Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
At Thiel College, we look for a number of qualities that we hope will continue to develop and flourish during their time in our program. The first is a willingness to work. We ask our players to work at the game more hours and with more intensity than they have at any point in their life. We want guys that want to do things consistently to get better; guys that like to lift weights, condition, watch film, many things that players don’t enjoy doing in the off season. More often than not, our hardest worker is the best player at each position because they’ve done what’s necessary to put themself in position to play every day. The second is selflessness. We want players who believe in the TEAM first concept, and are willing to do what’s necessary to help the TEAM accomplish goals. This can mean playing out of position because it makes us better, sharing knowledge and information with other team members, and sacrificing personal glory for the success of the TEAM. More often than not, TEAM success breeds individual recognition. Third and foremost, we look for players who have the ability to do the things necessary off the field to earn the priviledge to play on it. This means being a great student academically, and being able to balance their school work along with their baseball commitments. The other part of this component is being a good person in our campus community. Doing what’s right and not necessarily what’s popular ALL of the time are traits that we expect of our players from the moment they step on campus.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
A personal success story of a player who has gone above and beyond would be a recently departed senior second baseman. This player is not a physical specimen, short in stature, and not very physically strong when he arrived on campus. He came with below average arm strength, average footspeed, and an inability to hit for power. This student dedicated himself to getting as strong as he possibly could in the weight room, and because of it, became a four year starter for us at that position. He was recognized as an all-conference selection twice. Pound for pound, he was one of the strongest players on our team and at his position. He also was a model student, being named student athlete and the college’s student of the month on multiple occasions and a perfect role model in our campus community. Simply put: He wanted success more than the others around him, and was willing to put in the work necessary to make it happen.