How many times have you heard (or said) the words: “I’d do anything to play at the next level,” where next level could be college, minors, or major league baseball? Probably a lot if you’re a coach or a current player.

If you’re a player who says that, no offense, but I don’t believe you. One of the reasons I chose to work at RIPS Baseball is the fact that the owner (Aaron) opens the place at 6 AM every day of the week (open at 8 AM on Sunday, we take Saturday off) and we stay open until 10 PM. That’s 16 hours per day to get your work in.

So here’s a simple question: If you really would do anything to play at the next level, we make it possible to get your work in before school. (Also, we don’t charge you anything if you want to get more work in.) So how many kids routinely come in at 6 AM to hit and lift?

Basically none. The last kid to put in that kind of ridiculous work was Josh Sale, who ended up making a few dollars in the MLB draft not long ago. When given the opportunity to put in extra work (for free, mind you), the excuses I hear are pretty good, my favorite being “Well, RIPS is too far away to do that.”

Well, Josh drove 30-35 minutes from Seattle to Burien every morning before school to hit, then drove that same 30 minutes back to school, then came back for more practice. He also lifted at home and went to his high school practices and kept up on his private school homework load.

Additionally, I worked with a client who built a bullpen out of the sands of the desert in Afghanistan at his forward operating base and threw side sessions and long toss in 120 degree heat after morning PT and before going out on combat patrols.

What it takes to succeed at the next level is a ludicrous obsession with your craft. If you don’t have that desire, then that’s totally fine with me. Few people do. But don’t lie to me, and most importantly, don’t lie to yourself. Don’t say that you’d do whatever it took, then years later when you wash out of baseball, continue the lie and say “Well, I just got unlucky/hurt/injured/whatever.”

Do me that favor, at least. And if you want to put in that kind of work, you know where to find me and Aaron.

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