Pursuing the Dream at Narrow Path Sports

Life throws curve balls! It has been a very wild week for me personally at Narrow Path Sports. Spring has finally sprung, and I am now down in Lexington, KY where I will be serving as a player/pitching coach. This was in the works for most of the winter but there was part of me that didn’t know or think it was going to happen. I spent my season last year with the Lexington Legends where we won the Atlantic League Championship. It was a unique year for me because it was my first foray into independent league baseball. My love of baseball and the game has never faded but sometimes external circumstances can interfere with that love, and I had let that get to me these past 3-5 years. I am thankful though to be entering my 15 season as a professional baseball player and I will give you some insight into my path here and be a little vulnerable in the process.

Do You Have What It Takes To Be Great?

I have spoken about the dedication and hard work it takes to be a professional baseball player and to be honest a pro in any field. I had lived that life, made those choices, and sacrificed to pursue my dreams and goals. I let comfort and distractions take me away from the important aspects of training along with some of the business aspects of the sport. It really made me not enjoy the running, lifting, throwing, arm care, yoga, eating healthy, abstaining from alcohol, and the other aspects it takes to be a world class athlete.

Complacent is a word I steer away from because it hurts when I think about it or say it out loud. When we get too comfortable, relax our habits, or dare I say complacent we start to fade from our peak. Looking back now I obviously would have changed how I handled things to a certain degree but to be honest if you don’t go through failure or educate yourself on others mistakes you will never learn for yourself. Sometimes these lessons can have an enduring sting that becomes a dark cloud in my thoughts, but I have my faith and knowledge that I can push forward and make the commitment to be better. This is what I want to teach to my young athletes that I train. It takes all these things to become something great whether it be baseball or any other career.

Narrow Path Embodies Committment to Training

This year will pose some new challenges to overcome but I am embracing this, and I am very excited to continue playing. I have made a commitment to become a professional athlete and live the lifestyle of a professional athlete that I embodied in my early career. I still have a long road to go to get where I want to be, but I do think I can perform at a very high level again. This has become a goal for me but also to continue to learn so I can offer the very best teaching and training to my athletes. I can experiment with some new training methodologies to see if something can improve my performance. I have always been a lead by example guy, and I want to take that into this season. This is the best accountability I can have, and it is with my readers, my athletes, and their families. My friends and family are important too, but it is something about the public arena that turns up the intensity.

I have always been a lead by example guy, and I want to take that into this season.

JJ HOover

This season I will be doing my best to keep you all abreast of how this season is going, what I am up to, and what is new at Narrow Path Sports. I am excited to walk along this season with my athletes with the only negative of me playing is that I cannot be there to watch and train my guys on a more consistent basis. Thankfully there are excellent cameras on our phones now and I will be utilizing video and streaming to help make mechanical adjustments from afar as well as getting back to the Cincinnati area as often as I can to do some bullpen tune-ups. I do want to say thank you to my guys that have worked with me and are continuing to train with me. You all give me so much joy! Please reach out if there is anything you would like me to cover or talk about. I will be giving an insight into my training and life in hopes that it can be educational.

Thank you all 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.