Hi there and welcome to Narrow Path Sports! My name is JJ Hoover and I am excited to welcome you to my site and business. I am inviting you to read and learn who I am and what Narrow Path Sports will become in this introduction series. I have been playing baseball professionally since 2008. As I embark upon my 15th year as a professional athlete I have been blessed to go through many ups and downs in my career. I absolutely still have the desire to compete at a high level, but I have also been in a position to mentor and coach in these 5-6 years.  I love working with young athletes and helping them become the best versions of themselves and maximizing their potential.  First I would love to introduce myself and a little of my history before telling you what Narrow Path Sports will be. 

Why Baseball is My Passion

Baseball and specifically pitching has been my passion for as long as I can remember.  Growing up I told my dad very early on that I wanted to be a Major league baseball player but more importantly a pitcher! Pitching has been my grandest love since I first started playing Americas past time.  There is something about being 1 on 1 against a hitter and the artistry of throwing Fastballs, curve balls, inside, outside, high, and low to try and get the hitter to swing and miss or make weak contact that really gets my blood flowing! Another aspect I love about what I do is that even though it starts out as a 1 on 1 it’s not technically that.  The catcher has a massive influence on pitching and then after I deliver the pitch, I have my teammates behind me to try and make a defensive play to get the hitter out. 

My Path to Major League Pitching

I started playing baseball when I was 7 and if I remember correctly my first year of pitching was when I was 9.  That means to my surprise I have been pitching for 25 years.  That really blows my mind when I step back and look at it that way.  I played travel ball when I became a teenager and had the joy of playing on some really excellent teams with some really amazing players, some of whom went on to play in college and professionally as well.  High school baseball was a blast and I played 4 years at the varsity level.  The college recruitment process was interesting as we did not have a lot of information or knowledge on how college athletics worked.  I will dive into that in a later article.  I ended up going the JUCO route and playing for Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama where I played for 2 years before being drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the 2008 MLB amateur draft. Before I signed with the Braves I was honored to play in the Cape Cod League which is the premiere college wood bat league in the US.  I played on the Harwich Mariners and we won the league Championship.  I signed at the end of that summer on the very last day of being eligible to sign.  That is also a deeper story for another time. 

My professional career has led me to play on some great teams in some awesome organizations. I have played for the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, and Washington Nationals in the MLB.  I have also played for the Canberra Cavalry in Australia and most recently the Lexington Legends of the Atlantic League. 

Why Faith Based Coaching is my Passion

I have always wanted to be able to pass on my experiences, knowledge and passion for the game to the next generation.  This will also allow me to hopefully provide coaching and training that I did not have access to when I was a youth athlete.  Learning how to train to maximize the potential in yourself is a key component to being successful in any area of life.  The life of an athlete is more than just the time spent on the field competing. There are countless hours of preparation and dedication.  My goal through Narrow Path Sports is to walk alongside each athlete as they traverse down that path.  My faith has always been my guiding light and I hope to maximize what God has blessed me with both on the playing field and in the arena of coaching.  I am excited to be on this journey and I hope you will come with me.  If you are looking for advice or coaching, please feel free to connect with me via social, email, or phone.  I will do my best to help in any way that I can.  Stay tuned for the next article in this introduction series to get a better feel for what Narrow Path Sports will provide.  Until then remember to  #FollowtheNarrowPath

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About the Author

JJ Hoover
JJ Hoover was an American professional baseball pitcher from 2008 to 2021. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Milwaukee Brewers. Hoover throws four pitches: a four-seam fastball (91–94 mph), a curveball (76–79mph), a slider (81-85mph), and a changeup (85–88mph). JJ has taught pitching and baseball globally, and more recently in Cincinnati, Ohio for Narrow Path. Hoover now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife of seven years, Megan-Kate Hoover of Reel Rescues. JJ is a devout Christian.