"Take time to be still and focus" ~Benjamin Blackwell

What's Your "Y"

Interview with Benjamin Blackwell, Shortstop at at Clemson University

My name is Benjamin Blackwell and I’m a senior shortstop on the baseball team at Clemson University.

Give us a brief background of how your fitness journey has evolved? What made you who you are today?

Athletically, my career has always revolved around one sport: baseball. However, I was never the tallest, nor the strongest, nor most athletic on any team growing up. Being undersized, I learned to fall in love with hard work and dedication to start gaining an advantage on my competition who was more naturally gifted. I often found myself in the weight room where these two qualities pushed me every day.

Who has been your main source of motivation over the years?

My greatest source of motivation comes from striving to honor and glorify my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for the opportunities I have and driven to use my platform that represents the new life that Christ has given me.

Additionally, I use the long-term goals I have set to fuel my daily plan and provide my internal motivation.

More of my motivation comes from my team and those around me. There will always be doubters and their number will increase the higher you go in your career, so I do not concern myself with their remarks and desire to have a say in my career. Rather, I choose to focus more of my attention on the select few around me that push me to reach my potential and challenge me to be the best athlete I could become.

What is the biggest mental challenge you've had to face in your sport and how have you conquered that?

By nature, baseball is a game of constant failure. One of the biggest tests I’ve had to overcome is dealing with failure daily. However, the game of baseball has taught me that you’ll never be ready for success if you can’t first deal with failure.

Developing a routine to embrace daily failure, process it, and learn from it has helped me overcome areas of weakness and take the next step in my development.

What do you do to make sure you're physically and mentally prepared for competition? What’s your “secret”?

One thing I recently added to my routine in the past couple years is meditation. Before games and in the morning, I take time to be still and focus on God’s word.

This has helped me develop a posture of gratitude and allowed me to play the game of baseball like a kid, without focusing on the added outside pressure.

Describe your recovery strategies. How do you know if those recovery strategies are working?

Playing 4-5 games a week for four months adds up and quickly takes a toll on your body.

My go-to recovery method is floating once a week in a sensory-deprivation tank. I find its helpful for both physical and psychological recovery.

Nutritionally, YOLKED is a staple in my diet and recovery routine every day. This is the first full season I have taken it consistently and have seen a drastic difference in being able to maintain and gain lean muscle mass.

What's Your "Y"? What keeps you going and training as hard as you do?

My “Y” is my relationship with Jesus Christ. He made the ultimate sacrifice on a cross and is the reason we get to love because He first loved us.

This helps me keep the perspective that baseball is just something I get to do rather than who I am.

Where do you see yourself as an athlete in 5 years?

Continuing my journey of reaching my potential. Hoping this is in a Major League organization as I compete for a spot on the roster.

Favorite motivational quote, song or person.

Quote: “The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win” – Kobe Bryant

Song: Modest by Mike.

Mentor: Two favorite athletes right now are Kobe and Nick Kyrgios. Love Kobe’s mentality on competing and leadership and love watching Kyrgios bring his style and flare to the court.

I’ve been taking YOLKED for the past seven months and have been a believer since the first taste test. It has helped me maintain muscle mass and stay in strong physical condition from the first game of the season to the last. YOLKED is the key piece of my nutrition that helps with recovery while also allowing me to grow each day regardless of the season.