ABC trusts God's plan for each ball player and we are simply

steward's of your time and mentor's along your journey

Invaluable or Insignificant: insight into ensuring you transition to the next level

 

Trust the Process

The Austin Baseball Club is committed to the Process. I understand that playing baseball at the next level is somewhere in the minds of each ball player and family who chose to participate in the ABC organization. The "next level" for some is making the high school team; for others, it's earning a spot on the varsity squad; for most though, in the back of your mind, you have been dreaming of playing college or professional baseball from an early age. Now that you are within arms-reach, it has begun to dominate your thoughts (and stress level). I embrace the role I can play in helping you navigate the Process. The DNA to making the high school team, playing on varsity or being recruited to play college ball / drafted to play pro ball is very similar and affords me to share with you my guarantee:

I guarantee you will transition to the next level (and make the team) if you are ready to compete and contribute at that level both in the classroom (when applies) and on the field (and off). Those that posses the awareness necessary to navigate the Process and understand that it does not take Undeniable talent to develop into an Invaluable asset will play the game the longest and avoid becoming Insignificant.

Best Advise

The best advise I can share with you related to my personal experience as a player is to turn it over to God. Keeping praying for wisdom and clarity, because baseball is hard; often cruel. About the time you feel you have jumped one hurdle there will be another one higher than the last. Pray for humility. Beware of feelings of entitlement that can dominate your emotions. 

 

The System is not broken

Have confidence that the evaluation and recruiting process is not a broken system. The bottom line is, can you play at the next level (high school, varsity, collegiate, pro)? How would you know? Validation and understanding where you have blind-spots (gaps). Don't just trust what someone tells you, sells you, or what you read on a website. Your baseball guru is part of the Process but at the end of the day you have to go out and produce; consistently. Get better (stronger, faster, throw harder, etc). Learn to maximize the baseball tools you have been blessed with. But there is a catch. You can incrementally get better, get stronger, work harder, but it still might not be "good enough" to compete at the "next level" you desire. You can play seasons of select baseball, travel to tournaments near and far; sign up for showcase events where the recruiters from the school you want to attend will be in attendance, yet it feels as if you go unnoticed; however, trust the Process. The validation system is not broken. Remember, baseball is hard. The Process is hard. If you feel like a door has closed (or was never open), pivot. Each player's path is different.

Undeniable - Invaluable - Insignificant

We are all subject to our own limitations (mental and physical). Spud Webb who stood 5'7" played 13 years in the NBA and won a Slam Dunk contest; Houston Astros second baseman, Jose Altuve, stands 5'6", leads the team in several statistical categories every year and is a perennial All-Star. Football player, Darren Sproles, stands 5'6" and is the all-time leading rusher at Kansas State Univ and broke the single season record in the NFL for all purpose yards. 2018 American League MVP, All-Star and WorId Series Champion, Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox, stands 5'9" 175 lbs. I can only imagine there were times in their careers where coaches and evaluators typecast them as "too small" or not "big enough". However, what they proved to the world is that they are Undeniable and Invaluable. The secret is, you only need to be one or the other; when you are both, you will shatter the odds and shatter records along the way. There are many things about your physical and mental development that you cannot control, however, there are many that you can. Instead of worrying about being the fastest or throwing the hardest (Undeniable), focus on becoming an  Invaluable asset to the team on the ball field during practice and games. You decide; or risk becoming Insignificant.

Challenge the Process: create awareness

The goal of this challenge is to equip you with a tool to reduce stress. Write an evaluation on yourself (or if parent, write an evaluation of your ball player). Most of the metrics are at your disposal. You can objectively evaluate a few of your five-tools (speed -60yrd and home to 1st; arm strength-MPH using radar gun; hitting for power- just be honest: below ave, ave, above ave). You can request objective feedback from baseball professionals who are in your warm circle regarding their opinion on your (or your son's) ability to hit and play defense. Be honest. Are you an Invaluable asset to your team? Are you an Undeniable force at this stage of your career? Why? What makes you think so? Articulate it. Don't make excuses or apologize. Do your homework and test/grade your skills; ask for the objective tough-love opinions of others (coaches). When you take this exercise to heart you will begin to find more clarity in the Process. You will begin to better understand where the bar is set at the next level and what you need to do to close the gap.

Go Take on the Game,

Coach Prater

ABC founder and director of Player Development

(professional profile)

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