03: Falling and Getting Back Up with Chris Colabello, Part 2

How does it feel to be at your highest high, on top of the world, and then take the biggest fall you could ever imagine? Can you bounce back? Can you find the mental strength to keep going? What if your very character and integrity are called into question? You’ll find answers to these questions and more in this episode.

 

My integrity, my career, and the game of baseball meant too much to me to ever do PED’s.
— Chris Colabello

Chris Colabello is one of the great Cinderella stories. He was undrafted out of Division II college and played 7 years of independent league baseball in Worchester, MA, for the Tornadoes. He made some swing changes with the help of a hitting coach named Bobby Tewksbary, and the two of them began a meteoric rise to the major league level. Chris ended up hitting in the middle of the Blue Jays lineup in the 2015 ALCS, which was one of the best offenses ever. I wanted to have Chris on the show because he is thoughtful, genuine, and about as open-hearted as a pro athlete gets about the mental game, leadership, and the struggles he’s faced and overcome. He’s also from my hometown of Milford, MA, and our dads grew up playing together in high school and college. We had never actually met until this conversation, so we have a lot to talk about--so much so that we’ve cut the interview into Part 1 and Part 2. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • When you feel that your ability to prove yourself is very limited and “you are basically screwed.”
  • How this ripped his life apart and caused him to scrutinize every detail to figure out how he could have ingested any banned substances
  • Why he went in 5 days early that season for his physical and drug test, never suspecting that he would end up with a positive result
  • The suspension, the ramifications, and the presumptions from the outside world
  • The fear that his character and integrity would be questioned
  • Why he won’t apologize for something he didn’t do and why he doesn’t feel that he deserves this
  • After his suspension, Chris was optioned down to AAA and did not perform well
  • DFA’d (designated for assignment) by Toronto
  • Why Chris saw a psychologist because he needed extra support
  • Last year, he signed with Cleveland, went to Spring Training, and was sent to AAA
  • When Chris needed help again because of the anxiety attacks and depression that kept him from enjoying the game
  • Let go by Cleveland and signed by Milwaukee to a wonderful experience in AAA
  • Why Chris’ baseball career is on hold right now
  • The book he wrote with Bobby Tewksbary: Be a Hitter
  • Being a good hitter is so much more than good mechanics, but takes mental and emotional preparation. Baseball is truly “the thinking-man’s game.”
  • What Chris says about the opportunities he has had at the highest level: “To put becoming a great human at the forefront of your daily life is everything. With that comes leadership. Figure out how to have a positive impact on the people around you and make the world a better place.”
  • What it means for Chris to live with “no regrets”
  • What Chris says about his life today:
    • “I’m secure in who I am and how I feel
    • People are more likely to listen to me
    • My platform has expanded
    • I can better the game on a broader level with today’s youth”

 

 

Resources:

Find Chris on Twitter: @cc20rake

Find out more about the book: www.tewkshitting.com  and www.hittingdaily.com