Baseball! America’s favorite team sport is also quite popular in South America and parts of Asia! People dream about making it big in the professional baseball leagues, and for many individuals, it is the only way out of abject poverty and a shot at improving their lives and those of their loved ones.
Of course, becoming a professional athlete is all about natural talent, years of hard work, dedication and perseverance; nowhere is this most obvious and true than pro baseball. Each year thousands of hopefuls enter various leagues across the country, but only a few talented and lucky individuals make it to a major league baseball team. Some helpful guidelines on how to become a pro baseball player are provided here.
Listed below are some necessary requirements for a successful pro baseball career and these are basic no-brainers!
- Talent, either raw and natural or honed over years of learning and practice, beginning as early as possible in your life;
- Consistency, peak physical fitness, continuous training, a strong willpower and a hunger for success;
- Picking one position as a baseball player, improving on strengths and working on minimizing weaknesses, technical or otherwise. This means choosing to concentrate on either pitching or batting, two of the prominent positions in a baseball game.
Playing in the baseball leagues
- For a majority of players, becoming a pro starts at a very early age with Little League and progressing through various age-group level matches, continuous practice and building and maintaining physical and mental fitness.
- The minimum age to try out for the baseball leagues – major and minor – is 16 years.
- Unless you’re talented and lucky enough to be scouted by major league teams while still in high school or college, the only way to become a pro baseball player is to attend as many of the open tryouts as possible, conducted throughout the year across various semi-professional and professional minor and major leagues (at last count, numbering at least 30 such entities) in America.
- Tryouts are either open or closed, the former are open to anyone, while the latter are strictly ‘invitation only’ events. The objective of attending the maximum number of open tryouts is to catch the eye of scouts who attend these events to observe performances from likely prospects.
- The selection criteria are purely performance-based, which include batting, pitching, catching and running abilities. It is very rare that you will be offered a spot on a league baseball team at open tryouts. However, if a scout is impressed enough by your performance, you may receive an invitation to attend a closed camp, where the percentage for success is significantly upped.
The tryout procedure
- You must be 16 years of age to attend a tryout camp,
- Registration can be done at the venue prior to the start time specified and includes signing a ‘liability waiver’ for any injuries sustained during the tryout. Those who are under 21 years of age will need a parent or guardian to sign the waiver as well.
- It is better to carry all the required sporting gear, dress professionally and arrive well ahead of the scheduled start time.
Once the camp is on, it is up to you to give your best efforts to catch the eye of the attending scouts and impress them enough to be marked as a potential addition to their teams.