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May 05, 2021
In Sports
The following was posted by the GM and owner of a lower tier youth baseball club to sell folks on investing in "his program." Pay me and your kid too can realize his dream of a college baseball scholarship! HOW MY 3RD STRING CATCHER, WHO'S BEEN CUT TWICE BY HIS HIGH SCHOOL TEAM, WENT FROM A NOBODY TO A BIG BASEBALL SCHOLARSHIP IN 24 HOURS... As a coach, one of the hardest parts of my job is getting a lower level baseball player to believe their baseball dreams can come true too. What I love about baseball is that it's a blue collar sport that rewards the hard workers and punishes lazy players, eventually. Baseball is the fairest of all sports because talent will take a back seat to hard work. No one exemplifies this more than the story of Sam Weis. I met Sam Weis 18 months ago when his dad drove him an hour to meet me. Sam had recently been cut from his high school freshman team. He was down, believing that he may never achieve his goal of being a top baseball player. As soon as I saw Sam I said, "you're too small, you got to get bigger." As a coach, I tell players all the time that they must get bigger, because they must get bigger. It's amazing how few baseball clubs, teams, and programs do not have a strength program. The club I happen to run, does. Not only do we have a strength program, ours is the most demanding around. It's very demanding most of the year, but is really demanding over the Winter (6 days a week). I knew I could help Sam, but I needed Sam to 1st commit to going all-in. On the drive home from our meeting, Jason Weis, Sam's dad, reiterated our conversation with Sam. Jason explained that it would be hard driving two hours a night to the facility, multiple times a week, but if Sam really wanted to go forward the family would support him. Sam agreed to move forward, and I got an email shortly after saying they were in. Sam's 1st work out was "High School Circuit". For him, it was 45 minutes of pure hell. Multiple players have quit after this workout, and Sam looked like a deer in the head lights. It was hard, and on the way home after the work out Sam wanted to quit. Jason wasn't having it explaining that they were in for the long haul. Eventually, Sam got stronger at High School Circuit and started to become one of the hardest chargers there. Once the Winter started, Sam was enrolled in a program called "Drop Bear Club". DBC (Drop Bear Club) is the special forces of our club. The players are put through high intensity strength training three times a week. They're not allowed to miss one workout, they must hit in our hitting program, and they must attend every practice every week. We usually start with around 44 players in November and end with around 30, or so, in March. However, those 30 are absolute beasts. After 7 months of the hardest training Sam had ever went through, he went to high school tryouts extremely confident. The high school coaches never even gave him a 2nd look, cutting him several days later. Sam was distraught, Jason was distraught, the entire family was distraught. When Jason called me to tell me the news he was upset. He felt all the work had been a waste of time and money. I told him, "Jason, Sam worked his butt off for 7 months. It might take 19 months, it is what it is. We don't quit, we work even harder." Jason agreed, and after talking with Sam, he agreed too. Not only did Sam start back up with High School Circuit again, he signed up for 2 sessions a night. He recommitted to DBC that Winter and he really started getting bigger and stronger. Not only do I push our most committed high school baseball players to work hard and never miss a practice or workout, but I require them to do 100 jump squats every practice with a 45 pound plate. Two practices ago, Sam skipped the 100 jump squats. Now here's a kid that hasn't skipped anything in 18 months. Here's a kid who never gets into trouble and has exemplary grades. When I asked Sam if he did his jump squats and he said, "no". So, I kicked him out of practice. He said, "Coach, I was spending time working on my swing. That's why I didn't do my squats." I said, "Well, work on your driving, because you're kicked out." Two days later, he forgot to secure the bar while squatting and the weights fell off and almost hit someone. Our strength coach kicked him out of practice and made him push a sled for 45 minutes. Sam was having a tough week. Most Saturday nights I hold a high school, varsity, live pitch, indoor scrimmage. The best players participate, and often there are college coaches and scouts in attendance. After my 1st string and 2nd string catchers couldn't attend, I invited Sam to play and start for one of the teams. 30 minutes into the scrimmage a college coach showed up unexpectedly. The coach was there looking for top players that want to play college baseball, and this was the only place he knew that had this many top players gathered on Saturday night. As the college coach was watching the pitcher warming up, he noted, 'that pitcher looks good'. After the pitcher was finished warming up, Sam, who was catching, threw an absolute dart to the 2nd baseman. After the throw I turned to the college coach and said, "not bad for my 3rd string, huh?" He said, "not bad at all." A few minutes later, Sam threw a player out trying to steal 2nd. Again, the throw was an absolute dart. It was hard, and on a line, and got the runner by a mile. An inning later, Sam stole 3rd while the opposing catcher was sleeping. I yelled across the field, "that a boy Sam, way to take advantage of a sleeping catcher." The college coach once again was impressed. As the college coach was about to leave, Sam was coming to the plate. The pitch came inside and grazed his shirt. Sam delayed a bit then started jogging towards 1st. The pitcher looked at him like, 'bro, that didn't hit you.' Then the players started chirping at Sam things like, "are you trying to walk?" and "don't you want to hit?". Just as Sam got to 1st I said, "hey Sam, this coach didn't come here to watch players get hit by pitches, he came here to watch players hit bombs." Sam, very embarrassed at this point, trotted back to the plate. Keep in mind, this kid had been kicked out of a practice and workout twice in the past couple of days. Now he was being heckled by all these top players, GM, and in front of this college baseball coach. Sam walked back to the plate, grabbed his bat, and on the very next pitch hit a home run! The entire place erupted in cheers. I had never seen anything like that before! He went from being heckled for taking a free base to 1st, to returning and crushing a home run. As he trotted around the bases several players joined him on the run cheering and congratulating him. The next day as the scout and I were texting, Sam's name came up. I told him how over the past 18 months he's worked his tail off. I told him about the strength and size gains, and the commitment to get even bigger. We talked about his throws and the big moment the night before. He asked if Sam wanted to play college baseball, I confirmed he did. At around 7:45 Sunday evening, almost exactly 24 hours since Sam hit that bomb, he texted Sam. Two hours later, he made Sam a college baseball scholarship offer and Sam gleefully accepted. There's people who wait for things to happen, people who wonder what will happen, and people who make things happen. Sam singlehandedly made this happen. Sam was the 3rd string catcher that night, who only got to play because the other catchers couldn't make it. Getting cut twice by high school coaches, getting kicked out of practice by the GM of the club, and getting kicked out of a workout only inspired him to just go for it. Sam could have stayed at 1st base after getting hit. That was the safe play. Sure he would of gotten ripped a bit more about it, but eventually it would of been forgotten. And more than likely, Sam would of been forgotten. The starting catcher and back up would return soon and everybody would eventually return to their rightful spots. Instead, Sam didn't play it safe. He trotted back to the plate and changed his course in life, upsetting the apple cart. Someone somewhere will not get their baseball scholarship. Sam messed everything up by taking his shot and hitting his mark. No matter what happens now, Sam will never be forgotten.
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