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Dominating Tryouts – The Veteran Approach

This is an article I wrote in January 2017 that I updated a bit. Still holds so much truth:

A few weeks ago (Jan 2017) I had the opportunity of watching the college football national championship with one of MLB’s Top 10 Prospects who broke into the Majors last year.  

During our conversation we got to talking about the grind and pressure most young players experience while trying to make the Big League Club out of Spring Training. I asked him: 

What’s the difference between the guy trying to make the Big League roster out of spring training verses the veteran who knows his roster spot is secured?

His answer was simple. “The veteran is confident and relaxed.  He’s focused on getting his work in to be ready for opening day and he’s having fun doing it.  As for the other guy…he’s nervous as heck!”

Then I asked him a rhetorical question: “For you, which approach would allow your best talent shine?”

With a big bucked tooth grin on his face (can you guess who?), he answered… “The veteran approach.” 

At the end of the day your only goal is to get your best talent to show up during tryouts and Spring Training. So why not take the veteran approach mindset?  The peaceful and confident mindset that you’ve already made the team and your only mission is to be prepared for opening day.

Yes you have something to prove. Yes you have to hustle. Yes you have to shine at some point enough for them to notice you. But you don’t need to be anxious while doing it.  

Some benefits of the Veteran Approach:

  • Allows you to play free and easy
  • Not worried about expectations, performance, or opinions of others
  • Gives self permission to not have to be perfect. 
  • Maintain’s proper perspective (A ground ball is a ground ball. It’s not a roster spot on the line).  
  • Has fun and knows that baseball is what he does…it’s not who he is. 

A former Major Leaguer said something along the lines of (pertaining to big league spring training), “I know that the very worst thing that could happen to me is that tomorrow I’ll be back home fishing.”  

Remember, keep your tryouts in proper perspective and see them as your challenge to rise to rather than a threat to get through.  

Act like you’ve been there before even if you haven’t. But let’s be real – you’ve been there thousands of times! And you’ve been successful.  
How many ground balls or fly balls have you fielded in your life and succeeded? Do it one more time.

How many soft toss and batting practice pitches have you smashed? Do it one more time.  

How many times have you spotted up in a bullpen?  Do it one more time.  
It doesn’t matter who is watching. You’re going to be watched your entire career why should it be any different now?  

It’s the same game that you love. Treat it the same…like you’ve been there before and you’re just doing what you love and getting your work in.

WANT TO STAND OUT?Arrive at the ball park and find the Head Coach. Introduce yourself with big body language looking him in the eye and shaking his hand firmly. 

That’s how you’ll know he knows your name.

 Then go do something that day that makes you unforgettable.  

Dedicated to your thought life…


PS… I still have 5 slots remaining for my mentoring program to help you get the most out of your performance consistently.  See (or go to the and click the mentoring icon at the top

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