It is hard to succeed at a high level (in anything) without commitment.
Commitment is at the intersection of Passion, Hard Work and Sacrifice. It means that that you care about something so deeply, that you are willing to put in the hours of sweat and set aside lower priority things. Baseball players that are committed to the sport, and to their future in the sport, separate themselves from other players that “just play”.
If you are truly Committed, this process is fun and there is nothing else you would rather do. If it becomes a grind, or if you find it easy to make excuses for not working hard or not making sacrifices, then your Commitment is questionable.
Excuses are the enemy of Commitment.
To truly succeed in something takes Commitment. This is true in baseball, academics (especially in college), and everything else you will do in the future.
For young athletes, it is often hard to separate player commitment from parent commitment. That is why the select baseball process is so difficult. It takes commitment from both to emerge from the process as a success. A committed player, without parent support, will not be allowed to do the things he needs to succeed. Parent commitment includes:
– Driving to practice and arriving early
– Getting to all the practices and games in a long 9 month baseball season
– Providing the money to pay for coaching, instruction, equipment, fees, travel, etc..
– Provide the money and support for strength and speed training
– Traveling to out of town tournaments, and dealing with rainouts in hotel rooms
– The list goes on and on
That kind of commitment is not required to play high school sports and “local” baseball. Kids can just ride the bus to school and stay after school. That is definitely an easier path. But, it does not separate committed players from the kids that “just play”. That is one reason that less than 7% of high school baseball players go on to play college baseball.
A couple of weeks ago, a young man named Koda Glover from Oklahoma was selected to play with the Midwest Team at the USA Baseball NTIS event in Cary, NC. On the morning of the event, his flight was cancelled. He would have missed the early part of the event if he waited until the next available flight. So, Koda and his parents drove 20 hours to Cary, NC. No second thoughts, just something that he cared about so deeply that it was a no-brainer. Just get in the car and drive 20 hours (40 hour roundtrip!).
Passion, Hard Work and Sacrifice came together. Koda made it to the event on time, pitched 2 times during the weekend, and was one of 8 players (out of 200) selected for the 18u National Team Trials. This level of Commitment translates directly to success.
This is true in baseball and all other aspects of life.
Over the years, a handful of players have left the Gamers program because “it was too hard”, the “expectations are too high“, “they want to do other things“, etc… That is a perfectly normal process of separation. Those young men made the right decision and we wish them the best of luck.
We want young men to succeed and to learn how to succeed. An important lesson is that — commitment is a pre-cursor to true success.
Commitment is where Passion, Hard Work and Sacrifice come together. True commitment takes all three.