Good advice from Coach Paul, as always.
Control what you can control, which is to say work very hard and don’t have that regret of "I should have tried harder…"
My son has a friend who is a fantastic athlete. One of those kids that looks kind of awkward doing stuff but is very explosive and athletic. He also happens to be left handed. He started pitching in middle school. By Senior year he was throwing mid 80s and was getting looks from colleges. He by passed some D2 offers to pitch at a JC to be closer to home. He had an excellent year, both pitching very well and hitting about .350 with power. By the time summer ball rolled around he was sitting 86-88 and touched 90 a few times. Bigger colleges were calling at this point and he was contacted by a couple of pro scouts. His second year of school…he lost focus. His grades were so bad he could not play. All the D1 interest went away as did the pro scouts. Maybe he couldn’t handle pressure the was feeling? Maybe he was afraid of success? Maybe it came too easy to him and partying seemed more important?
Everyone faces challenges. Everyone. For guys that it comes easy to they have the unrelenting pressure of expectation. For everyone else they face the challenge of trying to good enough. Beyond high school it is brutal. The attrition rate is very, very high. If you play (which is to say make the roster) at the NCAA level baseball you are in the top 5% of baseball players. About 95% of high school baseball players don’t play at that level ever. Most guys who make it to the level of pro ball have a mix of things usually…natural ability or physical attributes that help them, luck in terms of injury, very, very high level work ethic and focus on the goal, often at the exclusion of other things. Want to go to that party? Nope, have to hit the gym. Girlfriend wants to spend the weekend together? Nope, have bullpen work to do.
My point is, it is a lot harder than looking for a random benchmark. Coach Paul nailed it. If you want to play at the next level (Varsity in high school, college or whatever) you have to control what you can control and work very, very hard.