From Cricket To College
After years of playing cricket at a representative level, going into my first U.S. collegiate baseball season was, to say the least, daunting. It was only a few years ago that I first began working out with Craig from Diamond Dreams Sports Coaching at Trumper Park in Paddington. The decision to switch from cricket to baseball at such a late age, (20 to be exact) was one of the best decisions of my life.
I began my baseball career in 2012 playing for Sydney University in the Sydney Winter League. Following this initial winter season I decided to join the Baulkham Hills Baseball Club the following summer and played grade baseball in the New South Wales State League competition. Both clubs have been fantastic!
I continued working out with Craig to refine my skills and learn more about the game, until one day he suggested that I consider playing at the U.S. college level where he felt I would be successful. We quickly got to work putting together some recruiting videos then sent them off to some schools which Craig had specifically targeted. Months later, I decided on Anne Arundel Community College (AACC), in Maryland.
I was somewhat anxious upon my 2013 Fall arrival. I felt a little out of my comfort zone. I was nervous but keen to show that I belonged on the squad. Being so far from everything you know is a bit overwhelming. Craig did inform me that my first two weeks would be the toughest but I wasn’t giving up. For a while, I found it tough to adapt to college baseball in all aspects. Practice was tough, with plenty of running. The quality of pitchers I was facing was also considerably better than what I had faced back home. The change-up was a pitch I had rarely seen until coming to the U.S. Throughout the fall I continued to work hard and slowly my confidence grew. As it grew, I felt as though I was becoming more a part of the team.
For other ballplayers who come over, it is important to be confident in yourself and in your own ability. This is what I lacked for the better part of 6 weeks until it started turning around. I was able to speak regularly with Craig back home via Facebook, email, and Skype. This helped a lot as it was coming from someone who had been there before and had been successful at this level. Towards the end of the fall I was playing regularly and was encouraged by my coaches to learn how to switch hit.
I returned home for the Christmas break I again put in a lot of hard work with Craig on the field and in the gym. I was able to return to the U.S, ready for my first spring semester with a new attitude and the confidence that I had become a better ballplayer.
We are now a week away from opening day and I feel great. I am hoping for a great season for the team. There’s no question, I could not have gotten to this point without the support of Diamond Dreams Sports Coaching.