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Guest Blog: What I Learned At Spring Training…

Posted on 06-07-2016

What I Learned at Spring Training that I Still use Today in High School Baseball

By John Zuercher

Hi, my name is John Zuercher, better known as Coach JZ around camp. I just finished my

sophomore year of high school at Peninsula High, where I played on the Junior Varsity baseball

team. I have played baseball for almost my whole life and I attended Spring Training from when

I was four until the last possible year I could. One summer I attended at least four weeks, and

couldn’t wait to go every day! After I finished as a camper at Spring Training, I became a coach,

with this summer being my fourth year on the staff. Over the many years I attended Spring

Training, I was exposed to great baseball knowledge and techniques that I used throughout Little

League and Pony, and I continue to use them today as a high school baseball player.

 

The most important thing that I think I learned at Spring Training was understanding how

to be a positive teammate and well-rounded player on the ball field. In high school, coaches love

players who show a positive attitude, are good teammates, and practice excellent sportsmanship

at all times. Coaches know that a player who struggles to stay positive will find it very difficult

to succeed throughout the season. At Spring Training, I learned that even the best major league

hitters fail 7 out of 10 times so a positive thinking player understands that getting out is not the

end of the world. In high school, remaining positive becomes even more important because the

competition gets better and it becomes harder to succeed in every situation. While staying

positive is important for personal success in baseball, Spring Training also taught me how being

a good teammate helps others stay positive and succeed. Learning little things like saying “Atta

Boy” and giving players the eye black salute has helped me continue to actively help my

teammates during games. Even at the high school level, it is important to encourage your

teammates in any way possible. Finally, at Spring Training, I was able to learn about the

importance of sportsmanship and having respect for your teammates, opponents and umpires.

Whether it is shaking someone’s hand after a game of money ball, or not arguing with the ump

after a call, it is important to be a good sport. Sportsmanship is incredibly important in high

school, as coaches do not want players who argue with umpires or talk smack to players on either

team. At camp, we learn that success can be achieved with a positive approach, which is not only

a great lesson for baseball, but for anything we choose to do.

 

As well as learning how to play the game the right way, with a positive attitude and being

a good teammate, I also learned baseball techniques through many drills, many of which are still

useful for me today, and have helped me improve as a player. However, in addition to baseball

technique, Spring Training also taught me how to have fun with baseball. While it may seem like

a given that baseball is awesome and always fun, which it is, it is important to remember to

continue to have fun when playing high school baseball. In high school, school becomes more

stressful and time consuming, so it is important to have a fun activity, like baseball, to enjoy your

teammates and escape the stress. At Spring Training, I first developed my love for baseball and it

has allowed me to continue to enjoy the game today.

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