Sandy Alcántara on How Discipline Took Him to the Top of Major League Baseball
Participating in a sport can be a life-changing experience. It can teach and instill within you many transferrable lessons and skills that can be applied to many aspects of life—the main skill being discipline.
For Dominican baseball pitcher Sandy Alcántara, being disciplined isn't just a simple skill he picked up along the way, it is a way of life.
The Miami Marlins player tells People Chica, "Discipline is very important. I have worked hard to develop a routine that I follow very closely, and I don't take shortcuts. As I learned my way in the Major Leagues, this was something I learned was very important."
Alcántara, who represented his home country in the World Baseball Classic, chats with People Chica about what he'd like everyone to know about his beloved sport as well as his advice for a "young Sandy."
Being an athlete, especially a professional athlete, takes a lot of discipline and determination. What has been the biggest lesson you've learned about yourself thanks to your career as a baseball pitcher?
Discipline is very important. I have worked hard to develop a routine that I follow very closely, and I don't take shortcuts. As I learned my way in the Major Leagues, this was something I learned was very important. It wasn't just going through the motions, it was committing to excellence in everything I do.
I just want kids to look at me as a legend and leader and try to follow my lead, I pray to God that he continues to give me the strength to ultimately be in the same sentence as Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal.
You played in the World Baseball Classic representing the Dominican Republic. What was that experience like for you?
I remember as a kid thinking about how amazing it would be to represent my country and be teammates with all the great Dominican players in the Majors. It was an incredible honor to wear Dominicana across my chest and represent my country and my family.
Pitching in my home ballpark [loanDepot Park], I could feel the emotion of all the Dominican fans in attendance cheering us on, and that is something I will never forget.
You were born in the Dominican Republic—a country known for its vibrant beauty, delicious food, and love of baseball. In what ways do you hope to represent what the world has come to know about the DR with your platform?
We are a very talented country. Outside of great baseball players, we have incredible artists and chefs, and many other successful people.
Baseball is a sport that requires a lot of skill, but it oftentimes catches a reputation for being somewhat easy. What's something you'd love for folks to understand about the sport?
Easy!? Nothing is easy about baseball. I go out and try to beat my opponent every time. And at the same time, they are trying to beat me. It's many games within the game—what pitch to throw when, what are they trying to do against me, what is my best pitch throw against them.
I study hard before I face each opponent and then I have to pay very close attention throughout the game to stick to our game plan.
What has been the greatest advice you've been given that you've applied to your life and career?
It's not enough to have dreams, you have to work to make them come true.
What is something you'd tell a young Sandy who is dreaming of the major leagues about the journey that he will embark on?
You have to keep working hard, no matter what. And listening to your parents and coaches is very important to achieve success.