Henry Hayman is ready to build on everything he learned through Baseball Victoria Aces Academy and Malvern Braves Baseball Club as he begins the next chapter of his baseball journey.
Hayman is looking forward to his time at Barton Community College in Kansas as he makes his long-term goal of playing baseball in the U.S. a reality. From his early days of Little League at Malvern, he knew he loved the game, but attending the 2019 Arizona Fall Classic really put the wheels in motion, inspiring him to work extra hard and make his dream a reality.
"I developed my training program to include lifting and sprint training, started researching colleges, emailing coaches, making videos, and studying for SATs," Hayman said. "It requires patience and persistence as there can be plenty of knockbacks."
Hayman, who represented Victoria at the Australian Youth Championships, acknowledges the continued support from the Victorian and Australian baseball community.
"Physically, the Aces Academy and in particular Damian Shanahan did a great job working around lockdowns to make sure that we were all in the best condition possible to start our college career. I am also really grateful to have had the amazing support of Malvern Baseball Club head coach Neil Bourke to hit the cages with at every and any opportunity."
"Andrew Riddell of Baseball Australia offered great advice and was a huge support in my decision-making process, sharing his experiences, and the experiences of other Aussie players at college. It helped me understand the process, what to expect, and what was expected of me."
While there is a lot to look forward to about college, Hayman is most excited just to train and play the sport he loves every day.
"After a year or so of interrupted training due to Victoria’s lockdowns, I am excited about the opportunity to get on campus and play and train every day to improve on my game, both physically and mentally," he said. "I am also excited that there are so many Aussie boys that I have played with and against over the years heading to college this month, it will be great to have this shared experience even though we are scattered across the country."
Hayman has upped his strength and conditioning efforts, something he plans to continue in college.
"I really increased my lifting program this year with Aces Academy. The lifting has had a huge impact on my power/exit velocity and my improved core strength is a great benefit in preventing injury," he said. "I also included sprint training in my program as it is so important as an infielder to develop my agility, and of course my speed for base running."
Hayman knows he will miss his family and friends, but looks forward to meeting new friends at college. He hopes other players can reach their goals and shares his advice for fellow baseballers.
"Make the most of all the opportunities that are offered to you by your club, Baseball Victoria, and Baseball Australia…try out for every team, every tour," Hayman said. "Not everything works out your way, but that only makes you work harder and develop more resilience for the game in the long run."
Staying connected and making the most of every opportunity also helped him push forward. He encourages other players to focus on training and keep their dreams in mind.
"Always train with intent, like you are playing a game, and work hard at school as well as on the field - there is a pathway for everyone," Hayman said. "Talk to your coaches, and the player development team at BV and BA, as they have the experience and connections to help you achieve your goals. The support and advice from Damian Shanahan and Andrew Riddell were pivotal for me in securing my scholarship to Barton."