What kind of baseball player are you? What kind do you want to be? These are questions that first need to be addressed before the search for equipment begins. There are millions of hopeful kids playing baseball throughout the United States, dreaming of making it to the big leagues. The reality is that very few actually will. This doesn’t mean one should hang up their cleats and call it a day. But it should motivate players to take an honest appraisal of their abilities and look to discover what it is they need to do to reach their maximum potential. And that’s really what we all should strive for in sports and life in general. If at the end of the day you can look back and honestly say you did everything you could to be the best player and person you could be, we can label that a success.
How does this relate to baseball exactly? The reason I pose these questions is that there are obviously different kinds of players and parents. With any sport or activity, there are different levels of commitment. We can recognize those around us that have a more recreational relationship with baseball and those who who are trying to make it more than just an activity. This is important to keep in mind when looking for the right equipment. A parent whose child may be a recreational type of player probably shouldn’t feel as though they need to buy their child the most expensive glove or bat (although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that) for them to be properly equipped.
This applies to parents of more serious players as well. Even if your child is very serious about the game, it isn’t necessary to spend $500 on a glove or bat (again, unless you want to), because more expensive doesn’t automatically mean it will be the best fit. Finding the right equipment for you or your child is what we here at Baseball Authority HQ want to help you with. Having the proper tools will increase a players confidence and allow them to focus their energy on becoming a better player.
Now, about commitment to the game. I’m a firm believer in the philosophy of whatever it is that you do, do your best and try to be the best. As a player, you have to decide what kind of player you want to be. Are you going to rest on your laurels while kids around the country are putting in the time and sweat to get better? Or are you going to work as hard as you can to reach your potential and prepared come game time? I hope anyone reading this will choose the later.
I could always hold my head high when I or my team was outplayed, but being outworked or knowing I was unprepared mentally or physically left me sick to my stomach, and is something every athlete should avoid. Working hard and giving 100% requires no talent or skill whatsoever, only determination and guts. Having that drive and tenacity can elevate one’s game to new heights, and help to equalize the playing field for those not blessed with an abundance of natural ability.
Baseball is a game that demands constant practice. While athletic ability is always a multiplier, America’s Pastime requires an insane level of technical prowess that takes years to even remotely master, regardless of one’s athleticism. This means that just because you aren’t the fastest, strongest, or throw the hardest, you still can be a successful player, but you’re going to have to work your tail off. Furthermore, because baseball is so difficult, it lends to the importance of the psychology of the player. I mean, in what other sport is it considered a success to fail 7/10 times? Players must learn to accept the fact that there will be many hitless games and times when you can’t buy an out on the mound.
Learning from these experiences and not letting them negatively affect you is difficult, but it will help you grow as a player and person. “Overthinking” is a dirty word in baseball nomenclature, but it’s easy to fall prey to. Putting time in the cages, taking ground balls, and throwing in the bullpen can mitigate one’s natural tendencies to overthink, and allow you to relax and react. If you’re properly prepared, you can step onto the diamond with confidence and let your playing do the talking.