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So you want to play college baseball. Awesome. Those were four of the best years of my life, and I encourage all serious ballplayers who love the game to pursue college baseball. I’ve said this before, but a lot of college coaches tell me that the #1 issue they have with HS ballplayers is that they don’t know what real hard work is. Freshman ballplayers step on campus unprepared for the time and energy commitment required to thrive in a D1 baseball program. (It can be similar at all levels of college baseball, but I’m most familiar with the D1 level and that’s what I’ll refer to today.)
One of the reasons HS ballplayers aren’t prepared for college baseball is that they don’t know what to expect when they set foot on campus for the first time. Let’s look at the general fall schedule for a college baseball player and what a “normal” day looks like.
It starts when you arrive on campus in the fall. You will schedule your classes for the morning and early afternoon so that your afternoon is free for baseball practice.
Most programs will start “fall ball” with a hell week. Hell week will be a physically and mentally challenging week of different physical challenges. It’s a way of knowing who came prepared and who didn’t work hard over the summer. Very few HS and summer baseball teams have challenging fitness programs. Every D1 program will. If you aren’t putting in hard work ON YOUR OWN you will not be physically ready. Being in great shape from the get go is a great way to set yourself apart and compete for a starting spot on the team as a freshman.
After hell week, the fall season starts. Fall ball consists of on field practices and a lot of intersquad scrimmages. You will also be put on a team weight room workout schedule as well. A lot of programs have their weight room workouts start around 6am. Most programs will also require their freshmen to attend mandatory study halls at night to make sure you are performing in the class room and getting necessary tutoring.
In case you missed it the other week, here is Kansas Jayhawks’ head baseball coach Ritch Price giving a look inside a “normal” day for a ballplayer in his program. And this clip doesn’t include the part where he EXPECTS his guys to get in extra work on their own for an hour a day ON TOP of their crazy schedule.
Know what you are getting into and prepare for it mentally and physically. Setting habits of hard work right now will serve you well. Hopefully just having this information will allow you to better prepare for college baseball and I will start hearing from college coaches that their freshmen are coming into their programs and dominating! Go dominate.