“If you don’t have a foundation of who you are, outside of that sport, you’re going to be (expletive) outta luck. And that’s what happened to me.”


“Malcolm, football is over. How does that make you feel?”

Mitchell answers, slowly, deliberately: “I feel enraged…. Useless…Scared. You know? I have no memories of myself without football.”


** The dream is free. Work ethic sold separately. **

Original Post

And here was a guy who had college under his belt.

Try to imagine what it is to be a drafted and signed HS player. No support system, no mentors helping in the transition, only baseball and baseball all the time - except when you're living in a hotel room with a stranger, ruminating on every outing, pouring over stats that you have no idea of its meaning, competing with hungry Latin players who have been pro since 16. Your entire identity is wrapped around baseball.

Virtually no HS player is ready - though many think so.


When my son was playing at a D1 univ., I reminded him constantly that use the scholly as a way to get a good education at a discounted price.  His dedication to baseball was high back then, but nothing in comparison as it is now in the MLB. I guess that is a reason why there are many players in MiLB in their late 20’s/ early 30’s still playing, waiting for that one chance to make it to the show. Their lives have centered around baseball and once it is over it may be difficult to adjust to a “regular” life. Their identity is baseball. I agree with Goosegg above, a high school player who gets drafted and goes through the minors system is not ready for life without baseball several years down the road. 

Son decided as a HS sophomore that he wanted to spend his junior year of HS living and studying abroad in Europe.  It was the greatest year of his life. 

He had already made several recruit visits to D1 programs in fall of his sophomore year and knew that suddenly disappearing from the recruitment scene for a year, age 16-17, would in no way help his baseball recruitment, and in all likelihood hurt it.  At the very least he knew shutting down his baseball development for the age 16-17 year would not be ideal.  But he went anyway.  

The schools he had visited prior to his departure "moved on" while he was gone.  He played no baseball, couldn't even play catch, for 11-months age 16-17.  

It was the greatest year of his HS experience.  It gave him a new understanding of the world and a fluency in a second language that he never would have had, had he not called a timeout from baseball.

Even though he is now playing at a D1 university, I don't think he has yet recovered from that missed year of baseball development in what I believe to be perhaps the most important year of physical development for a HS recruit, 16-17.  But he developed as a person in a way baseball never would have done.  For that alone it was worth it.  



Glanville article post-Steve McNair.  There is also a link to an article that Eddie George wrote.


"According to George, McNair was lost, floating around trying to define himself without the pads, seeking solace in relationships outside his marriage. George remarked, “What people fail to realize is that when you make a transition away from the game — emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually — you go through something. You change, and you’re constantly searching for something.” Who will understand that a transitioning athlete needs help? There are few soft landings when you’ve been flying high."

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