What a journey it is has been. From being an undersized teenager playing for a school that emphasized academics more than athletics, to playing in front of thirty-five thousand people and co-owning a company I share with a great friend! How did this all happen? Was it all easy coasting with a red carpet laid out down in front me? Hardly the case and far from it. Let’s dive a little deeper on the journey that lead me here today!
It all started with my parents. My parents are absolutely incredible people who pushed me to reach greatness in whatever I was called to do. My mom stressed the fact that my mediocre academics were unacceptable and forced me to take action and ask for assistance. It taught me the power of asking for help when I was struggling. My dad additionally played a huge role, saying to me day after day, “Do you want to be good, or do you want to be GREAT”. This phrase is something that never left my head. During times of failure, when all I wanted to do was make an excuse, I just kept hearing my Dad’s phrase. No, I would say to myself - I messed up and it’s my job to fix it. This was a constant state of mind from the early ages of my life to now.
Fast forward to high school and the recruiting process. I will be honest, I did not know much of it. My parents were the ones running point on this. I wasn’t worried about where I was going to school, what people were saying about me, how much scholarship money I could get or even how my peers perceived me. All I wanted was to compete and play baseball. Yes, we did our Perfect Game showcases (look me up - ps my stats STINK!!), we did the travel ball circuit and my Dad got me to play as many games as I possibly could. Going into my Senior year of high school, I had no idea where I would be going. I had some interest from Methodist College but that wasn’t in the cards for me. Boston College seemed very excited to have me, even offered me a whopping 5% scholarship offer. That came in really nicely to shave off of that 65K tuition. I’ll be honest, I had no idea where I would end up. I put everything in my parents and God’s hands and hoped some doors would open.
It all came down to the very last showcase of my junior year on August 30th. That door opened up for me. I was at a Perfect Game showcase and had the weekend of my life. I threw my 1.92 pop time, I hit a ball off the field righty and, oh yeah, hit a ball off the wall lefty. I finally shined in the right moment with the right coaches watching! After the night game, I had a line of coaches waiting to talk to me. First up was Coach Rich Maloney from the University of Michigan. The rest is history.
Its been a crazy crazy journey and this is only the first part of it that I would like to focus on. There are many different “views” you may gather from this but in my opinion, this should be the main point: learn how to COMPETE, learn how to BE GREAT, and learn how to be HONEST with yourself and your son.
Every Mom and Dad out there thinks that their child is working hard, but I will be honest with you, it’s not hard enough. There are no favors done for you after high school. It’s our world of competition and cut throat business’. Every day I was doing something to improve my game. I did not even have access to a weight room during this time period, so lifting was foreign to me. If I had 24/7 access to the facility that Coach Skaggs and I are providing for the boys, I wouldn’t leave the place. It would be my home away from home. A place as parents, where I would know my boy is taken care of and getting better. Was I surprised that the University of Michigan would want a small kid from Vienna, VA who was not a top recruit, did not preform well in metrics and most definitely did not have the “wow” factor... absolutely yes. Albeit I look back now and realize day after day of competing, of a no excuses mindset, amazing family support, and a strong Faith, it comes as no surprise that I’ve been blessed. Enjoy your journey, enjoy your sons journey, watch him grow up to become a man. We all want to have the perfect life for our sons but we also all know life isn’t all easy coasting (look at 2020 lol). Control what you can control and when his time comes to SHINE… you may only get one shot at this!!
Best of luck - keep dreaming and working hard EVERY SINGLE DAY!!
What is your NEXT STEP?? It won’t be easy but we will help you get there.
Coach Chris Berset