The Unknockoutable: Cody Martin’s Story
How could you ever beat a guy who can’t be knocked out?
Every morning before our summer program I present a brief mindset segment to get our players prepared for the day ahead. On June 14th I did a piece I call “Unknockoutable” in which I reported that I believe it would be impossible to knock me out. To prove it I told the players this: I have been in exactly 4 fights in my life, and in 3 of them I got punched square in the jaw with a clean shot, before I even took a swing. Yet, I didn’t go down. I took it like a llama and kept on fighting!
Then to bring home the point, I showed this dad’s video of my failed attempt to shoot a front view of a 12 year old’s 75 mph personal record.
Turn your volume up… It’s better with sound!
Did you see that?!! Took the shot right square in the forehead and didn’t go down!!!
At the Urgent Care Clinic they called it a skull fracture and sent me to the hospital. But, I never lost consciousness!
The preponderance of the evidence leaves me with only one possible conclusion…
I AM UNKNOCKOUTABLE!
At the end of my presentation, I asked the players these questions:
“Are you unknockoutable? Can you take the punches baseball and life gives you? Can you get knocked down, get back up and keep fighting?”
I want to tell you the story one of the most unknockoutable players I’ve ever coached… Cody Martin
It was January 2013.
Cody Martin had been training with us at The ARMory (the previous name of our company) for about 3 months. He was about to begin his junior season in high school. He had made the varsity team as a sophomore, but had played sparingly. Going into this season, he had high expectations.
At the time, Cody was a right handed pitcher topping out at around 83 mph, but sitting 79-81.
Our first ever Rocket Launchers Training Camp (now called Elite Pitcher Boot Camp) starred guest instructor Drew French, Florida International University pitching coach.I thought it would be a good fit for Cody so I asked him to attend. When I called him with the invitation, he replied, “Coach, I’d love to come, but my high school tryout is the Thursday before the camp, and I don’t know if we’ll have practice on Saturday. Would it be ok of I let you know on Friday?”
Friday afternoon my phone rang.
It was Cody.
“Hey Cody! How’d the tryout go?” I asked.
“Terrible.” He replied. “I got cut.”
“Wow…” I paused… “Good.”
“Good?” Cody responded. “What do you mean ‘good?’ I got cut. My baseball career is over. My heart is broken.”
I took a breath and answered.
“Cody, I understand how sad you must be, but this can go one of two ways for you… You can stay sad… quit… and prove the high school coaches right… or you can get to work and prove them wrong. This could actually turn out to be a blessing. All the guys that made the team will waste the next 4-5 months in 4 hour practices that do nothing to improve their skills and they’ll play in games that at the end of the day won’t mean anything to the advancement of their careers. Meanwhile, you’ll have the opportunity to come here and train 4 or 5 days a week. You will get better. We’ll get you ready for summer ball. Then you can go show everyone the kind of player you are.”
On Saturday morning, Cody was sitting in the front row when the camp began. I opened with a mindset segment called “They Don’t Know!” in which I pointed out how many times Major League Baseball organizations, colleges and yes, even high schools miss on “can’t miss” guys. They think they have the template figured out. They think they know “what they’re supposed to look like”, but they get it wrong all the time. I looked Cody square in the eye as I encouraged the players to reject the false or inaccurate assessment of others and just keep working. In the end, the truth always wins. No words, no assumptions, no judgement will endure. The truth about who you are is all that matters.
After the camp Cody was a different guy.
His flame was ignited and he reported for training 4-5 times per week for 5 months. During the high school season, our local students rarely have the opportunity to come in, so on many nights it was just me and Cody…grinding. By the time May rolled around Cody had touched 90 mph. I called my friend Chet Lemon, who gave Cody a spot on his travel team. During the summer season, he was consistently 86-90, but as he would tell you, command was an issue. When he returned to the high school program, the coaching staff asked him to come or for the team again. “No thank you.” He replied.
That fall, his senior season, Cody went to a showcase at The University of Tampa, topped out at 93, and was offered a walk on spot. He was elated, but it didn’t exactly go well for him during his first fall. He was assigned to the JV team — usually a death nell for a college player, but in typical Cody fashion, he kept on working.
By his sophomore season, Cody had muscled his way into the varsity lineup. He had a pretty good year and got an invitation to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League on a temporary contract.. After a couple of weeks, he was sent home.
His junior season at the University of Tampa was even better.
Then on June 14th — same day I did my unknockoutable mindset presentation — Cody’s hard work was rewarded. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 27th round of the 2017 MLB draft. He is currently in Helena, Montana starting his first season of Rookie Ball.
JV team as a college freshman — knocked down but not out.
Sent home from the Cape Cod League — knocked down but not out.
Now a professional baseball player.
The preponderance of the evidence leaves me with only one possible conclusion.
Cody Martin is unknockoutable!
Way to go Cody! Keep getting back up kid! Keep fighting!
It will be an honor to watch you in the big leagues some day.