If you've ever wondered what it takes to have your kid play at an elite college baseball program like Georgia Tech Baseball, take a seat and listen up. Moxie Sports has invited Georgia Tech Assistant Coach, Tony Plagman, to share some insider thoughts on making it to the next level.
But before we dive into these questions, let's answer one vital question. Who is Tony Plagman?
Tony's a former Division I All-American stud and former Professional Baseball Player in the Detroit Tigers organization. He was a 4 year starter at Tech batting a career .329 with 56 doubles, 55 homers and 219 RBI. He ranks sixth at Tech in career RBI, third in homers and seventh in doubles.
So needless to say, Tony knows what he's talking about! Here are some of his thoughts below.
what's One piece of advice you would give a high school recruit?
[High School recruits] need to "Learn something new about the game everyday. Whether it's understanding your swing a little better, or knowing what to do in a new situation. Coaches want to see who can really play the game, not just tools and athletic ability."
at the division i level, what do you believe is the biggest transition for athletes coming from the high school game to the college game?
"The speed of the game. Everyone is bigger, stronger, faster and you don't realize how much those milliseconds matter until you are playing some of the best 18-22 year olds in the country. This is why it's so important to have a competitive edge and be a student of the game. Your body will develop and you'll be able to adjust to the speed, but having a solid foundation of knowledge and work ethic engraved in your daily routine will help tremendously. Athletes also need to know that everyone on a D1 roster is a good player and there are no "filler" spots on a roster like in high school. Every single player on the bench can step in and contribute, so you need to work your butt off to keep your job, and you need to work your butt off to be ready to step into a game off the bench and contribute to the team. Everything matters at this level."
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about athletes needing to specialize in only one sport by the time they get to high school. How do you feel about multi-sport athletes in high school, and does it help or hurt their recruiting chances?
"I am all about [high school] athletes playing multiple sports. Not only does it show they want to be out there to compete, but it ultimately makes them better athletes by cross training. Personally, I played baseball and football in high school and I felt like that helped me mature as an athlete. I was also able to send my football highlight film into the coaches at Georgia Tech which showcased my athletic ability. A lot of programs want to recruit athletes, and by showing your ability to play multiple sports at a high level, in my opinion, increases your chances of landing a scholarship at the next level."
For incoming Freshman athletes, there's a lot of uncertainty of what to expect and what the programs expect of them in their first year. So, what does Georgia Tech Baseball expect out of their incoming freshman?
"We expect our freshmen to come in wanting to learn. They need to understand that school comes first, but also that they need to put time into the weight room, cages, etc. We obviously want them to come in ready to contribute in the spring so they can get the most out of their 3 or 4 year college career, but they need to understand that they haven't earned the right to come in and start. They need to work their butts off and earn their playing time and the chance to contribute to the team in the spring."
Reflecting back on your playing career, what is the best piece of advice you would give your 15 or 16 year old self?
"I would tell my 15 or 16 year old self to work harder. On the field, in the gym, and most importantly in the classroom. I look back on a lot of wasted time and imagine what I could have done if I took advantage of that time. Try to honestly learn something everyday and take advantage of the opportunities presented."
If our readers can take a couple things from this post, we believe it should be this:
Learn something new every day to improve some aspect of your game.
Use your time efficiently and don't reflect back at your career and say "what if?"