By: Stache Staff

How college baseball players can go pro

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Baseball is the great national pastime, and it’s every serious amateur player’s dream to one day go pro. Equally, however, every one of us knows that our chances are slim. There are, after all, only 750 Major League Baseball players in the world. To get noticed and to get signed, you have to be the best. It’s not just about having natural talent and ability but also about constantly practicing, honing your skills, and exerting self-discipline to make sure that you’re always at the very top of your game.

It’s about experience

Anyone who hopes to one day become a professional baseball player should be playing like one from the very beginning. If you’re reading this, the chances are that you started out playing in the little leagues and continued on through high school. Now you’re in college and you’re just waiting for a scout to come along and lead you to a place in the Mets bullpen.

For this to happen, however, you have to play as much as possible and practice constantly. Don’t just play in games where you might get spotted, either. Play every chance you get. When college is out, join a wood bat summer league. Keep up with other sports besides baseball, as these will improve your all-round fitness, ability, and team skills.

Attend camp

Tryout camps are the main alternative to being spotted by a scout at a college game. If you get to attend one of these, you’ll be judged on both your physical qualities and your performance as a player. Baseball camps hosted by current or former major league players or coaches are also a great way to improve your technique and to get an insight into what it’s really like to play at professional level.

Don’t just keep fit, keep baseball fit

It goes without saying that you should stay in peak physical fitness at all times. However, the exercises that you do should focus on developing the specific traits and muscles that a pro baseball player needs. Use explosive anaerobic workouts to build stamina, and lift weights for total body strengths. Short sprints and rotational cuff exercises will develop your pitching and running abilities.

It’s important not to risk injury when exercising, however. Wearing a calf compression sleeve can help ease the strain on your legs. An injury at college level could derail your whole career, but with compression garments, this risk can be effectively minimized.

Develop a good character

 As well as staying physically fit, it’s important to have a good personal character if you hope to get signed to a team such as the Mets. Major League Baseball scouts aren’t prepared to take a risk on a player with a volatile personality or a criminal record, so it’s vital to stay out of trouble and keep your nose clean. Additionally, if you do make it, the pressure that you will be under will require calm and maturity in order to progress and succeed.

Promote yourself

While ultimately it’s your playing that will get you noticed, there’s no harm in making yourself that little bit easier to see. This means using social media and your personal network. Make a short video showreel of your best moments on the field and put it online, together with your statistics. Get to know any scouts visiting your college, even if they’re not coming to see you. Be respectful, not pushy, but get your name and face known. Any connections with past or current players or coaches are also worth following up on. Networking is no substitute for talent and practice, but if you’ve got those two areas covered, then it certainly can’t hurt.

Eat well and healthy

A healthy diet is vital for any aspiring baseball pro. This means avoiding fast food, junk food, and processed food and going for a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ll need a good amount of protein and carbs to fuel your exercise and training regime, but avoid saturated fats and the fast hit and sudden crash of excessively sugary products. Avoid alcohol, and drink plenty of water, especially when training.

Most of us will never get to be the next David Wright, Jay Bruce, or Jacob deGrom. However, if you really hope to join the major leagues, then the only true advice that makes sense is to play well and play often. Joining a minor or independent league team can be a stepping stone to the majors, and can also be rewarding in its own right. Whatever route you take and wherever you end up, you’ll want to know that you gave it your best shot and were the best player that you could possibly be.

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