Ben Sheckler:

1 Important Thing Young Baseball
Players Need to Do


by: Abby Murphy


 


After twelve years of being a pitcher, Ben Sheckler, age 22, was drafted right out of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan by the San Diego Padres. Sheckler is currently in Arizona playing and working his way up. He is pleased with everything he has accomplished but has bigger goals he is working towards.

Sheckler shared with us his baseball journey, explaining how he got to where he is today. He also leaves us with his utmost number one piece of advice for any young baseball players that want to play professionally.

 

  Where It All Began

Support is always a big component in accomplishing goals. Sheckler had support from his family right when he started baseball. He still looks back on the people who have helped him get to where he is and appreciates everything they did.


“My dad, Jim Sheckler, has always been my hero. He basically taught me everything I know. I never played any kind of T-Ball growing up, I started off just playing catch with my dad in the yard. I started as a little league pitcher at age nine. I had two home runs in little league and one was a grand slam. Those home runs are still, to this day, the highlights of my batting career.

In high school, I played both baseball and basketball. I sort of floated around a bit not taking much seriously, but my high school baseball coach saw a lot of potential in a tall left-handed pitcher. I signed at Cornerstone and had a terrible Freshman year. After that, I knew I had to get serious. I finally put in the work, I got stronger, and my next three years were much better. My pitching coach, Chuck Lowitzki, taught me a lot, and I was able to get drafted after my 4 years.”

 

  The Daily Life

Playing baseball professionally means lots of baseball. Even on days Sheckler is not pitching he is at the field all day on game days. Baseball teams become a lot like families, spending much of their time together and always having each other’s backs.

“Majority of my day is baseball. We get to the field on game days hours before hand to get ready. We stretch, loosen up, condition, play catch, shag balls, then head to the club house to eat and hang out before we play. The team spends a ton of time together. Because we are from all over, we often live together and become close knit.”
 
 

  Why the Extra Work Matters

It is important to understand that there is a lot of behind the scenes action in baseball. Sheckler describes what it is like to deal with being moved up and down. It is not all just playing the game physically. It is important to always be prepared mentally for moves and trades.

“There are some challenges to it all. Being sent down from Single A and dealing with the adversity of being sent down can be tough. Also, moving all over, away from family and friends is not easy. Being sent down though, pushes and motivates me that much more. I have to keep my chin up and put in the extra work to get back to where I want to be. Playing the game for a living is my favorite part. Showing up on the field, playing in front of a crowd, and just doing what I love is a blast. It makes it all worth it.”

 

  #1 Piece of Advice

Hard work does pay off. Sheckler has seen this first hand, every time he has worked harder he has gotten better.

“The one thing I would tell young baseball players to do to play as long as possible, is to put in the extra work. I regret growing up and being lazy. Develop a work ethic early because if you don’t you will get over looked like I did. No one wants a lazy athlete, be the guy that stand out. Don’t care what anyone else thinks. Be the first to get to the field and the last to leave.”



To put in work compete in State Games of America August 3-6, 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI.
Check out Baseball for more information.