As with any profession, a clear view of the environment that you’ll be working in is a must. Those that choose an engineering profession - any engineering profession, will find a highly academic, constantly shrinking sector of choice as innovation after innovation alters the thinking and wants of a dynamic market place.
Here are just some of the things that you must consider when choosing this lifestyle as a way of life.
- There are two things that will constantly plague you throughout you career - youth and experience. Both are at the extreme ends of the professional spectrum, and are judged by others, while at the same time, the judges themselves are being judged. Hence the job security market is an if-ee one for everybody. This environment is constantly leaving self doubts in everyone’s mind … “do I have a job tomorrow.” Youth is your strongest asset, on the one hand, with inexperience hanging on the other end of a seesaw. Kind of a … you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. As you gain experience, your clock starts ticking as the agility of youth slowly slips away.
*The multitier system of going through the Minors will wear on your youth as you learn your trade. The bottom runners of this tier system will test your willingness to tolerate poor accommodations, long bus rides, a new awaking to your digestive system, board line alcoholics, and a spectrum of humanity.
*Forget having any friendship with anyone running neck and neck for a job. You’ll constantly listen for those being released, injured, and falling out of favor with the coaching staff.
*Expect the unexpected. Getting sick from, and by what, only God knows, will tug at your ability to keep your performance levels. A minor case of the sniffles can run temp with the chills in a heart beat. Athlete’s foot from a gang shower can burn forever, and left untreated can result in serious complications. Sunburns, bug bites, scrapes and bruises will be an everyday norm.
*This business is a team of one. You’ll have to get use to being alone, placing nothing personal out there for discussion or placing your confidence in no one.
*You’ll see those who you think have less talent than you, called up to a high level on the ladder. That’s just the nature of the beast. Besides, every time you see this happen, you’ll have to reappraise your opinions of just how talented are you.
By the time your in your mid 30’s, if you haven’t made it to where you believe you should be, think of the dramatic lifestyle changes that you’re going to make if you decide to leave professional baseball. On the flip side, think about the place in life that you’ll be in, IF, you decide to stay in professional baseball. Either way, remember the greatest asset that youth gave you, well, now that’s gone. Your experience is only as good as it can compare to others a lot younger and quicker.
Personal relationships are extremely difficult to manage. You’ll witness your friends back home getting engaged, married, settling down and raising a family, good jobs, and most of all a life of stability. You won’t have any of that, and don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise.
This business is one of the hardest, toughest, and cruelest ways to may a living.
Of course … others have done it, and why no you. As you gain experience and play this game, perhaps what I mentioned above will show itself… as this game…turns into a way to make a living.