I spent several minutes wondering what would make a good personal statement to a college coach. Then it hit me. I put myself in your shoes, Coach, and asked myself the following question: Why is Zach Stevenson your best option as catcher on your baseball team?
Growing up, my parents insisted that my sister and I work hard and give 100% to prepare for the next level, in the classroom and on the playing field. This approach is all I know and their influencing me in this way has served me well. I am currently ranked # 3 in my class and have been recognized with several academic awards. On the baseball field, I was a freshman starter at DH in 2019 and was poised to be our starting catcher this past season as a sophomore. Disappointingly, this did not come to be, as our 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, my travel team was able to play a 25 game season.
I love playing baseball. I also believe that being part of a team is hugely important for character building and personal development. Everyone needs to experience the lows of failure to fully appreciate the highs of success. Also, as a team member, I am determined that a lack of effort on my part will never contribute to a loss. I think that both of these concepts translate well to professional life, beyond school and the baseball diamond.
I was very fortunate to have played this past travel season (Summer 2020) under Head Coach Kyle Bonicki, who’s a current Assistant Coach for Amherst College’s baseball team. Playing for Coach Kyle gave me a unique perspective of the college game. Like never before, I was treated like a man and entrusted by Coach Kyle to run the game for him from the field. I feel as though my understanding of game strategy exploded under Coach Kyle, giving me the confidence to take charge and direct my teammates in-game. Looking back, I can confidently say that by season’s end, my teammates not only responded positively to me, but also looked to me for direction and encouragement during crunch-times.
In closing, Coach, I am seeking to attend a college or university with a highly regarded Engineering program. And I hope that being a catcher for that school’s baseball team will be part of my college experience. I may not be the best catcher coming out of the Class of 2022, but I believe you’ll be hard pressed to find another recruit with my combination of catching skill, game understanding, academic success and motivation for personal excellence. When this process is over, I will be proud to play for you and the name on the front of my jersey.