But for some players, this can be the time of year
that will put you in an emotional rollercoaster.
All season long, college teams have worked to establish that tight bond of team chemistry in preparation for the stretch run into May and even early June for Division I programs.
After all that work, now is when it is tested most as playing time and even travel time, become unequal for various team members.
While some enjoy the thrill of playing on a daily basis, others must wait and hope for a chance to show what they can do. While it is a difficult and frustrating time, it is something all of us baseball players have had to, or will have to, go through at some point.
My pitching coach at Mizzou, Tony Vitello,
used to always stress to us that we needed to
know, accept, perfect, improve.
1. First, we must know and understand what our role on this team is.
2. Second, we needed to accept and embrace that role. We didn’t need to necessarily be happy or satisfied with it, but we needed to come to terms with the fact that that’s where we were at as a member of that team.
3. After that we needed to perfect our role on that team. Baseball is a team game that is formed through many individual efforts, and each one of us is needed to be the very best we can to make for the best overall team possible.
4. Once we had figured out those 3 phases, we needed to work to improve our role on that team.
One of the best ways to make your teammates better is to constantly push them to be at their best. By seeking to improve your role and competing with teammates to earn each role, you are making yourself, your teammates, and your TEAM better.
The constant mental battles amongst your opponent, your team, your coach and yourself can be a rigorous grind….
But, focusing on yourself being the best TEAMMATE first,
while seeking to improve daily as a player
will increase your chances of success.