Former Rochelle Township High School student-athlete Hayden Jones is more motivated than ever to continue his baseball career at the collegiate level. After signing and spending one season with the TCS Post-Grad Academy in McKinney, Texas, Jones will actively be seeking opportunities to take the next step in his academic and his athletic career.
“This first year of post-grad athletics has been so exciting,” Jones said. “I’ve had the chance to meet new kids from all over the country and we’ve all become so close in just under a year.”
Jones said he’s unsure of where he will be playing next year, but his goal remains to play baseball as long as he can. Unfortunately for Jones and his teammates, the remainder of their 2019-20 season was canceled to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, Jones remains optimistic about his future after he completes his one year with TCS Academy.
“I trust that God will put me in the right place for me to continue playing baseball,” Jones said. “Many of us haven’t signed with schools yet. It still hasn’t really hit me yet that our season was canceled. During the quarantine, I plan to keep eating healthy. We were given some workouts from our coaches that we can do at home. As a pitcher, I need to keep my arm strong, so when I’m my basement, I will be throwing weighted balls into a cement wall.”
Since departing from the Hub City and relocating roughly 1,000 miles south, Jones said he has improved not only on the baseball field, but in his daily routines such as meal preparation, hydration and working hard in practice. He also said the resources available at TCS Academy, which include video and weightlifting equipment, have been beneficial to his growth.
“Some of the biggest adjustments I had to make were not just in sports but in life,” Jones said. “I had to wake myself up every morning, make my own meals and also take responsibility for listening to what coaches and trainers were teaching me… We took a lot of videos of ourselves and I could see all the weight training and mechanical training for pitching come to life on the video and in person. There is always room for improvement, but some things I would like to focus on are keeping my velocity up and working on my changeup.”