I learned a lot on my journey from high school to college ball. About what it takes to succeed at the college level and about what coaches are looking for in their recruits. If I had known the things I learned I would have done more to try to improve my mindset going into school. You hear that baseball is 90% mental, but it takes too long for you to realize why.
Yes, coaches are looking for raw talent but they’re looking for more than that. A few key core values are specifically important to being a college baseball player. Playing ball while going to school is hard and it takes a special kind of person. You can’t be halfway into it, you must be 100% bought in. Below are some core values that will help you through the grind:
- Grit – How gritty you are tells how easily you will be swayed from your goals. Be honest with yourself when taking this test to see how gritty you are. People with a lot of grit are also called grinders and they have a lot of determination.
- High Confidence – You need to have a lot of confidence. You can’t go into your freshman year thinking you don’t belong you won’t succeed. Any doubt in yourself will show on the field.
- Responsibility – You need to be able to take responsibility for your actions. If you’re always pointing the finger at someone else then you’ll never do what you need to in order to succeed. If you blame the coaches, people and requirements pushing and pulling on you from all sides then you won’t find ways to better yourself to overcome these obstacles.
I got recruited in Arizona. I firmly believed that the manner in which I played meant a lot more then how well I played. Something got into me and even though it was a hundred plus degrees, I was hustling all over the place and was enthusiastic about each play.
It’s also important to know that what your high school and travel ball coaches think about you is important. No matter how close you are with them, they won’t put their name on the line to give a good word to college coaches. If you want your coach to say good things about you, prove to him that you deserve it. My scout team coach knew I worked hard and I know he told every coach that asked about me. That goes a LONG way coming from a well trusted coach.
My senior year, I had already committed and my scout team had a banquet. My future college coach was the keynote speaker. He talked about a player he had and in what ways he was a great player to have as a coach. Not because he’s their best player but because he knows that he never has to worry about how hard he’s working. College coaches have a LOT on their plate; if you can take the edge off for them, then they’ll love you. Work your butt off so they know you’re reaching your maximum potential. Get good grades so they don’t have to worry about you in the classroom. In fact, players who get good grades are making their coaches look better without them having to do anything… they love that.