Understating Athletic Reality

I had a refreshing experience recently when I attended the All America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field featuring the best players of the 2014 class with several members of my high school team. I have gone to many of these type of games in the past and invariably I heard a composite of "they aren't that good or I'm better than they are."

But my players, after watching some of the best in the country, told me they have a lot of work to do to maximize THEIR talents. They were stunned how physically developed the all stars were, and pledged to devote themselves to getting stronger and faster. It was so gratifying to listen to high school players understanding how difficult it is achieve excellence.

Since I was a youth athlete, others always have bragged how good they were, whether they were or not. They have been enabled by parents and others in their lives that they are great. Being told that early in athletics has curtailed many a work ethic, because why work at something when everybody that matters thinks you already are a star. There is a lot of competition in sports, and if you don't work at getting better all the time you will be left behind.

Having a career in professional baseball or any sport is incredibly daunting, because not only do athletes have to be physically gifted, they must be resolute in their preparation and sport-specific workouts. They also have to be lucky enough to stay healthy.

So when I continue to hear high school athletes talk brashly about how good they are and how it's a snap, I shake my head because they have no idea how hard it is to succeed or excel enough to be considered for professional sports.

My quote as always: If it was easy, your parents would be doing it!