts, my batting average started to rise, and I just started to have more fun. I could breathe!

Having this new sense of purpose allowed me to handle failure in a brand new way! I knew that in tomorrows game I may go 0-4 or 4-4. It didn’t matter.

I learned to keep my lows high and highs low, and as I began to experience this new perspective on life I began to smile…..

Then I began to laugh.

I realized that it was silly to get so emotionally worked up about results in baseball. The truth is, nothing is guaranteed in baseball and more importantly, it doesn’t owe a damn thing to you. So the next time you find yourself complaining about how things should be different in baseball or life, take a look at what you “do” have.

Chances are if you have the legs to run on the field and eyes to catch a baseball. You have plenty to be grateful for. Yea yea, you might be reading this while your injured and you may be confused as to what the solution is for your problems, but even you have something to be grateful for. If you can focus on that, you’ll heal quicker, and find that your baseball dreams are coming true. Regardless of how bad things are at the moment

It was this gratitude that gave me a sense of purpose.

When it comes to being in a slump, what really matters is how you deal with it. If you want to improve you have to be willing to commit to expressing the correct emotions and thoughts. This takes huge amounts of discipline.

Imagine how the greatest player in the world experiences a slump. He’s probably a master at staying determined, at keeping poised. A lot of times a slump isn’t really a slump; all a player needs to do is realize that failure is part of the process of success.

This is where the dualistic concept shows its self in the game. You can’t have success without failure. So the next time you fail remind yourself that failure is necessary if you want to learn and succeed. Overtime, you may even learn to appreciate your experiences of failure.

How much are you willing to fail to achieve your dream? Be willing to fail more than the next guy…then you’ll find yourself succeeding more than everyone.

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There is a little Hall of Famer in all of us

It is my belief that there is an exceptional baseball player inside every one of us. I admit that finding and tapping in to your potential may be harder for you than for others but then the question is simply, “how bad do you want to be good”? Do you want to be better than everyone else, as good as you can possibly be? Or do you just want to work at this craft just enough to get by?

I encourage both young players and older to find what it is they truly want out of this game. Do you want to play baseball because it makes you feel distinguished? Do you play because you can’t think of and are too afraid to do anything else?

Or do you play because the idea of dedicating your life to an idea is empowering, something elemental and that can’t be destroyed like integrity, passion, dedication, love.

These things can help you in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine.
I’m willing to admit that it may be harder for young kids now to find consistent role models in the game of baseball. There has been a lot of controversy in the last decade or so for the more popular players. This is why I built this website. If you are reading this, I want you to be a hero, if you’re willing to take the role.

As a player how would you like to be remembered?

Tapping into our potential will come once a player can truly understand:

How much are you willing to dedicate and understand these concepts?

When I realized the connection that personal development has with talent development, I chose to make certain changes in my life. I began to pay attention to my behavior, how I spoke to people, the things I ate, and my sleeping patterns. Everything about myself that I thought could be improved I attempted to improve so that I could be a better player, and guess what started to happen. I got more playing time, started getting letters and calls from scouts. Baseball became more fulfilling.

What can you change about yourself to be a better ball player? How much are you willing to grow and challenge yourself to play better? The sky is truly the limit.

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How to impress a scout

The beautiful thing about baseball is as a player you will be evaluated on a daily basis. This is the case in some high schools but mostly colleges. It’s interesting how the evaluation of a player works. One scout may take a look at you and think your worthless and on another day a scout takes one glimpse of you and be drooling over your tools.

The awesome things is, it only takes one guy to like you for you to have a chance at the next level. Notice how I said the word tools. This word is very important because this is what scouts are basically trained and paid to evaluate and project, and if you don’t have at least two tools that standout either at a showcase, or game, then you better have intangibles that translate into your statistics or performance on a day-to-day basis.(improving your tools can be explored in our training section)

As a position player what is evaluated is prioritized by specififc categories. this is what is evaluated in order.

Catcher- Defense-Arm strenght-power-hitting-running
1st Base- Hitting-power-fielding-throwing-running
2nd Base- Hitting-fielding-running-throwing-power
3rd Base-Fielding-throwing-power-hitting-running
Shortstop- Fielding- throwing-running-hitting-power
Left- Hitting- throwing- power- throwing-fielding
Center- Fielding-running-hitting-throwing-power
Right- Throwing- hitting-power-running-fielding

So basically if you can find a way to improve at least two of the five basic tools to an exceptional level, you will be in good shape.

Average professional 60 yard dash is 6.8. For a middle infielder some require a 6.6 or they may move you to a corner position in which would be expected to hit for power.

One thing I want you to understand is as a baseball player you have to ,not simply work hard, but work smart. This comes from knowing what you need to specifically work on to be a better player. Don’t waste your time trying to mold yourself into a player that you’re not. At the same time, if you have a clear vision of what type of player you aspire to be, don’t let anything or anyone get in your way. So with smart work, progress is not only possible but enviable. You will improve!