Congratulations. You are now the proud owner of a new business. More specifically, yourself.
Now, we have just a few questions. What is the vision for your company? The mission? How are you going to lead this venture? How are you going to position yourself to outperform the competition? What is your marketing strategy? Your branding strategy? What are your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth? What are the threats you face? These are just a few of the questions that you have to answer in order to put yourself in the best position to advance your baseball career.
At this moment, you’re likely thinking I’m crazy. After all, you just want to play baseball. I felt much the same way. What is your vision? To be a college baseball player? Professional baseball player? And what position to I want to play, if I play more than one? This was perhaps the biggest question I never answered. I thought I knew who I was – an All/Met SS with an 80% scholarship heading to George Mason. Then I got drafted…as a Pitcher. I never considered my vision, or what I would be willing to sacrifice to see that vision come to life.
How are you going to position your business? Once you know your vision, what are the necessary steps you need to take to position yourself so your vision becomes a reality? If your vision is to be a college SS, how are you going to be different? Are you going to go after a D1, D2, D3, or JuCo? Are you going to go to a D1 and sit the bench the first two years or are you going to start at a D2, D3 school? Is your dream and desire to play professional baseball? If so, you want to maximize your draft opportunities, are you going to consider JuCo? These are all the things you need to consider so you position your business successfully.
Where are you going to invest your capital? This is the biggest question that needs to be answered in order for your business (you) to grow. The biggest mistake youth athletes make, and is one of the mistakes I made, is only investing in baseball specific skills and not focusing enough attention on off-the-field development. There are tens of thousands of youth baseball players. They’re all competing for the same draft slots, the same scholarships, the same playing time that you’re dreaming of. Many of them possess the exact same skill sets as you. What are you investing in that will separate you from them?
You, the player, are the business. It is up to you how successful the business is. Parents, you are now upper management of this new business. Your job is to make sure the business is staying on track to increase performance and make sure the business has the resources it needs to grow. You are in control of the back office and making sure the business has the finances it needs to increase performance and market itself properly.
Most families and players have no idea about the importance of answering these questions, especially when their son is only in high school. Truth be told, my family and I had zero clue of how to answer these questions after I was drafted or even during the college recruitment process. Honestly, I didn’t even know I had to answer these questions. These questions, plus others need to be thought about if your sights are on playing college baseball and beyond.