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It’s the 9th Inning of the Pro League Tournament. Ryan came up to bat with two outs and men on first and second. It is a tied game at 4, after the sea lions hit the two run home run in the 7th. As Ryan stepped up to the plate, two plans where rushing through his mind. He could hit a home run to win it, or get a double to left center to win it. Ryan took the first pitch high and outside. As Ryan slowly stepped out of the box to take a breath he said to himself, “god not again, he’s going to try and pitch around me.”
Ryan was puzzled with the next pitch it was a scorching fastball right down the pipe. He looked over and got his sign from Rod the third base coach, as he stepped back in, he saw the first base umpire making a frantic move for the base runners to move up
“Balk” the first base umpire hollered.
Now Ryan was in the perfect position to win the game. The next pitch seemed like it moved in slow motion and stayed right in the perfect spot for him to pound somewhere. When it finally got there he took a nice easy swing and stroked the ball into the nothingness of outfield grass.
“YES” Ryan yelled
The crowd screamed with joy. There white palm palms where shaking, it almost looked like a avalanche. But all Ryan could focus on was if his dad was watching and if he had impressed him. While being congratulated by his teammates for his stellar hit coach Bern wanted to see him in his office.
“Ryan come in sit down,” said coach Bern with a wide grin on his face. “Tomorrow I want you to be here at 3:30 after school. I have a very nice gentleman who would like to talk to you.”
Confused Ryan asked, “Um yes sir but may I ask why.”
Without a pause coach Bern said, “just be here as soon as possible it will only take a minute.”
When Ryan got home he found his dad lying on the coach watching ESPN. San Francisco was playing the Mets.
“Who’s winning?” I asked wile trying to find something to eat.
“It’s a tied game bottom of the 6th. I came to your game today, that was one heck of a knock, and hey Ryan your coach called me after your game and told me you get to tryout in front of a couple collage coaches. No biggie so don’t even be worried in front of them, they already know your good.” Said Ryan’s dad
“Awesome this what I’ve been needing” exclaimed Ryan.
The next day right after school, Ryan was ready to go at the field by 3:00. As he was stretching out he saw coach Bern walking up with two well-dressed men in their early forties. They both where wearing black leather jackets and navy blue jeans. One of the gentlemen introduced himself as Mike the athletic director the other was the head coach of the freshman team Michael. This was a great honor for Ryan because he was only a junior in high school being watched by two collage coaches. Michael spoke up and shook Ryan’s hand.
“Ryan we have been watching you your last couple of games. You have shown what we are looking for, a well-dedicated, hard working, and intelligent first baseman. All I want to see today are speed and a few batting drills. After that your good to go.” Said Michael.
Ryan was scared he would mess this up. Ryan heard Michael call him over to start his running.
“Ok stretch out get a drink whatever you need and let’s run a couple of sprints.” Said Michael.
“Ok I’m good to go, but umm what time do I need to beat to qualify.” Said Ryan.
Coach Mike walked over and said “Get under 10.0 seconds on the 60 yard dash and your fine.”
Ryan let out a big gasp of air and heard coach Michael scream go. Ryan was off for the races with his 6’1 185 pound body. He knew he was easily under 10 seconds when he past the 60 yard line. When Ryan got back he knew it was a good time because the coach’s where smiling in agreement.
“Ryan you got 7.98 seconds that was one hell of a run.” Said coach Bern.
Ryan was pumped when he heard what he had scored. Up next was hitting, he had been hitting .325 on the year with 21 home runs. Ryan grabbed his Demarini Vexxum and took some swings before stepping up to the plate. Coach Mike was going to throw because coach Michael wanted to watch me or something.
“Ryan the first 20 are going to be fastballs on the inner and outer half, then I will give you 10 or so off speed pitches.” Said Mike
Ryan was ready to crush a couple of balls over the outfield fence but he did the exact opposite. On the first ball pitched to him he was late on it by at least half a second. His next hits weren’t any better; he had hit two bloopers to center field and the rest where slow ground balls down the first baseline. Now it was time for Ryan to hit his off speed pitches, he was p***ed as he stepped back in the box. He has made a fool of himself so far only hitting two or three good balls out of the 20. He would need to prove himself right here if he wanted to be looked at any further. The first pitch Ryan swung and hit the ball off the right field fence.
“What a stroke” called out coach Michael. “Do that again lets see it, come out of your shoes on this one.”
Ryan stepped back in, hoping to do it again but all luck was gone, he was late on the ball and hit it back into the first base dugout. That was his second ball of the 10 off speed pitches he got. The rest of his hits, where just as bad, as the first time. The two coaches shook Ryan’s hand as they went to leave. Coach Bern walked them out and caught up to me in the locker room,
“Ryan, man what happened out there you started out stellar then…. I don’t know you feel apart.” as Coach Bern taped him on the shoulder “Its alright shake it off, you have next year and I bet there will be more coaches out here if you have a good year just like this one… This will give you more time to think about whom you really want to see you next year. And hey you might even get lucky and get a scholarship.”
Ryan shook his head in agreement and said, “Yea thanks coach, I will come back next year and do even better.”
But Ryan knew that Coach Bern as wrong. He was going to come out next year doing even better then this and get a scholarship! But it would not take luck it would take hard work and determination from him even the coaches saw that in him. That night Ryan went home not happy, not sad, not even p***ed but determined to what he wanted to get out of his baseball life. He sat down and wrote a list of things he would do over the summer to become a great baseball player.
Priorities over the summer
1.Eat right [NO FAST FOOD]
2.Every other day workouts
B. Weighted pull-ups
C. 30 minute run
D. Dumbbell lifts
E. Bench press
3. Hit every Tuesday Thursday and Friday
4. Take fielding practice at the field at first base
This was the plan that Ryan told himself that he would follow the whole summer. It was hard for Ryan because he was a big kid he weighing in at 185 pounds before he started doing this. If he could do this the hole summer he knew for sure he would be better then everybody going out there to tryout. He was the only person that he knew of that was actually going to do anything over the summer. After the first month of Ryan following his own rules that he set out for himself he added more and more so he could not cheat. About two months into doing this he ran into one of his old friends while he was on his morning run. His name was Jacob and he played baseball for about 6 years and quit because he hurt his knee-playing catcher.
“Hey Jacob” I said politely
“Leave me alone just go!” he scolded at Ryan
“What’s up dude what happened” trying to figure out what’s wrong.
“I know what you are trying to do. You think you are better then every body but you really aren’t. You are stuck up and only care about yourself; I heard that you sucked out in front of the coaches that you tried out for. You wanted to be a bigger better player but no they didn’t like you or anything you brought to the field that day. So now your working out every day and I bet you are taking steroids.” Screamed Jacob.
“Wow” said Ryan “I’m not going to take this!” Said Ryan
As Ryan was taking off he heard Jacob Yelling random stuff as he was jogging away. Ha-ha said Ryan in his head as he was breaking into a light sprint. He will see, its payback time for me I will show them what’s up and how I play. School was coming up in two weeks and Ryan weighed in at 174 pounds with 13% body fat. Before Ryan started working out he weighed a whopping 185 pounds with 23% body fat. He looked so much skinnier and a lot more muscular then he did just 3 months ago. It was a hard road to come down but now that he looks back at all that running and working out he knows it was worth it.
School started four months ago and now it was time to tryout for the baseball team. Ryan had followed his diet and workout plan all the way until now. He has been doing this now for 7 months and he is one big scary body standing in the way of many baseball players who wish to make the team at first base. The first thing all the first basemen did was run. He finished the 60-meter dash in 6.7 seconds that’s better then most MLB (Major League Baseball) players get. After watching about one fourth of the players run he knew that he was the only one who was determined enough to want to make the team at first base.
The next thing was hitting he knew he could hit the new coach that was pitching because he had already thrown about a thousand balls on the day and he was getting tired. He read the list that said how man pitches each person would get and how many rounds each person would get. I’m going to get ten pitches my first round and on my second I get five. My first round hitting was a charm I got four doubles for sure into the gap a homerun and 5 line drives in the infield, I didn’t miss one ball I said to myself. The next round I did ok but I was way early on one of his curveballs that made me look ridicules. The next and final thing we had to do was fielding some short hops at first base. I picked every one of those balls easy this almost felt like nothing to me because I’ve been doing it every day for seven months now.
4 months later it was the end of the season. I hit 32 homeruns and got 89 RBI’s (Runs Batted In). This year went exactly how I wanted it to. Next week I get to try out for the University of Southern California witch is ranked number 3 for academics and baseball combined. This year I am not as nervous because I know I have a good chance with all of my hard work, dedication, and training. I would have never been here without that first tryout. I learn off misacts and I and watch how other do them so I can bring my game up to a whole new level. Its all about how you want your life to be a start making the right decisions to bring you to what you want. It wont be a easy way threw but it’s all worth the payback time.