The Players’ Tribune has a great series of articles called Letter To My Younger Self. In this feature series, professional players pen a letter to themselves at a younger age, using their experience and hindsight to give advice and talk about things they could have done differently. We love the idea of learning from experience and the experiences of others. Current and former college players have a lot of valuable advice to offer current college baseball prospects as they go through the recruiting process, and we thought that Letter to My High School Self was a great platform for successful players to share this advice. We hope you can learn from the lessons of those who made it to the next level!
Dear senior year of high school Caleb,
Basketball season is coming to a disappointing end, but that means baseball season is going to be full swing. Though you are excited about the upcoming year, you are also nervous because you know it is your last chance to be seen by division 1 schools. It may not feel like it at times, but all of the early mornings, late nights, and endless hours of hard work will pay off. Baseball season won’t be smooth sailing, you will hit some storms and they’ll knock you to your knees. Trust me though, you have to get back up and keep fighting, it is all part of your journey.
Throughout the course of the season, you will pitch better than you have the past few years of high school. The success you will have is because of the hard work you have put in. DON’T stop putting in the work. No matter how much success you think you are having you must not stop putting in the work. As the season progresses, you will have some scouts show interest in you. You will go on visits and be offered opportunities to play for those schools. Unfortunately, not many division 1 schools have showed interest in you. Be patient and don’t be discouraged though. Eventually, you will get noticed.
I will say it again, don’t be discouraged. It isn’t easy coming from a small school with about 100 kids in your graduating class. A lot of people will tell you that it cannot be done. They say no one ever makes it where you are from. Don’t listen to the naysayers. There will be many of them on your journey. They are not the ones who dictate your future though. Rise above it. Don’t do it to prove them wrong. Don’t work hard to show up the doubters. Work hard and make it so you can inspire those coming after you. Do it because it is what God has called you to do. He has a plan for you and along the road you’ll sometimes stray. When you find yourself off the road get back on as quickly as possible. It is easy being distracted. It is easy sleeping in. It is easy being a victim. You are not meant to live a life that is easy. Standout. Be different. Give thanks. Stay disciplined. Always work harder than anyone in the room.
Lastly, always have fun and never lose sight of your why. Don’t just play the game to get to the next level. Play for the reasons you’ve been playing your whole life. Because you love baseball and you love competing. If you do that, the recruiting will take care of itself. It may take your last high school regular season game for a division one school to finally want you. That is okay though. Be a leader, play hard and passionately, thank God for your abilities and enjoy the heck out of your last go-around with you high school buddies, the future will take care of itself.
College Junior Caleb