I started Next Level Athlete back in 2015 when I realized I could help young players achieve their athletic goals by using my personal experiences and failures as a teaching tool to help them reach their highest potential.
As an athlete, I accomplished most of my goals. I started on the varsity baseball team as a freshman, played 3 varsity sports at Lawrence Academy, won team MVP’s, was elected captain in multiple sports and earned a Division I college scholarship. But – the one goal I wanted more than anything, to play professional baseball, is where I fell short.
I remember hitting into the last out of my last college game – stepping on the bus and just melting into a puddle of tears, not because we had lost, but because in the back of my mind I knew my career had just ended.
After spending an unsuccessful summer trying to get picked up as a free agent, I hung up my cleats, and for the first time in my life, I looked myself in the mirror and said: “Where did I go wrong?”
As a young athlete I was always confident in my abilities and, at times, perhaps a little too confident. There was nothing I felt like I couldn’t do and, while this mentality attributed to much my success, it was also a curse. Point blank – I was stubborn. Few people were able to get through to me as an athlete and, rather than being receptive to advice or guidance, my mentality was always “I will prove them wrong!”
My innate passion for the game of baseball and my work ethic on the field had always persevered. Unfortunately, my naive mentality and ignorance to some factual elements were what ended my career early. Had I just looked into mirror a few years earlier my story could have been different.
As I looked back in 2015, I realized I was in fact too slow by MLB standards to be drafted. My defensive abilities, while decent, were not of the skillset of a professional, and my mental approach to the game was not one that would attract the attention of a scout. It is at this point that I realized that I should use my failures, my experience, and my knowledge of the baseball “system” to steer young athletes in the right direction before they experience the revelation that it’s too late.
Next Level Athlete was created to teach players how to be accountable for their abilities and to provide the resources and culture necessary to reach their highest potential.