By Eric Johnson
It’s about that time of the summer when your final tournaments are coming up. Guys are in a lot of different spots – some may have spent the summer showcasing for college coaches, while others are hoping to make their varsity team this year.
No matter what level you’ve been playing at, there are some things you can look back on now to get the most out of your summer baseball experience. A huge part of progressing in the game is learning and making adjustments. Summer ball is a great time to learn your game, try new things, and figure out what you need to work on.
Go through this list and think back on your summer. Use this as a tool to reflect on what you’ve learned and what you need to improve on.
- What was the biggest adjustment you made this summer? This could be a mechanical adjustment, mental adjustment, or anything that changed in your game, positively or negatively. Did that adjustment help your game?
- What was the most influential comment a coach made to you? Again, this can be positive or negative. Coaches have a very different view of the game, and sometimes they can point out things that you would never think of. Lots of coaches are great evaluators of work ethic and attitude. Did you get any comments about that part of your game?
- Did you work as hard outside of competition as you did during the game? 90% of what we do as ballplayers will never be seen by fans. Our time at practice, in the cages, and in the weight room leads to our success on the field. Did you put in the work?
- What did you struggle with this summer? It can be a small thing, like handling the short hop, or a big thing, like your entire approach at the plate. Don’t focus on just the physical parts of the game! As you get older, the game becomes more and more about your mentality. Give the mental game the respect it deserves.
- What did you succeed at this summer? The same guidelines apply as for number 4. Don’t be satisfied with your success though. Becoming a great ballplayer means you don’t settle for being a good ballplayer.
- What did you learn from your competition? Was there any one opposing player that impressed you? Why? What can you take away from his game that you can apply to yours? Did opposing hitters hit you hard on a certain pitch? Did opposing pitchers get you out in the same way over and over? Make an adjustment.
- What is your plan for the coming year? Write it down. Do you want to make varsity? Do you want to earn a spot on a college roster? Do you want to help your high school team win, whatever the cost may be? Set high, but attainable goals. You want something to strive for, but something that’s also achievable. Once you’ve got your goal, it’s time to get to work.