Does Age Impact a Baseball Player’s Mindset?


Matt Fields

In professional baseball, players spend more time with other players than any other sport. Between bus rides, long plane rides, and for some players staying in the same room, players are almost always together. I’ve always wondered how in baseball age can impact maturity, and the overall handling of day-to-day situations. After asking Matt Fields (age 30), Joe Hudson (age 24) and Caleb Frare (age 22) an extremely similar set of questions,  I may have found an answer.

1. When there is a tense situation during a game, or even a season, how do you deal with that internally?

Caleb Frare:  “I just realize it’s the game of baseball, and I move on…”

Joe Hudson:  “Depending on the situation, typically what happens is coaches will handle it first and foremost. If it is one of those things that can be handled by you or another player, the natural leaders will emerge.”

2. What is the conversation like among the players in the locker room after a tough loss, and how do you keep them calm after a big win?

Caleb Frare“After a tough loss, there is not much said; actually not much at all.”

Matt Fields: “After a tough loss, it’s really positive. What are things that we accomplished and that we did good today, and not necessarily so much of the bad, and also we still have tomorrow.”

3.What are you thinking about the first few days of the offseason?

Matt Fields: “Truthfully how much I miss baseball already. But for me, being a veteran and playing 11 years of pro ball I use those three days just to relax and see family, and kind of get my feet back underneath me.”

Joe Hudson: “For me this year in particular, I was kind of hoping I would still be playing. We had a deep playoff run this year, and I really wasn’t ready for the season to be over. However once the offseason settled in, it was an easy transition to make because you’re playing baseball all season, and once you get some time on your hands it is kind of refreshing.”

Caleb Frare

4. Knowing what you know now, what advice do you wish you had as a 12-year old?

Caleb Frare: “When I was 12, that’s when I really started taking this game serious. At 12 there was not much I could expand upon.”

Matt Fields: “Basically when you’re 12, you do not necessarily know about the mental side of the game, it’s more physical. It starts to come more naturally. I think baseball is 90% mental and 10% physical. I wish someone had told me how hard it would be on me mentally, and not let it impact me and basically just have a positive attitude. As long as you learn something, and you get better everyday, then everything’s going to be okay.”

5. How do you earn respect in a Minor League locker room?

Matt Fields: “Work hard, and respect the game. For me, I was not so much of a vocal guy; I left it all out on the field, and then from there you get comfortable in the locker room. The way to show guys that you’re really serious is you have to perform, and go about your business, and work hard the right way.”

Joe Hudson: “First and foremost you have to set a good example. If over time you can consistently show that you’re setting a good example and always doing the right things, then you will start to earn respect. Once others are picking up your habits, then you know you have earned respect.”

As expected, age/experience impacted the depth of the answers given by the players. It was fascinating to do these interviews also because they all really showed how baseball can change a person through experience, and what they go through.

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