By: Logan Koch
One of the hardest things to do for any young developing player is to understand and recognize what area(s) of their game need the most attention and improvement. The best and most successful players in this game can look themselves in the mirror and compare their game to others around them.
Working with middle and high school players and parents, I hear a lot of different ideas on what makes a successful player. One massive misconception in youth/amateur baseball, I hear all the time, is if you “master” one tool you are going to be successful and reach your highest level of competition.
Recruiters and evaluators look at how complete you are as a player as well as each skill individually. We are in the era of baseball today that is all about hitting and velocity. While those two things are important, defense and speed are vital to be an intriguing prospect.
If you consider yourself to be a decent hitter, you probably shouldn’t go to the cage every day. This is something, as a player, I know is difficult. Find someone that is unbiased to evaluate your game. You can never stop getting better, when you feel content with where you are as a baseball player it is time to go do something else. Set short-term and long-term goals for your development.
Other thing I see a lot in this day of baseball is players and parents getting tunnel vision. I feel there are only two ways to take care of that and see how to get better. One is the way previously mentioned, get new sets of eyes on you and get all kinds of different opinions. Everyone sees and evaluates players differently. The other way to compare yourself is get out and see other players at different events and competitions. Don’t be scared to compare yourself to your peers, results might not always be what you want but it will benefit you immensely in the long-term.
Baseball is a game of failure. If all you ever feel in this game is success, then you are probably doing something wrong. Look yourself in the mirror honestly from time to time, I bet you are surprised at what you get.