According to Wikipedia, marching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady walking forward in either rhythmic or route-step time. It typically refers to overland movements on foot of military troops and units under field orders.
I love the month of March because my flowers and plants begin to bloom. Gardening is slowly, but surely becoming a hobby of mine. I love to watch people and things grow.
The calendar year starts in August and ends in July of the following year for my hitters.
- August-October is the time we try new things to determine what works and what doesn’t
- November-January is when we build strength and habits based on what works
- February-April is the conversion phase converting habits to skills
Guest blogger Theo Hassan will be featured the entire month of March to help lead you to a successful spring and summer baseball season.
Where did you grow up?
As a child, I was raised in the city of College Park. There, I played recreational sports at Old National Park.
When you were a teenager, did you want to become a collegiate and/or Major League Baseball Player? Unpack that for us?
As I matriculated through my teenage years, I had aspirations of following in my father’s footsteps by playing collegiate and professional baseball for Jackson State University and the Braves organization. I put in long hours practicing and training for my moment.
Whenever that moment would come, I knew I would be able to perform to my highest potential. Time passes by and I haven’t had any scholarship offers. At last, I received a letter in the mail offering me a scholarship to Jackson State University. This wasn’t just any scholarship; this was a scholarship to be a member of the Sonic Boom of the South.
As I matriculated through my teenage years, I had aspirations of following in my father’s footsteps by playing collegiate and professional baseball for Jackson State University and for the Braves organization.
But there was still something missing; some questions that remained unanswered. What was I supposed to do about my baseball career?
The assistant band director at the time, Dr. Lowell Hollinger, told me that no one had ever been able to march in the band and play in a sport because of the time and commitment it took. But I wanted to play baseball, too.
I decided to take on the challenge and try out for the baseball team. On July 4, 2012, I attended a walk on tryout. This was my moment—the moment I’ve been waiting for.
Tell us what you accomplished as a student-athlete at Jackson State University that has never been done by anyone else?
By the grace of God, I was able to wake up at 4 a.m. for band conditioning, attend 6 a.m. baseball conditioning, attend classes throughout the day, followed by 2 p.m. baseball practice, and at 6 p.m., I attended band practice.
Talk about no sleep.
What did being in The Sonic Boom of the South marching band teach you that prepared you to excel on the baseball field as well?
I won back to back SWAC Championships my freshman and sophomore years while playing in the band. The only band member to win a ring, let alone two. Most people look at band as an easy activity. I’m here to tell you that being in the marching band for the Sonic Boom taught me a lot about precision, dedication and discipline.
These three attributes help me in my baseball career because among the other positions I’ve played, pitching is what I did most in college. It is interesting to learn that being a pitcher takes using all three of those attributes. Being dedicated to run for 30 minutes, being precise in my mechanics and staying disciplined to my arm care all came from a marching band mindset.
What do you recommend as a good pre-game and post-game meal for baseball players?
For the schedule that I had, meal prep was very important. It took a lot of energy and effort to get through the day, especially on game days. A good pre game meal for me was a breakfast bar and apple, followed by some form of Vitamin C juice, i.e., orange or apple juice. My post game meals were more protein related foods.
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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 22 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and a track record of success that can work for you.