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Zach Thibault: Why Are You Here?

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

If people say you’re crazy, it just means you’re doing what they never will.

Some people are born into wealth, good genes, lots of support, endless resources, and talent. Others have to work from the ground up, figure out how to make ends meet, work harder with nothing so in the long run their hard work outweighs the people with more talent. This is something lots of athletes don’t understand. You need to enjoy your trials and tribulations, you need to enjoy the hard times, and you need to remember that everything is a learning opportunity. Every baseball player knows that baseball is a game of FAILURE. But why do we still play? We still play because, when we do succeed, it is the best feeling in the world. Countless hours of hitting, throwing, catching, running, and getting dirty, all add up and create our success. For some people it comes naturally, you hear coaches say “He has raw talent. He doesn’t need to do much to better his game”. Well good for them. More power to ya! But there are more people who need to work overtime to get to their desired destination than there are who don’t. And man let me tell you, those are some bad dudes who get to their destination by busting it day in, and day out.

I remember my junior year, I was really focused on hitting. I was always a defense first kind of player but I wanted more, so I started hitting for hours and as often as I could and kicked defense to the curb for the time being. I was hitting so much that I would see guys come and go throughout the hours I was there, I would hit with 3-4 different groups of guys because I was up there so long. At one point people started to notice, and they’d always say, “man you’re crazy for hitting this much." I never really understood what they meant. After all, aren’t we all here for the purpose of getting better? Why is this so crazy to you guys? It was because I wasn't them. I saw what I needed to do to reach my own destination. Everybody is running their own race, don’t get caught up in trying to fast track it or cheat the process. Because when people start calling you crazy for doing something you love, it only means that you’re finally fully dedicated to it. 

The hitting was just the tip of the iceberg, I moved away when I was 14 to go and chase that dream we all think about: the Big Leagues. I moved from Novia Scotia, Canada to Alberta, Canada, to California, to Kentucky, to Indiana, which is where I now call home. That’s a whole different story though. That was wild. But I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I just knew I had to keep figuring out what my next step would be.

One of my coaches from JUCO always preached “Blind Faith." I'm not going to lie - I thought it was stupid. But it’s because I didn’t understand. What that meant was, you may not know where you’re going or how you’ll get there - just know you will get there. Keep struggling, keep learning, keep wanting to be crazy for working hard. I’m not trying to sit here and write about some motivation story. I just wanted to tell people who are reading this that you better grind. There are players out there that have the crazy work ethic, and they’re coming for your spot. Don’t let them beat you because you don’t want to do what needs to be done.

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