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Passion...

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Baseball is one of the most purest forms of sport played today.  Search "baseball tips" in your search bar and you'll find thousands of pages touting tips from all sorts of different coaches, volunteers, fans etc.

I can tell you that there is no "tried and true" method of training, no "silver bullet" that will ensure you of a college or even pro career.  Not even body type or structure guarantees you an "IN" or "OUT".  I will tell you that the one common denominator in all major leaguers is PASSION.

When you are passionate about what you do, it becomes a part of your life and more importantly your lifestyle.  Some young athletes at these ages are huge fans of video games such as XBOX360 and Playstation.  Most of their afternoons and evenings are spent doing homework then sitting down for some Call of Duty with their online buddies.  It has become a part of their lifestyle.

I have a 360 and a WII myself, and while I do love a great video game, my mornings, afternoons and nights are related to bettering my knowledge and ability to teach baseball.  Now that my playing days are over, that has become my passion.

Once those players, however young, find that passion, it overwhelms them.  It assimilates into your daily lives.  An equilibrium is reached between the many other activities a young athlete may be involved in, or other activities are soon discarded.  I played football, basketball, band, etc.  As baseball grew larger, certain sports or activities soon fell away.  My mother used to call me a baseballholic.  Stats, batting stances, autographs...I knew I would be a pro ball player from Day 1.    Sometimes, player's "Passion switches" don't turn on until they turn 10, 14, 12, 8....who knows.  It's all based on their experiences up until then, their parentage, their social interactions, their enjoyment of the game and competition.

I love watching players finally hitting their own personal "passion" switches.  They begin to think strategically.  They begin to learn the chess game of baseball, pitch by pitch.  They ask questions, become self-analytical, begin their own workout regimens at home and begin to learn about eating healthier.

On the field, they become more aggressive, more assertive.  They become leaders by example.  How does this happen?

Passion.  The common denominator for any successful top athelete.