Now a freshman playing for Central Arizona College, a year ago Vancouver Cannons pitcher Connor Noble found himself where Keenan Williams and Brad Smith stand now. He tried out for the national junior baseball team and then Noble's 2012-13 season culminated this summer when he pitched for Team Canada at the U18 World Cup in Taiwan.
Canada finished seventh and Noble had significantly elevated his game. It was the best year he’d ever had, he wrote in an email to the Courier.
“Throughout the year I found myself get better physically and a lot stronger mentally. The coaching staff would instantly seem to pick up on a pitching mechanic flaw I might have had during the game and continued to tell me and showed me drills to correct it and eventually completely fixed it," he wrote.
The Vancouver College alum was competing against players signed to Major League clubs and alongside others already recruited to university teams. “Seeing how talented everyone was around the world put a lot in perspective about my career and really has motivated me to get that extra edge and push myself that much harder,” he wrote.
“My mental strength began to get stronger and stronger throughout the games I pitched because of the fact that you're playing professionals and you are bound to get hit around and bound to give up some runs. I learnt fast to have thick skin and everything that happened, happened. I couldn't change the past, the only thing I could change was my next pitch. That was one of the main things the coaching staff emphasized was worry about the next pitch, not the stuff you cannot control.”
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