College baseball has been the ultimate test of my character and beliefs over the past 5 years. It broke me down to the lowest point in my life and forced me to deal with the internal voices that were telling me that I wasn't good enough to be where I was, that I was a fraud who only acted like he believed in himself, and thousands of other thoughts that I let consume me for a long time. It was a rough ride for a few years, and it made me question everything that I thought I stood for. I let it completely break me down, and I thought that there was no way out.
I was a prisoner in my own mind.
I'm not gonna lie, it sucked. I grew up with parents that gave me every opportunity to succeed in both baseball and life, and gave me every resource to control the voices that can cripple a person's beliefs. But I let those voices consume me anyway. And I hated myself for it. I thought to myself, "You have to be the weakest dude alive if you are going to let doubts creep in after everything that your parents taught you."
Then one day, everything changed. I was no longer a slave in my own mind, believing external or internal voices that were trying to tell me who I was. I was able to use the tools that my dad gave me from an early age to control my thoughts, and ultimately, figure out who I was. It made me into the person and baseball player that I am today. You want to know what it was that got me to that point?
An unwavering, irreversible Faith in Jesus.
It took me getting to that point to understand that I couldn't do it on my own. I realized that no amount of motivational videos that I watched or old video's of past at-bats were going to fix what was going on in my head.
Basically, I let God in.
If you are a Freshman struggling to control your thoughts/emotions on the field, or you're questioning whether or not you made a mistake picking the school that you're at, find comfort in knowing that God put you there for a reason. You are exactly where you are supposed to be at that time. God teaches us valuable lessons in every bout of adversity, trust me. You might figure out who you are and decide that this school isn't the right fit for you. Or you might overcome those lingering thoughts of doubt, resulting in you making an impact in that program for the next 4 years. Either way, trust that God is going to get you through it.
Some of you are probably going to read this and blow it off, which I get. We are all on our own journeys, and will come to terms with our faith at different times. I understand that. All I'm saying is that opening myself up to the idea of God being in complete control is what brought me back. It was the key to unlocking the jail cell that I was in mentally for years. And if you're finding yourself in that place, I pray that it brings you back too.
I mentioned earlier that my parents had given me all the resources and guidance that I needed to control my thoughts and keep the voices away. It took me 3 years of college baseball to finally apply it to my own game, but as I said, we go through every battle for a reason.
I'm going to list a few of the resources that helped change my outlook on the game of baseball and life down below. I hope that these help with whatever is holding you back. If you want any more information, please reach out. Even if I am able to help only 1 guy going through what I went through, or help stop it from happening, all of this was worth it.
Tools to take back your mind:
1. Learn how to control your thoughts
2. How To Master Your Emotions
3. Why We Do What We Do
4. Awaken The Giant Within (Audible)
5. Netflix: I Am Not Your Guru (Movie)
Craig Groeschel - Winning The War In Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (Audible)
Mark Manson - The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck (Audible)
Paulo Coehlo - The Alchemist (Audible)