Do you really want it?
Every year, Prime and other facilities are flooded with collegiate and professional hopefuls. The "grinders" walk through the door the required amount of times to make a relatively quick impact on their craft, casual guys stroll in when it is convenient, and the guys being pushed to work out make it in when they can't get out of it. The off season rolls on, some guys fade, others get "too busy", and a few stay at it, working as hard as they did during the excitement of the first few weeks. To those that have adopted a relentless work ethic, pushing 52 weeks a year on every aspect of their trade, this post isn't for you. This post is meant for those for those who have a true desire to play this game at their peak potential, but have yet to understand the demands that absolute commitment requires. This is for the convenient grinders.
Let's start this off with a story about a young player around the age of 13. This young man excelled during the game early in life. He worked hard on learning the skills and was extremely competitive. Around the age of 13/14, physically boys started to catch up. Although his ability to compete and succeed remained, his dominance had faded. For a year or two he lived in the good but not great category. This bothered him quite a bit. Frustration became the catalyst as this young man became the model of consistency. For the next 4 years, he trained his physicality 3-5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. In season or off season did not matter. Each week he was sure of one thing, he would improve. His rewards were plenty. Initially in the form of a Division 1 scholarship and national recognition. His scholarship sits unused as he was drafted out of high school in the 7th round by the Boston Red Sox. This young man is Tyler Esplin. Metrics on Tyler as a 14-15 year old read as follows; Top crow hop velocity 78, 60 yard dash time close to 8 seconds, ball exit speed in the mid 70s. Serviceable, but not exceptional by any means. Four years later these same metrics; Top crow hop 105.5, 60 yrd dash 6.8, Ball Exit 102, and just because he can, 95 mph on the mound. Consistency is king.
Hopefully you are seeing the message by now. Many, many players aspire to reach the next level. Most are willing to work when it is convenient, very few are willing to when it is not. Collegiate and professional athletes train 4-6 times a week in the off season, 3-4 in season. If you are expecting to be one of these athletes, and are not working at least as often and as hard as they are, then you are falling further behind. To paint a clearer picture, strength and speed gains fall of fairly rapidly. Maximal strength will fall quickly around 30 days, strength endurance around 15 days, and neurological changes will fade as quickly as 5 days. There is
no rest for the wicked.
If you have made it this far, then your taking a step in the right direction. The hopes for this post is that it reaches the serious but lost. The athlete that dreams of reaching their pinnacle but may need a priority reminder. Time does not stop and we never have as much as we think we do. Take it from a 32 year old thrower who works on his physicality harder now than during his playing days, regret grinds hard.