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High school games around the state of Florida crank up very soon and another championship season is upon us. Excitement is in the air as players and coaches set their sights on district and state titles.

There is a sense of pride everyday as you put your school's colors on. But there is an unseen element in the air that is more powerful than a Roger Clemens fastball or a Barry Bonds line drive. Pressure.

The Showcase Era of high school baseball is breeding some exceptional athletes. But it is also tearing some of these kids up. With college coaches and pro scouts back on the prowl, on deck hitters on focusing more on who is at the game than timing the pitcher he is getting ready to hit against. Pitchers are busy counting radar guns instead of focusing on the execution of the pitch. In between pitches, infielders are looking to see if the scouts are watching them, instead of looking in to see what pitch is coming so to move in the right position. Players are worried about what the college coaches think. Players who are committed to colleges are worried about the draft.

Baseball is a tough enough game to play as it is and impossible to succeed at if you are not focused.

Players across the state all share the same dream, to play college baseball one day, and then get drafted and have a chance to play pro ball. I was there once, I remember those feelings. But gentlemen, you all have to learn to focus on the game and enjoy yourselves. Approach every game this season with the excitement and anticipation you did when you played your first little league game. Focus on being a team player. Try everyday to help your team win and don't worry about who is there to see you. After all, you are playing this game because you love it and dream about playing it all your lives. Don't waste your precious high school career worrying about scouts and such. What do they know anyway?

If you are good enough, you will move on. If you are not, you won't. All worrying does is make your press. You guys all put too much pressure on yourselves. Enjoy the game and have fun playing it. Great players have the ability to lock in, no matter the circumstances or who is there to see them. You all spend a ton of time working on your skills. Developing the ability to focus should be as important as every soft toss swing you take. Have a great year, enjoy every minute of it, and remember to breathe

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Comment by Kyle Grucci on February 9, 2010 at 9:49am
Well put, Andy. In addition, if you're not focused on the game, the situation, etc, that's when mental errors can occur. When you enjoy yourself and relax, good play will usually follow.


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