Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Play Hard, Get In Shape, And Be Ready To Compete
We have been receiving e-mails from high school seniors and their parents that have signed to play in college next year about what they should do this summer. Although we have touched upon this subject before, the best thing is to ask your future college coach.
That said, just be aware that the incoming college sophomores and juniors on those same college teams that your son will be competing for are all playing in summer leagues for the next few months. They won't be resting one bit. They certainly DO NOT want to lose a position in the line-up to the new incoming freshmen. Our suggestion is to approach this summer season with the intent to get in better shape, and work on your weaknesses. No matter how good you did this past high school season, college ball is a huge step up. You need to hook up with a team that plays a competitive schedule against top teams in the area. Travel ball teams are harder to find at the 19 and under level, but there are many Connie Mack teams that are comprised of JC players and small college freshman teams that could prove to be beneficial for many graduated seniors.
If many of you older parents remember the movie American Graffiti, it's all about the summer after graduation and the fun that ensues. Well, we are not asking seniors to give that up. It is an emotional thing to see an era like high school come to an end. Many of your sons will want to spend a lot of time with their good friends and girl friends as much as possible before they all move on to the next stages of their lives. If they are like me and some of my friends, many of them will hardly ever see each other again until a reunion or a trip home on holidays.
However, it is not wise to turn the baseball spiggot off either. This is a time to realize that all of you are legally adults. And it's time to take on the responibilities of adults. One thing to realize is that your future college coach made a huge investment in each of you. Depending on the cost of the school, that first year investment could approach $10,000 or more. To a baseball program, that is a lot of money and they want to make sure that they invested properly. And many of you parents invested a lot of money in travel ball, showcases, camps and tournaments, and with even more at stake than ever before, it would be a shame to get complacent now.
Time management this summer is really the key to your sons future success. He can have it all this summer if he has a plan. And, that plan is NOT sleeping in till noon and staying out till 2AM everynight. His plan should be an extensive strength and conditioning program this summer with a licensed trainer. He doesn't have to go to this trainer every day. Just get a work out plan from him once or twice and do his work-outs every day with a friend or...if dad or mom is in shape or wants to be, what a way to bond with your son before he leaves for school.
When his collegiate life begins this fall, the time management exercise he experienced this summer will have paid dividends, because he will be overwhelmed with activities once school starts. Most student athletes, if not all, have early morning work-outs, a full class schedule of 16 units, more work-out time or BP, dinner and mandatory study hall. That schedule takes them to about 10:30 or 11:00pm before they have to start that routine all over again the very next day. The fall school schedule will especially be rough because they will have to max out their units. In the spring, during the season, they can only take 12 units, due to the extensive and compacted schedule of 5 games a week. Either way, it will be taxing on the student athlete and practicing that schedule on a smaller scale this summer will at least lessen the learning curve they will most likely experience.