For Rock Baseball’s very first blog post, I wanted to write about why I started Rock Baseball. Honestly, I could find a higher paying job or a different career that wouldn’t eat up all my weekends, but I won’t and nor do I want to. My life has revolved around playing the game and I am not willing to give it up just because my playing time is over. In short,I believe I have the ability to positively impact young athletes and that opportunity alone excites me.
The simple answer to why I started Rock baseball is because I believe that I can help kids learn the game. When I started coaching travel ball with Coach Kevin a couple years ago, for the Davis Baseball Academy, it was because I loved the game; and quite frankly I wasn’t ready to just give it up all together after being released on injury from the Arizona Diamondbacks. I enjoy watching young athletes play the game for reasons that I wasn’t playing for in pro ball. I forgot about the beauty of PLAYING THE GAME; getting to the field and trying your best to win games as opposed to trying to impress the guy in the collared shirt in the stands. That’s not a knock on professional baseball, it’s the greatest job I’ll ever have. It’s just a realization coaching at Davis Baseball Academy provided to me.
After coaching for just a few months, I kept realizing the lessons I learned through my high school, college, and pro ball experiences are invaluable to young athletes who are just beginning their journey. Growing up, playing baseball was my life, I could say that I was the best player on any of my teams maybe two or three times. One of those times, I was only the best player on the team because it was one of the worst teams I ever played on. It was a Fall Babe Ruth team where the talent level was so bad, it made any average player look great. This team led my dad to start his own travel ball team. I believe he was on a mission to prove to players, that talent level at age 13, 16 or even 18 doesn’t mean you can’t reach the top. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my dad was that constant work on your game, trusting the process, and SHOWING UP is what got me where I was going. That’s what so important for players at this age group to know, and believe, whether you’re the best player or the 12th best player it doesn’t mean you can’t be the player that makes it. The talent of young athletes is so volatile… A growth spurt here, a good game in front of a person that matters there, a bad game, it all changes the pecking order relatively frequently. Athletes should understand that there are few college scholarships, and/or pro ball contracts to go around. The key is to know they are attainable! Playing at Cal State Fullerton or Stanford or University of Texas or even in the big leagues is attainable. I want young athletes to know that anything is attainable. All it takes is work, it takes work that no one else is willing to put in. It’s a choice.
More recently, I had the opportunity to be the Manager of the freshman team at Elk Grove High School. I had 18 different freshman athletes play on this team with a wide variety of personalities. I enjoyed it so much, learning how to manage different personalities came easy to me. Through my years of playing, I learned a lot from different coaches. One of my favorite coaches, Pete Carroll, would say that he wants his players to be themselves. Ultimately people perform their best when they are comfortable. I remember Coach Carroll saying that he didn’t want to coach that out of his players, instead embrace the differences. This thought process is something I refer to all the time. I think that freshman team and I got better at the things we intended to be better at. I sure as hell got a lot better at my craft because of that team and I plan to write another blog about them in the future.
I started Rock Baseball because I believe I can help young athletes develop and reach their goals. I believe I have a genuine way of communicating with players so that they understand what I’m asking them to do. And, I believe that instilling a consistent work ethic toward constant improvement will give our players an excellent foundation to chase their dreams on and off the field.
I hope this first entry has helped you understand a little bit more about me. Just like any other sport, Rock Baseball will teach work ethic, determination, and the ability to deal with failure. Baseball is the best at that.