Growing up in Lexington, North Carolina attending North Davidson High School to a top 50 collegiate arm at nearby North Carolina A&T, find out the secrets to his success in today’s article with Michael Johnson.
What was the biggest difference you saw between high school and college baseball?
The biggest difference that I saw between high school and college baseball was just the talent level of each player. In high school usually each school would have one or two high talented players but in college the entire team is filled with those one or two talented players on one team.
How much did you have to change since high school baseball? And what things have you kept the same?
I had to change a lot going into college. Going into college you start over and you are at the bottom of the totem pole and I had to respect that. I was not much of a pitcher in high school and when I got to college I got changed to a “Pitcher Only” and had to learn a lot of the basic fundamentals to be a Division I pitcher. I had to change my habits, like eating and my sleeping habits. My pitching coach, Coach Jamie Serber, has taught me a lot and has changed me into the pitcher I am today.
For things that I have kept the same during my success would most likely be my mentality to keep learning. I have always known that I was never the best and there is always room to learn more, whether that is from my coaches or other players. As a freshman and sophomore in college I asked the upperclassmen pitchers questions that can help me.
What have you done in weight room to help your success?
The weight room has become my best friend. We lift four times a week as a team, but I would go in one or two extra days. Monday was considered out off day and I would not miss a lift on our off days. Also the day after I pitch I would go to the weight room to get in a “flush lift”. So for me it worked out that most weeks I would lift six times a week, five at the minimum. Staying in good health and condition was something I learned after my freshman year to get through the fall and a long spring.
What have you done outside of the weight room to help your success?
The classroom was my main focus outside of the weight room. I am a strong believer that the success you have in the classroom has a correlation with your success on the field. I put a lot of effort towards my studies because baseball does have an ending unfortunately, so I made sure that whenever my career in baseball is over I have some type of degree to fall back on. Fortunately, I have lined up an internship this coming summer with an Accounting firm in their Audit department.
What have been other keys to your success?
Other keys to my success has been, listening to what I am being told, sharpening my skills, and not letting people out work me. Other players may have more talent than me and that is something I can’t control, but I will not allow someone to outwork me.
What advice do you have for younger guys about college baseball?
My advice to younger ball players would be to never get discouraged or give up. I came into college as a preferred walk on and worked my butt off to earn a starting role on the weekend as a freshman. It does not matter how much bigger someone is compared to you, how much more talent they have or how much more money they are given compared to you. All that matters is, are you willing to work harder than the guy next to you and prove people wrong about you. Also, in college, you got to love practicing as much as you do playing a game!