By: Geoffrey Gilbert – June 19, 2020
Throughout this first year as a collegiate baseball player, the amount of information I have taken in is much more than I ever thought. As meetings, then fall practices began, I started a journal to log everything spoken by anyone who addressed us as surely I was not going to remember everything he or she said.
Through the hectic schedule of going to classes, practices and study halls, I was able digest what I had written down every day. It allowed me to reflect on the substantial impact this information could have had on myself if I knew then, in high school, what I know now. In the college game, attention to detail is more important than it has ever been in my career. Across the board, the competition is fairly the same which makes it much harder to gain an edge on your opponent. Your opponent could be someone you are trying to beat out for playing time, or another team. Looking through this journal book, I came across many valuable notes that have allowed me to put myself in a successful position each day, but more importantly, they have helped me overcome many obstacles and failures that one faces in this game.
As I entered into college, I felt like I had done a fine job of organizing priorities for each day. As days went by, I came to the realization that the only reason everything in my life up to that point had been well-organized is theoretically speaking, it was all easy. In high school, it is not often that one day is much different from another. For the most part, class times are the same, teachers make sure everyone understands what is due and when it needs to be turned in, and all practices are structured the same way. After being in college for a week or two, something needed to change. In college, every day, I have different class times and practice times. Also, I have other necessities that need to be covered such as study hall hours and nutrition. It became obvious that I needed to pay more attention to organization and structure throughout each day.
To help with organization, I began to develop a daily routine. As I say “daily routine”, it often changed depending on what each day consisted of, but overall it simplified the days. As it developed, I was able to find more time in each day. This allowed for me to slow my days down and pay more attention to the smaller things.
Each day I woke up at the same time, I go to class, I grab lunch, I go to the field for practice, then at night I go to study hall. The more important things that need to be covered become more evident, and you begin to fill in the smaller things you would like to accomplish that maybe you could not find time for before. Every day is like a puzzle that has many pieces that contribute to completing it. As one builds a routine, it allows those pieces to be put in much easier without forgetting other times and needs that must be met.
In all aspects of a student-athletes life, organization is key. As a daily routine becomes permanent, it opens the doors to some many other things that can be taken advantage of. As I structured my days around practice times and workouts, I began to find more time that allowed me to get extra stretching, core work, or conditioning in. This is exactly what I wanted but could not find time for before. To maximize my potential, finding extra time each day was crucial to staying healthy and creating habits of success in my first year of college. Though one may feel that the days are long and the work that you put in is enough, that is far from the truth. With my routine, it took the stress of maybe forgetting about meetings or tutoring hours, and left much more time for me to get in extra dry work, drills and anything else that I felt I needed to cover to be able to compete at a high level every single day.
In all areas of each day – class, practice, and other needs – a routine can open up many more areas that can allow a student-athlete to fill the gaps in other things that he or she was lacking. Finding more time in each day has a direct impact on the performance of a student-athlete. In college, the days are long, but the weeks go by quickly, and months even quicker. It is very important that one is able to structure each day in a simple manner to allow for more attention to be paid in other areas. Building a routine has directly contributed to success on and off of the field. Though it is a constant process, for me, it has slowed down each day and allowed me to put more focus in other areas I was not paying much attention to before.
About the author: Clemson 2020 Freshman All-American LHP Geoffrey Gilbert was a four-time state champion at Bishop England and multi-time Player of the Year for DP, plus a member of the All-Decade Team. For his full bio, click here.