The Three Groups of Baseball Kids
There are other categories that small groups of players fit into, and some players fit in more than one group; but for the majority of 16 and older baseball kids, these are the 3 groups they fit into:
1. The 1%. Floating along, and it doesn’t matter. The lower levels are easy. They just touched 93, and they have no idea how. Typically they’re committed to a good D1 program Fr or So year of high school. Sometimes they’ll credit a gimmick for their success, other times not. Other baseball kids spend a *lot* of time talking about them to other baseball kids, and are eager to tell other baseball kids that they “know them”.
2. The second group has given up. They won’t say it, but their actions confirm they’re going through the motions. Though they throw 78-84 Poo, they’re doing nothing about it. They look forward to their upcoming weekend in Newport.
3. The third group is motivated and works hard, but are working on the wrong things. They faithfully jog poles, try the latest internet “velocity” gimmicks, and are ever tweaking their mechanics in expensive weekly pitching lessons, but they’re not making any progress.
For Group One, only once they get around similar talent (typically pro ball), do they become concerned that they may need something more than just their raw ability to break them through.
Group Two can show flashes of motivation, and often those AROUND the athlete (coaches, parents) are still hopeful, but it’s a steady decline into being out of the sport at 18-20 years old.
Group Three is tough, because much as I did myself as a former group three player, they will often fight you over things that AREN’T WORKING. As a Jr in high school I threw 76-78. I weighed 120 lbs. But no one could convince me that I needed to gain size and strength-I was thoroughly committed to the concept that I “shouldn’t get too big” and I had to be careful “not to get too bulky”. And I was topping 78! So I faithfully ran my poles, tweaked my mechanics, stretched, mobilized, did my physical therapy workouts: and didn’t get any better. Every other sport sees the critical value in building power and explosiveness. But because in baseball extreme genetic traits can allow some to throw hard despite being small or weak (bearing in mind this is a minute percentile that has this type of talent-and ignoring the thousands upon thousands that were small and weak and failed for it), this confuses group 3 and lets them think, well I can be small just like Tim Lincecum and I’ll make it! Unfortunately there’s only 1 Tim Lincecum, and there was a reason he was called “The Freak”. Group 3 unfortunately has no chance at ultimately making it until they put aside the silly gimmicks, the nonsensical lactic activities like jogging poles, and accepts they’re going to have to get strong, explosive, and learn to throw the crap out of the ball; otherwise, despite being decidedly more dedicated and motivated than Group 2, they’ll still fail out at age 18-20.