How I Became Illinois Player of The Year in 2006 (best advice I’ve ever received)

“Powers – You’re nothing but a pretender.  You think you are a contender, but you’re not”

Those are some of the most honest words I’ve ever heard from a coach.

It was July of 2005 after my Junior year in high school.

Back then your junior summer was your one “real shot” to get recruited by top D1 programs.

I was playing in a showcase for “Team Illinois,” for legendary high school coach Jim Hall.

Just a few months earlier I finished the season with pretty solid numbers. I hit .505 with 6 Home Runs and earned All-State Honors.  Needless to say I thought I was doing pretty good for myself.

The Team Illinois showcase was 4-5 games where we played other teams from around the midwest like Team Wisconsin and Team Minnesota.

Looking back at that showcase I can honestly say I don’t remember a single game, at-bat, or situation.

The only thing I remember is Coach Hall pulling me aside after we finished the tournament.

He said, “Powers – You’re nothing but a pretender.  You think you are a contender, but you’re not”

He went on…

“You’re overweight and have a soft body.  You can hit, but you’re pretty much average or below average everywhere else.

At first I was FURIOUS.  Who the hell was this guy.  I just got named All-State.  Top college coaches from all over the country will be ringing my phone off the hook in no time.

By the time August rolled around all I heard was crickets while I was waiting for my phone to ring.

No calls – at least from the colleges I wanted to go to or thought I deserved to go to.

That’s when I thought to myself – “Coach Hall was right.”

I didn’t really know how to take action until my high school coach, Jeff Bonebrake, took me out to lunch.

The one thing I remember from my lunch with Coach Bonebrake was this quote.

“Connor – you’re just going to have to work harder than everyone else.  You always will.”

And man were they both right.

From that point forward my entire career changed.

I started eating better, studying the swing, working on my core strength, and absolutely getting after it in the cage.

From November – March I hit for 1-2 hours per day, 5-6 days per week.  Even 7 days per week for a few of the weeks.

And that same opportunity is out there for you, your players, or your son this off-season.

I took everything I did during that off-season + what I learned during my D1 career at Mississippi State + what I learned playing professional baseball and wrapped it into one single program for you that I call The Dead Red Hitting System.


Here’s what’s inside the Dead Red Hitting System.

  • Over 40 hitting drills designed to improve bat speed, bat path, bat plane, and keep the barrel in the hitting zone longer
  • Home Run Fueling Diet Plan which shows you the exact foods you need to stick to for maximum performance.
  • Hand Eye Coordination drills to hit the ball on the sweet spot on almost every swing
  • My Hitting Philosophy that simplifies every hitter’s approach at the plate.  That means less thinking & more hitting.
  • X-Ray Vision Training System to pick the ball up out of the pitchers hand as early as possible, read spin, and have an advantage against every pitcher you face.
  • Swing Feedback System to know whether or not you just took the “right” swing.
  • 7 Guarded Hitting Secrets to hitting that reveals 7 critical elements each hitter must understand to perform at their highest level of performance


Click Here to Join The 6 Pillar Annual Pass Program

After I was named Illinois Player of The Year & earned my scholarship to Mississippi State during the 2006 season I e-mailed Coach Hall a short message.

All I said was…

“I’m a contender.”

And damn did that feel good.

The opportunity to take your game to the next level during these next few months is knocking on the door. 

Answer it.


Keep Swinging,

Coach Powers



About the Author Connor Powers

Connor Powers is a former Professional Baseball Player (Padres Organization 2010-2013) who has a passion for teaching others how reach their goals in the game of baseball. Since 2012 Coach Powers he has had his YouTube videos viewed over 3.3 Million times and has over 24,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. His specialties are maximizing bat speed, improving batting average, and taking hitters from average to elite.

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