My journey to becoming a D1 player

In this story I attempt to sum up a life of baseball memories in 600 words.

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All the hard work has been worth it.

Cooper Nelson, Staff Writer

On April 5th, 2020 I committed to Florida State to play baseball.  All my hard work and dedication that I have put into this sport over the last who knows how many years, had finally paid off.  All of the blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put into this game are all worth it now.  There is something to be said for having a goal materialize in front of you, to me there are few better feelings in this universe.  I was blessed with a tremendous amount of physical ability but without hard work that means nothing.  Over the years I have went above and beyond with my training in pursuit of greatness, but I couldn’t have done it alone.

According to CBS News 6.4% of high school baseball players will go on to play in college.  So, what did I do that the other 93.6% of high school didn’t?  I was hungrier, and so were the people around me.  My parents stop at nothing to ensure I always have everything I needed to set myself up for success.  Additionally, my coaches are extremely knowledgeable and have helped me every step of the way.

The majority of my high school summers were spent in hotels at summer showcase tournaments.  These tournaments consist of our entire team staying in the same hotel for 4-5 days at a time.  This recipe for disaster has given me so many memories of fun times that I will cherish forever.  In these tournaments we would play somewhere between 5 and 7 games.  This many games condensed in such a short time period led to a lot of fatigue, injuries, and lack of sleep, but if I could do it all over again I 100% would.

These tournaments are where baseball became more than just a game to me.  I started to see how it turned into a job and a business.  With college scouts potentially at our games watching our every move tension were typically pretty high.  In addition, we were playing some of the best teams in the nation, so games were always very competitive.  Every game seemed like it would come down to one or two crucial plays.  And like it or not, everyone failed eventually, some more spectacular than others.  But the game of baseball spares no time teaching you that it is not about how you fall, it is about what you do after you fall and how you come back to hopefully not make the same mistake again.

Throughout my career, as most ball players do, I had elbow and shoulder issues from the large volume of throwing we do.  Hundreds of hours of physical therapy later my muscles were better apt to handle the forces created in my pitching motion.  This is a part of the game and over the years I have learned that playing baseball is a job and your body needs constant attention to maintain peak performance.

I have never liked losing.  Something about another person doing better than me didn’t sit well with me at all.  This hunger for success and victory is something I am very thankful for, and without it I don’t think I’d be where I am today.  My baseball career thus far has been anything but smooth, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I am excited to see where the game takes me and to start my next chapter as a college student.