So you’ve found your team, been admitted, and sent in your intent to register for classes. Now you’re just waiting for summer to end and your college adventures to begin. You have accomplished a lot already, but there is still plenty for you to do. Making a good first impression with your teammates and coach is important, and there are things that you can do to make your transition to college baseball easier. You want to focus on 3 important areas: school, baseball, and fitness. Here are a few ideas:
Get in Good Shape/Ask For Workout Plan
Getting in good shape so you can hit the ground running for fall ball is one of the most important things you can do. In general, college teams will expect you to condition a lot more than you did in high school. Your bench press and curl routine at your local health club will transform into a sport specific workout, often times specialized according to your position. The intensity of workouts will increase considerably, and you will probably be doing lifts and exercises that you have never done before. This will take time to get used to, but you can really help yourself out by asking the coach for a summer workout program to familiarize yourself with what will be expected of you and get into good shape for the start of fall practices. If you show up at a good fitness level, your teammates and coaches will notice and you can get your college career off on the right foot. There is no substitute for hard work and showing up prepared.
Improve Your Baseball Skills
In addition to getting in good shape, it will be important to hone your baseball skills so you are not going into fall ball without having played in several months. Try to play the highest level of summer baseball available to you or do an intense training program. While getting games and baseball work in is paramount, you also want to make sure that you are not abusing your arm or doing anything that will jeopardize your health for fall ball. We hope your summer coach would be watching out for these kinds of things, but it always helps if you are aware and monitor your body. A high-level summer ball season will make the transition to fall ball easier. You should also be taking steps to get ready for the mental game at the college level. Our Think the Game section is great resource for thinking through common baseball scenarios with a college level thought process. Lastly, you can also ask your college coach for a throwing program that will prepare you to show up to campus ready for fall ball.
Take College Courses Over the Summer
You may want to get a head start on school. Summer classes are a good way to get ahead at some schools and start to get a feel for the level of work that will be expected of you come fall. Some schools have a summer bridge program that allows incoming student athletes to get acquainted with their new school through summer courses. At some schools, summer school is not an option, but it never hurts to ask. Getting ahead a few units may mean that you can take fewer units during the season. A word of caution, however. Summer school can impact your initial eligibility, so you’ll want to clear any coursework you plan to take before your freshman fall with your future college coach.
KPB also asked some current college baseball players what advice they have for incoming players like yourself, and here is the advice they wanted to give you guys. We hope it helps!
“Drop your ego, be a good guy, and learn the ways of the team before you start ruffling any feathers.” –Active D1 Infielder, CA
“Don’t get too down on yourself if you don’t succeed right away. You just have to get adjusted and keep working hard.” –Active D1 Infielder, CA
“Have high goals, but don’t have high expectations that you are going to get it on the first day.” –Active D1 Outfielder, CA
“Be ready, mentally ready… you never know when it’s going to be your chance. Just control what you can control: hard work and hustle.” –Active D1 Infielder, CA
“The easiest way to earn respect from the older guys is to respect them.” –Active D1 Pitcher, CA