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 Lucas,
You are just about to start your senior year of high school sports. I hope you are excited about football, basketball, and the upcoming baseball season. You’ve always had the hard work, dedication, and talent it takes to be a successful athlete. There are some important decisions you must make in the next couple months that will dictate what the next chapter of your life will be like.
Ever since your junior year, you have been heavily recruited to play college football. Football has always been a passion of yours, but it isn’t your first love. You have always known, deep down, you want to play college baseball, but not a single person has contacted you so far. One thing I’ve learned through my experience is if you want to play college baseball, you must market yourself. It doesn’t matter how good of stats you put up the summer of your junior year. Recruiting for baseball is much different than other sports. You must go to camps, showcases, tryouts, or whatever baseball event is being put on to get your name out there. You are also at a disadvantage because you live in rural South Dakota. There aren’t many eyes looking at the small town kid with big city dreams. However, there is no reason to make excuses. Ever.
I’m here to tell you that you can be as good if not better than anyone else in the country. But to get to that level, that’s going to take elite dedication. The coaches you are going to meet want to see that you’ve been a successful athlete in the past but, more importantly, they want someone who will elevate every aspect of their program. You must show these college coaches you are an all-around responsible, motivated, team-centered person. That is what truly matters to these coaches. You must understand that you will be going to school to get an education. Baseball is a privilege that you will have the opportunity to experience. Before you ever get the chance to step on the field and play at the next level, there are some sacrifices you are going to have to make. I just want to make this crystal clear, you must love the demands that are expected from a college-athlete. There will be days you are up at 5:30 am for lifting/ conditioning. From there, you will have a full day of classes, practice, and most likely, some form of team studying at night. You will need to have excellent organization, time management, and discipline to truly be a successful student-athlete.
This may seem overwhelming, and it should be. If you truly want to play college baseball, you are going to have to stand out from your peers and make sacrifices. Not only that, the lessons you will learn along the way will help shape you into the man you will become. You will get to experience some things you never even dreamed of. You will meet people who will become life-long friends. The next four years will be full of amazing highs and lows. If I could give you any more advice, it would be to go on and play at the next level. There is great talent across all levels (JUCO, NAIA, Divisions I, II, & III). Don’t be afraid to bet on yourself and see where life takes you. I promise you won’t regret it. Believe me, one day you’ll look back and wish you could do it all again.
-From 23 year old Lucas Lorenz who has graduated and can’t play college baseball
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