Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is Steven Wright. As I mentioned before, he is a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and was their second pick in the first round of the most recent MLB draft. (Many within the organization wanted him as their first pic but the General Manager was insistent upon getting a left hander so for their first pick they took Dave Huff from UCLA.) Steven was drafted out of University of Hawaii and is where he met my good friend Shannon Tompkins. His stats in both High School and in College are very impressive. I mean, he pretty much dominated in both! He also happens to be a Christian.

Well, ...he has recently left town to visit his parents and is flying out to Hawaii to visit Shannon and then will be flying back to southern California and then driving out to Spring Training. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work with him during the time that I did. Though I was bummed to see him go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy for him, but I wish I had more time to work with him and to just hang out with him. He is a good guy and I consider him a friend now. He is certainly the first guy that Shannon has dated that I can say I approve of. He has a good heart and is a lot of fun to hang out with. I should also mention, ...him and Shannon showed up at the hospital at 2:30 in the morning just for support while I was there the night my father had his heart attack. He didn’t even really know me yet, and yet he felt compelled to drive down to the hospital at 2:30 in the morning just to hang out with me while I was there. I was moved. That meant a lot to me.

I am looking forward to making it out to a few of his games this season and can’t wait to watch him play! I am also excited about having the opportunity to work with him again as soon as the season concludes. I would have liked to have more time to work with him on the Olympic Lifts, especially with the overhead movements such as the Snatch Balance, Push Press, Push Jerk, etc. We didn’t have much time to work on those movements as he felt it was best to hold off on them once his throwing program started. I was still able to get him solid work on some solid explosive movements though. We did lots of clean-pulls and explosive “Wall-Ball” from both a deep squat and with a “push-press” style dip/drive; both of which the goal was to get the ball as high as he possibly could each time.

Myself, as well as my friends and everyone at CrossFit who met him and got to hang out with him, all enjoyed having him around and thought highly of him. Steven’s a good man and now a good friend. Steven not only has a tremendous amount of character, but is a very committed, focused and driven athlete. He certainly has the mental aspect on lock! His mental toughness and focus is incredibly honed and is probably his most valuable asset as an athlete, along with his pitching skill. Those of us in coaching and in athletics know full well that no matter how “fit” the athlete is, regardless of sport, if they do not have that honed mental focus and solid mental toughness, that they will not go far or last long. Steven has both, the focus and the toughness needed to not simply succeed, but to excel. It will be fun to watch him play. Baseball, for me, just got much more exciting to watch.

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