Why Play Baseball?

My man Mark inspired me to write this.

What’s my Why? I’ve been asked this before and have never been able to give a straight up answer. It’s not a singular thing, there are a few parts to it and this is the best way that I can describe my “why” for playing baseball

Like many people, sports have always been a part of my life. They were intentionally built into my childhood and have continued to be there as I’ve grown up. Simply playing anything has always appealed to me. My idea of fun came from making up games with my siblings or playing organized sports. When the time came, I was forced to choose one sport if I wanted to keep playing. That came in the form of baseball and it was the only sport that I had a real shot of playing at the highest level after high school. That was my choice and I went for it, college was really the first time in my life that I focused solely on baseball. I liked all of the sports I played equally but one thing was for sure, whatever sport it may be I knew that I wanted to keep competing in something. That was it for me, the competition. It’s what pushed me to want to continue to play baseball, my love for competition.

Why competition? I love carrying a “me vs. you attitude.” The attitude that whoever I’m going up against I can beat. In my mind, I know that I’m going to give it everything and that my opponents are too, confident that I will come out on top. Even on their best day, I will still beat them. And if they win, they are better than me at that time. Having complete trust that if I give it everything and still lose, I was worse that day. Yet, it doesn’t mean that I am worse forever; it just shows me that I have to work that much harder in order to come out on top next time. I hate losing and believe I should win every single time. My “me vs. you” attitude provides fuel to be greater than I was yesterday.

Aside from the actual sport, I love being on a team. Working together to try and accomplish a goal is a major piece for me. Seeing teammates work hard at a skill and then translating it to the field is always awesome. Also, knowing that if I don’t give it my best in training and competition then I will let down the team. I don’t think I would enjoy playing an individual sport because of how much “team” means to me. Struggling with my best friends and winning together is part of my “why.” I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends through baseball and I’m very thankful for that.

Personally, I like setting goals and trying to crush them. Baseball is my vehicle to do that. I am constantly challenged and have to continuously work harder in order to accomplish any goals. Baseball is very mental and a lot of it is a battle against your self, both mentally and physically.

More recently, I realized that I like to be able to give back. By continuing to play I am playing for those who didn’t have the same opportunities I do, and for those who put so much into me to aid my success. The least I can do is give it 110%. It’s the only way I can truly repay everyone who has helped me along the way. I don’t focus on avoiding failure; it’s more about making their time and energy worthwhile.

Like I said, its difficult for me to explain my “why” in a straight answer, but this is the best way I can do it. It’s not one singular thing; it’s a few parts.

JAKE BIVENS

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