Hi there and I hope you have had a good week thus far.  This week’s article is going to feature what the Narrow Path is for me and my athletes and some of the methods that I use in my instruction. 

When I was contemplating the name and direction, I wanted to take Narrow Path Sports I went over many different names and meanings.  A few contenders did arise in my design process, but I eventually settled with Narrow Path. The Narrow Path has a couple of different meanings to me and points to a couple of different aspects of life.

The Meaning Behind Narrow Path Sports

First, I will talk about Narrow Path’s greatest meaning to me and then I will explain how it applies to the athlete lifestyle as well. I have already explained that I am a Christian and following Jesus is how I try to live my life even though I slip up and make plenty of mistakes, but I am thankful for His grace.  This may come across strong in our world today or the concept may be right at home for some of you.  My faith is how I choose to live my life and I don’t subject or push my beliefs on those around me or my athletes.  I am however always willing to discuss and chat about them if asked or in good conversation.  I am not ashamed of my trust and faith in God.  As I explained in my other articles, I plan to be working and growing year by year with my athletes, and I am continually thankful for the lifelong friendships baseball has provided and will continue to provide.

Now what does this Narrow Path mean? In both the Christian and Athlete life the way to the end is a narrow path. The percentage of people that become and stay professional athletes is extraordinarily small.  Some are just blessed with insane amounts of natural talent and athleticism but even those most gifted must work at their craft and the ones that combine hard work with their gifts end up becoming some of the best to compete in their sport. In my experience and learning from other athletes that pursue being in the top of their field it comes down to living our lives as a professional athlete. This means eating a diet that helps our bodies perform and recover. Staying on top of our workouts and continuing to challenge what our bodies can do by getting stronger, more explosive, and faster to be at our peak as long as we can.  This also comes down to choosing to do the activities off the field that will benefit our time on it as well. That path is the Narrow Path

Not everyone has the drive, motivation, and dedication to stay committed to that purpose or desire. Those that can walk and live in this way will have the greatest chance of success. As I mentioned above though and even in my own career and life we can stumble, take a wrong turn, and choose to do things that are not in line with that lifestyle.  The faster we can acknowledge our error, have a mentor or friend’s guidance and get back to that path the better off we are.  These are some of the aspects of what it takes to be a great athlete but even better is that these traits translate into any profession and field.

In my walk as a Christian, it did take me some time to find the path of life.  This path is similar in ways that we are called to be and live differently than the world.

christian-baseball

A Calling To Be And Live Differently

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

Mathew 7:13-14

This is a tough passage to read but it is so true in both aspects.  I am not forcing my views on you, and I ask that you think about this from the standpoint of achieving something great in sports or life. The Narrow Path is one not many are willing to tread.  If you want to talk about this passage from a faith standpoint by all means, please reach out and contact me.  

I do my best to make this a part of my daily life.  Like I mentioned before I mess up more times than I can count both from a sinful standpoint and a life one as well.  I refuse to let those trip ups define me or set me back permanently.  I am not responsible for picking myself up and getting back on track every time either. I mentioned above having a good mentor or friend be there for when we fall, trip, or get lost.  These loved ones in your life are instrumental.  I hope this gives some insight into how the Narrow Path can be of importance and why I settled on this name.  I did mention about some of the training methods I use but I think I am going to save that for next week.  This has been a heavy post and we will start to get into the meat and potatoes of baseball and pitching in the coming weeks.  I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions please reach out. Also, if you would like to get email updates on when new articles post please sign up for our email list. 

Thank you and as always #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.