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Trust the Process

The game of baseball isn't an easy one.  To some the game itself may come easy but the game is difficult.  I didn't start playing baseball until I was in my 11 year old season.  Prior to that I raced motocross and spent all my free time pursuing an amateur career in that sport.  When I decided to play baseball my parents supported me.  I wasn't very good that first year.  Playing the required 2 innings and getting 1 at bat per little league rules was the only playing time I got.  After a season of that I said to myself that isn't good enough.  I want to play more and I want to be a catcher.  For Christmas that year I received a full set of catchers gear and a mitt.  I worked daily to hone my skills all the while my Dad would tell me to "Trust the Process".  I used to ask him what that meant and he said getting better is a process.  It doesn't happen overnight.  At 11 years old I really didn't understand that.  Today's youth also struggle with "trusting the Process".  In the so called entitlement era kids expect instant gratification.  Whether it is in their chosen sport or purchasing an item it is a now thing.  Kids aren't being taught what the process is, how to work hard to achieve a goal, or responding to failure is a direct reflection of the climate they are in. 

When I entered the coveted 12 year old little league season I was hoping to play every game and get to All Stars.  Every kid in the league wanted to do that.  I had only played 1 season of Fall ball so I wasn't sure if I even had a chance.  Again my Dad would tell me if you want to make the All Star team you have to put the work in and trust the process.  I would always think to myself what is the damn process he keeps referring to.  At this point I only knew the process as what he told me.  He said getting better is a process that doesn't happen overnight.  I went on that year trusting the process till I broke my thumb late in the season and didn't make the All Star Team.  I was upset when the team was announced.  I thought I had put the work in and the process had failed me.  I went on to play a year of travel ball and continued to grind it out to get better. In June of my freshman year I had to attend a "incoming freshman camp" at the high school I was to attend.  I was an undersized catcher with 2 years of baseball experience on my resume and most of the kids at the camp had been playing for 8 years.  The high school I was going to go to had incoming freshman that are now D1 committed players and they could play the game better than me.  I went through the week long camp listening to my parents tell me that I had to trust the process that it will all work out.  The final day of the camp ended with the coach announcing the selections for 6th period PE their Freshman year.  Again the process failed me and I wasn't selected.  I wanted to quit the game.  The failure part of baseball was too much.  All the people I played with were seeing success and I was working harder than them.  I remember my parents telling me that you can quit and begin your life as a quitter or you can respond with a vengeance and beat failure. 

I truly wanted to play High School baseball and believed I was good enough to do so.  I prayed that an opportunity would show up for me to play baseball and it did.  I went to a small Christian High School my freshman year.  I was able to play Varsity as a Freshman and go to the CIF playoffs.  It was here that I started to learn what trusting the process really was.  I didn't get immediate results but worked hard all summer to make the team and compete.  I had to change position at this point and learn a new spot so that I could play. That summer I got the opportunity to become a part of an organization that has provided me with the best platform to achieve my goals in Baseball.  CBA was my first exposure to great coaching, tougher competition, and a opportunity to grow as an athlete.  After my freshman year I wanted to go back to public school and take a shot at the team again.  I tried out and was able to get a spot on the JV team.  I thought I was on the right track at this point.  That year went by with minimal playing time and more disappointments.  . 

My sophomore summer I struggled.  I gave up on the process and put in minimal work.  I felt sorry for myself cause I wasn't seeing the instant results that I was wanting.  I managed to play in a few events that summer but never got the results I wanted.  I really had to learn about the process to move on.  My parents told me several times if I didn't want to put the work in to let them know as they were sacrificing a lot of time and money for me to play the game.  On several occasions my Dad told me to just quit.  I think I wanted to at some point.  Playing High School baseball was not fun, making errors and struggling on the field that summer was not fun, and trusting the process was not fun.  Fast forward to Junior year.  I have a good tryout and make the Fall Ball team at the High School.  I had to compete against a very good Freshman (D1 commit as a Sophomore) for a spot to start.  I though I had the spot cause I was a Junior and left the process to hang in the balance a bit.  Towards the end of Fall Ball I saw the writing on the wall and the result I wanted wasn't there.  The process failed me again and I was back on the ropes with a tough decision to make.  Quitting was a valid option for me at this point.  I actually thought that it was justified.  I felt that I had done my job and it wasn't good enough.  It was at this point that Trusting the Process became my life.  I met with the coaches at CBA and they suggested that I play in the Spring League. 

I began the long process, while trusting it, of finding a way to play College Baseball.  I took advantage of every opportunity that was provided to me and the process began.  I watched several players commit to college.  I kept my head down and continued to grind.  I believed that I was good enough to play college baseball but it was going to be put to the test in trusting the process.  If you don't know by now the recruiting process is long and rough at times.  I watched players that I played with quit, listened to the entitled guys blame the process, listened to players blame the coaches, and all along I focused on the process.  My parents sacrificed everything for me.  They wanted to make sure that if I was vetted in the process that they would provide for me.  There was bumps, bruises, let downs, disappointments, and more along the way.  But after every failure I found a new opportunity.  I wasn't entitled but rather engaged in the process.  I used every available opportunity to get better and trusted the process 100%.  I took advantage of everything CBA offered.  Drove to practice over an hour away, went to hitting every week, and made sure that I didn't miss an opportunity to get better.  It was a sacrifice and I watched others attend parties, summer vacations, and have fun while I was on the road playing in Arizona and Georgia.  Missed my prom, school events, birthday parties, and the like to make sure I was getting results. 

In the end trusting the process of getting to college paid off.  The thing I noticed is that while I was on this grind there were many others that were at the events and practices I was at.  We would talk about the process and it is these other players that have been successful with me.  April 14th I signed a NLI to play baseball at Indian Tech, an NAIA school in Ft Wayne, IN.  I know have started a new process to play in college.  I will never expect anything again and will ensure that I allow the process to play out.  I cant thank CBA as an organization, the coaching staff, and the players enough for their help.  A special note to Andrew Takayoshi, Jon Paino, Joe Spiers, and Hugo Briones who answered all my questions, called back coaches, and helped me through the recruiting process.  "TRUST THE PROCESS"

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