I’ve heard of and know a lot of people who have made varsity as a freshman, but I don’t think that I’m quite there yet, with only a year to go. I know a year is a long time and I’ll learn a lot and keep working, but is there any specific thing I should do? I’m 6’2" and 195 with an average bfp, so I have the size and most of the strength to do it, but is there anything specific that I can do to make it next year?
I would say first and foremost attend any offseason practice sessions for the team/coach. Most teams run offseason training that is voluntary. By attending these you will show the coach that you have a level of commitment and work ethic that some other kids dont. Show up on time and with a good attitude. You dont need to brown nose, in fact, that is a turn off to alot of coaches. However, show up dressed the right way (if outside wear baseball pants, spikes, wear you hat the right way ect.). Hustle, hustle, hustle. Believe me, your coach doesnt care if your tired from studying or have a little bit of a cold. Certainly the guys that are battling you for that roster spot and your game time competition wont care. If you have a legit question about how to do a drill or how they want something executed, ask. Lastly, if you dont make varsity as a freshman dont take it personaly. Some schools never put freshman on the team because of the number of upper classman going out for the team. On my sons team 4 underclassmen (1 freshman, 3 sophmores) made the varsity team. I dont think any of the four were the best all around players in their classes. However, they all filled roles. One is the fastest kid in the school, so he was a backup for all 3 outfield positions and a pinch runner, my son worked as a left hander out of the bullpen. So, sometimes its a numbers game. As far as specific exercises to get ready there are other people on here more qualified to answer that part of it. Make sure you show up for tryouts in shape. Having a kid come back winded from jogging poles on day one shows, to me anyway, the kid doesnt care enough to prepare. Good luck.
Your focus as an 8th or 9th grader shouldn’t be on making varsity as a frosh. Your focus needs to be on develping your skills and finding ways to improve your game throughout this winter. Don’t focus on an end result. Results happen based on preparation and putting energy into a process.