Coming into my freshmen year at Mississippi State I was virtually unheard of by teammates and fans.
I was not a big time recruit. Not even close.
Big time recruits usually sign during the early signing period in November.
I hadn’t signed my scholarship until 5 months later during April of my senior year of high school.
I basically had a million to one shot of starting my true freshmen year.
At least that’s what everyone else thought.
I didn’t let any of the noise bother me and kept my eye on the prize.
If you had asked me in December of my senior year of high school what I had thought about the recruiting process I would have told you that it sucked.
I was frustrated that players who I knew I was better than had already signed scholarships to D1 schools.
They were walking around in their college gear at practice and talking non-stop about “next year.”
But if I could do it all over again…
I’m glad I didn’t sign during the early signing period.
It kept a chip on my shoulder and made me work even harder than I ever had before.
Fast forward to Opening Day of the season I was the only true freshmen starter in the line-up.
I still remember standing on third base hearing the National Anthem at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Mississippi.
Starting on opening day of my true freshman year at an SEC school was truly a dream come true for a kid from the cold-weather states.
As we both know baseball is a VERY humbling game lol.
I stepped into the box for my very first college at bat...
My second at bat I had he tides turn.
I got a first fastball cookie right down the middle.
I'm talking thigh high.
Not too fast.
Not too slow.
PERFECT hitting speed.
I took my best swing and was literally inches away from the baseball breaking my hand.
I saw the ball start to trickle out past the pitcher...
**Head down and on my horse to 1B**
By the grace of God I somehow beat the throw from the shortstop on a slow roller.
I think that might be the fastest I've EVER run in my entire life.
It was a little embarrassing, but hey..
A hit is a hit.
It was enough to keep me in the line-up the next for the next day.
In my second game I went 2-4 with a 2B and a HR.
Thankfully I had redeemed myself from my embarrassing infield hit the day before and I was off to the races.
One of the only reasons I was able to earn a starting spot from the time I walked onto campus was my mentality.
That's why I dedicated an entire part of my ABC's program to the mental side of the game.
If I had to pick one thing that helped me perform during the first few weeks of my freshmen year then I would say my visualization strategies I used.
These visualization strategies I used injected confidence back into me after a bad at bat or an error in the field.
They helped me stay anchored in the confidence I had in myself.
4 years later I finished ranked 4th in All Time Home Runs behind Rafael Palmeiro and Will Clark.
The visualization strategies I used to kept me calm during high pressure situations.
In turn, I kept my starting job.
If I hadn't been mentally strong on Opening Day of my freshmen year of college...
I wouldn't be sending you this e-mail.
I would have lost my starting spot and become just another one of the guys on the team and likely wouldn't have ever played professionally.
I share my most important mental exercises with you in The ABC's of The 5 Tool Hitter Program.
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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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