Are You ready

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Well the high school playoffs have gotten underway here in the Northeast while I'm sure the kids in the south have finished up their school year. What's great about the high school playoffs is that for a good player on a lousy team, it's usually 1 loss and summer ball begins. For the guys that play for the teams who are in it year in and year out it means a shot at the title and a championship ring. This is really what you hope for as a senior. A title that no one can take away.

Having spent some time the last week watching games it still amazes me how the outcome of playoff games are often decided off the field. What I am saying here is that there are still coaches who think they can hold out their #1 arm for a later date and get by with #2 or #3. Wake up coach. If you don't win today, there is no tomorrow. This book was not written yesterday, it's a fact that some guys just continue to try and disprove all the time. Yes, every now and then it works, but more times then not, coaches look foolish. If your #1 is ready, let him pitch and short count him if you can jump out early on a weaker team. Win to advance. If he's not ready, #2 better be

While teams are getting eliminated everyday, I know I get more excited to get the summer started. Guys that we saw workout during the winter have grown and matured some. It is really great to see the improvement. Letters from colleges arrive daily and relationships with coaches begining. Parents start to get a case of the nerves since they are hoping their son plays well and thus can benefit from the exposure that playing on a quality team can bring.

Playoff time has now ended for the college players and the NCAA selection committee announced the field of 64 yesterday. While there are no regionals up here this year (why the NCAA calls is REGIONAL is beyond me, there is a Northeast, Mid West etc) there will however be plenty of baseball on ESPN networks for high school players to sit in and watch. From our area, St John's, Manhattan College, Sacred Heart, UConn, Maine, Central CT are all in the tournament and have plenty of players from the area representing us. There are also guys from the area playing on UNC, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Clemson that will be on TV. Make it a point to watch and learn. It's great to see players on TV that are giving 110% every play.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That Time of Year !!!

Well folks MAY is here. It's that pivotal month where so many things happen/change and some are bad, some are good and some are very good. So, what am I talking about?  Lets start with the bad things and get that out of the way first so we can dwell on the positive.

MAY marks the end of the college seasons and for many, the end of the high school season and for some the end of their baseball careers. It's usually around this time that colleges finish up final exams and have a few weeks left in their seasons. What that means for players is that if you have not been a contributor, the coaches often have meetings to let you know where you stand for next year. Is your scholarship renewed or not? Do you have to look to transfer? How did I do with my grades and am I still eligible for the remainder of the season and playoffs? Can really be a downer.
MAY marks the end of the high school season with playoffs set to begin in 2 weeks. Is this it for my playing career? Will I try to play at the college I have chosen to attend? For more then half of the high school players the answer is no and now it's over and I'm just a student headed off to a new school. For the underclassmen MAY means an evaluation of, what do I need to do to play more next year or will I be playing a new position next year. MAY means summer ball is right around the corner. Am I prepared? Did I work hard this spring to get myself ready for long days in high heat? Am I going to line up the excuses if I'm not ready or will I use these last few weeks to change something?
For JUCO players, MAY means uncertain times. Where can I transfer to? How many credits do I have? Am I a better player? It's all about the recruiting process all over again. Whats next?

OK enough of that craziness.... Lets move on to the positives

MAY means nice weather and for the first time in the Northeast a high school player can get a feel for the game and may actually be able to get loose. It's about short sleeve shirts and fans coming out and watching a game from start to finish. MAY means summer travel programs are set to start, new uniforms, new schedule, showcases, different teammates, quality opponents, travel, recruiting. A reason to really get excited. MAY for a high school player means that the plan that I've laid out is set to begin. Ask yourself if your ready? Did you send your application in for the showcases or camps you wanted to attend ( ) Have you written e-mails to college coaches? Have you set aside any time to research schools or planned visits with your parents? It's time.. It's MAY. It's that exciting time of year

For high school seniors in MAY, the grind is over, it's easy street, the "I GOT MINE SYNDROME" sets in right?  (WRONG). It's time to really get serious about playing baseball. Graduation is coming up as well as the Prom and just beyond that is August and reporting to college to show the coaches that they made a right decision in recruiting me. That means 2 months of really hard work to get ready, lifting, running, training like never before.You want to be ready....It's the most exciting time in your baseball career up to now..

For the college player MAY is an exciting time. Exams are over, classes done. Sleeping in, great weather and the last 3 weeks of conference play before the tournaments and College World Series begins. Now this is really a great time. It also means that Collegiate Summer Leagues ( ) are about to begin soon too. Host families, new teammates, new opponents, new ball parks, hot days, summer job, night games, big crowds, groupies. Oh man does it get any better?

Then there is me and MAY means another college or high school season ends. Summer is set to begin and there is plenty of work to do. Schedules and rosters are done and now have to be sent out to colleges. Phone calls begin from and to college coaches and and the e-mails pile up. My boys get set for their summers as a player and the other a coach and I wonder when I'll get to spend some time with them like before? My wife and daughter are working and I have time to sit and ponder the next few months. I try to re-assure nervous parents about the summer, help some high school players and give advice to some college players/parents many of whom never played for me but it's what we do. Many months of planning are about to end and the reality begins. Hopefully we are all prepared. MAY is a great month.

This Sunday is Mothers Day. Don't forget it. It's the way to make sure your month of MAY starts out right. Happy Mothers Day to all the moms and especially to mine and my wife.