I NEED to Play With . . .

By Ken Spangenberg 2 years agoNo Comments
Another set of tryouts have officially come and gone here at MSI. Tryouts are my least favorite time of the year, hands down. It is always full of tough decisions, upset players/families, and a glaring reminder about how backwards some people’s priorities are in youth sports.
One of the most common questions I get is, “who is on the team?” or the comment, “I need to play with really good players”. 
Now let’s dissect this for a minute…in order to be a really good player, you NEED to play with other really good players? 
So you’re telling me that you need other players to push you? To make you perform to your full potential?
That doesn’t sound like a promising, long-term career strategy.
What if your high school team is bad? Does that give you the excuse to be bad? 
What about your college team? Or even better yet, what if you’re drafted and you’re put on one of the weaker teams in an organization’s Farm System? 
You’re not going to perform because the players on your team aren’t good enough to help YOU perform?
Hmmm is this not adding up for anyone else?
Does Mike Trout not compete every day because he isn’t surrounded by a bunch of really good players? No.
Did Jose Altuve cash it in when he got signed by, at the time, one of the worst organizations in MLB history? No.
Then why should that affect you?
The answer is clear. It shouldn’t. The people around the truly great players have ZERO effect on how they themselves perform or train. They’re elite with bad players around them, they’re elite with no one around them, and they’re elite with great players around them. 
Instead of NEEDING to play with “dudes”, focus on being one yourself. Elite are elite, regardless of the circumstances. Be obsessed.
Ken Spangenberg
Director of Baseball
Maplezone Sports Institute
  Athletic Training, Baseball, Wellness
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