By Ethan Guevin
If you are lucky, interested college coaches may get to see you play a few times. Compare that short time to the hundreds of hours of practice, training, and games that they don’t see. The hard work is not done in front of college coaches; it is done in the preparation leading up to the moment a coach shows up to watch you play. With colder weather and more free time, the winter off-season provides the perfect opportunity to build the base of your success both on the field and in the classroom.
Despite spring, summer, and fall being packed full of baseball, winter may be the most critical period for teams trying to win championships and players trying to improve and earn a spot on a college roster. Wondering how that could be? The very best recruits are prepared, organized, and confident. Winter is a great time to make progress in all of these areas. Here are 3 suggestions to make the most out of your winter break.
- With several weeks of vacation time, winter offers time to rest, recuperate, and rebuild. Finding the proper balance between giving your body time to heal from the long baseball season you just finished and building up for the season that is right around the corner is key. Consult with your coach or a trusted athletic trainer to find the appropriate balance for you. Most of the time, an “active rest,” where you are stay physically active and in shape while avoiding taxing throwing and lifting is a great way to avoid losing what you have worked hard to build up while still giving your body the time it needs to recuperate.
- With less practice and game time to interfere, winter is a great time to get ahead of your schoolwork and develop a plan for how you will cope with a busy spring schedule. Developing a work-schedule and planning ahead can do wonders for your spring work-load. The winter is also a great time to study for important tests, like the SAT and ACT. Remember, without good grades and test scores, you may not be able to get into the school of your choice, even if the coaches want you there! Use the winter to get ahead and stay ahead of your schoolwork.
- Many players don’t take advantage of down-time provided by vacation time. Have a productive holiday season. While your opponents sleep in and waste time without the structure of school and practice to keep them in line, set up a daily schedule. Do your strength and condition and baseball related training in the morning so you can enjoy your free time in the afternoons. By getting things done early, you will avoid being put in a situation where you have to choose between something fun with friends and skipping a workout later in the day.
Winter work can make the difference between being passed over and being a high ranking recruit. Start now.