I often get asked about what it’s like to be a professional baseball player. People want to know the right drills (I even made a video about this!) or equipment to have.
In my experience, the most important thing is not the time in the cage or the brand of bat. What is most important is perspective.
Baseball is a game that requires a lot of passion. Without the passion, the need to play, no one would do it. Playing means years of long hours, little pay and always being away from family and friends. It means sleeping doubled up in questionable motels after overnight bus rides and eating the cheapest food your clubbie can find. But those of us who are driven to play wouldn’t have it any other way. We play because we love it, because it’s a part of us.
That passion can drive you mad though. Every time I step up to the plate, I’m a perfectionist. I know what’s on the line. I’m not going to be perfect though; it’s just not realistic. Baseball is a game of failure. You have to have a really short memory. Walking away after a big strikeout, it feels tough. I feel like I let the team down. Yet I have to shake it off, grab my glove and go out there and play defense. When I step into the box the next time, I can’t be thinking about what happened in the last AB. That guarantees I will fail.
And when I leave the field after a tough night, I need that perspective. I have to step back, realize that I am doing what I love. I’m blessed to live another day, to learn and to grow. And for now, I get to do it all over again the next day.