I hope my first post resonated with more than a few of you and brought you back for more. Moving forward, I intend to share my journey from high school, junior college, and NCAA athlete to a career in greater detail. However, I’d first like to share my transition from student-athlete to student.
Over the past few weeks, I have begun to acclimate to life after college baseball. Going into the new school year, I was nervous about the fact that I wouldn’t be around my teammates anymore, wouldn’t have a group of friends, and that I simply would hate being away at school without baseball. However, since I arrived on Liberty’s campus in late August, my experience has been the exact opposite. School without baseball is great!
I never realized how big the time commitment of a college sport really is. Over the course of a week I would be at school from around 9 am to around 7 pm, my day filled with class, practice, weights and conditioning, meetings, and a whole lot of sitting around waiting for the aforementioned to start. Many times, these events soured my love for the game, but the game itself always seemed to erase those negative thoughts. I played the game because I still loved it. When you’re pigeonholed into activities on the field or in the weight room that don’t produce results, or when you have to wait around for a practice or meeting to start, there is an opportunity cost associated with that time burn which could be spent doing much more productive activities. Only in hindsight has this become clear to me. I guess until recently, I never realized, or I flat out denied, just how frustrating this process can be.
Without having to attend team mandated practices, study halls, and whatever else is on the agenda, I have found and feel anew sense of freedom. I can now lift weights the way I want, put more time into my academics (much easier now that I’m not exhausted from a full day’s worth of class and baseball), and pursue other opportunities (I think most non-athletes call this “having a life”). So far, I’ve been able to put time and effort into my Voice of the Box internship (by writing this blog), vastly improve my résumé (I strongly recommend you go to your school’s career center if it has one), attend various clubs centered around my degree and what I’d like to do in the future, and captain an intramural flag football team.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve quickly come to the realization that life is not all about a sport. You need to have a back up plan, you need to make time for other things even if it’s only a small amount of time, and you need to find balance. Even if you are a phenom, everyone’s career comes to an end at a fairly young age. What are you going to do after sports? 19, not 29, is the age to plan for this.
While I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be, taking steps in the right direction is definitely an invigorating feeling. So far, life without baseball has been a success, but staying motivated to continue bettering myself will be an ongoing process. In my next few posts, I plan on sharing some lessons learned through my athletic career.