Today is the first day that the Class of 2011 can sign their NCAA National Letters of Intent to play College Baseball...It's a very exciting day for all high school students...I know it was for our son...His Letter of Intent is still framed in his old room...along with the dozens of school jerseys, caps, and T-shirts we felt obligated to buy that day...
Parents and players...cherish this moment....Being a student Athlete WILL change their life forever...But... Athletes...Don't get complacent...Now is the time to step it up to the next level.
Many probably think that the pressure is off for a senior player once he signs that NLI right? Hardly. Expectations are high and the pressure to perform like a future collegian will transcend to all aspects of his game this spring. Coaches will expect him to be a team leader. Team mates will look for him to be the man in the clutch. Pitchers will alter their approach when he comes to bat.
All the more reason to not get complacent. The good news is that most of the players that will sign today and the remainder of the week got to this point in their lives by having an incredible work ethic. But, it is human nature to relax after a big accomplishment. Just don't relax too much. Players need to go into this spring with the mind set that they will dominate and have a work-out plan the rest of this off-season that will give them the edge that they need to achieve success. Players...just keep on working hard and make it a habit...because after this year, you will all go back to the beginning as a freshman again.
College IS like starting all over again. There will be 9 positions on the field at a given time, and not one of them is an automatic like it may have been at the high school. For each position, there are two to three players waiting in line with the same all-conference and all-metro and All State honors waiting to take their turn. All it takes is a bad week of practice or a bad series and the depth chart is shuffled. Is it un-fair? NO! It's life! The only advice anyone can give a player in this situation is to work hard, smart and never give up. It's the perfect life lesson for what the real world will throw at each and every student athlete when they is handed his diploma.