We had the good fortune of connecting with Miguel “Migs” Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Miguel “Migs”, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I believe one of the hardest things to find in life is what you were meant to do or what you’re really passionate about. You can lose years of your life trying to find what work will make you happy and fulfilled. For me having spent most of my life in baseball I could only dream to have a job that I really love and turn it into a cool little niche. When I was trying to figure out what direction to take my career, a friend asked me what is the one thing you can do every day for a week for free? I said teach baseball! The journey and the research began on how to create a business revolving around what I really enjoyed. Anything worth building has phases. The first phase which is a struggle we’re nothing is happening, it’s so slow it looks like you’re moving at a snails pace, there is a lot of research and learning here. The second phase you start to figure things out, experiencing peaks and valleys, you start to get familiar with the flow of the work, you start to figure out what works what doesn’t. The third phase which I feel is the most rewarding is scaling the business, expanding it in a responsible way , the creative process is nonstop in this phase , there’s more highs than lows, you feel you have more control of the business. Phase two Is the hardest because it challenges you mentally, there’s a lot of doubt and fear. Inconsistencies help amplify the doubts. You have to hold on and keep standing. If you manage to get through the growing pains and you’re still enjoying the process then that’s when I think you should keep going and it will work out for you. Finding motivation to keep working during the hard times comes from an inner drive or an inner knowing that in the end everything’s going to be worth it and I think if you’re feeling that way you should definitely keep going. Give up when the opposite of what I just mentioned is more enticing to you, that’s when you fold them and do something else.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Diamond Skills 108: Player Development business is in it’s 7th year and we’re really excited moving forward. Since 2017 we’ve been working on leveraging the technology that’s available in baseball now. Batting sensors, affordable radar guns to track exit and throwing velocities, , virtual playbooks to go over position responsibilities to name a few. It helps us gather information as to what we need to adjust in a player’s development. Even under these unprecedented circumstances that we’re going through in these last few weeks with the pandemic our business has adapted to offer remote training options and working on creating a digital library where we offer our practice plans and drills that kids can follow. This circumstance has challenged us to think differently and adapt in ways we didn’t anticipate. Valuable lessons that I have learned in the last 7 years is how important for any business to be scrupulously organized. When you have structure and a plan to execute your stress levels are reduced and the direction does not waiver. Adjustments are constantly made and intuition sharpens. A lesson observed recently is the environment in which a player is developing needs to constantly have stressors for the player to grow. Sounds a lot like life right, that’s why I love baseball so much. For the life lessons. Instead of changing the player, you change the environment in which the player learns. Forces players to come up with their own solutions to problems, giving them ownership of their progress. Which in turns makes them more open to learn and trust the work. I’m reminded of an analogy that was shared by Shaun Larkin who works with the Dodgers in their minor league player development sector. He states that “the gardener (coach) cannot actually “grow” tomatoes or beans he can only foster environment in which the plants (athlete) do so. we don’t “make” players better we CREATE environments that allow them to flourish”

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
With the summer quickly approaching this is What I would do if I had friends visiting from out of town Day 1: Santa Monica pier for a run then get some breakfast at many restaurants by the pier. Take a little to stroll out to the Redwoods in Orange County. Lunch at In n Out. Go to a Angel stadium to catch an Angel game. Of course try the garlic fries and beer! Day 2: Got to Manhattan beach to catch the beautiful weather. Listening to some reggae on the portable speaker. Rebelution, tribal seeds, dirty heads etc. just chill and take in the so cal vibe. In the evening catch a comedy show at the Hollywood Improv. Dinner at Genwa in Hollywood, delicious Korean bbq. Day 3: Visiting 2nd street in Long Beach. Hit up sports bar LEGENDS, Aquarium of the Pacific Naples Island, The Queen Mary. Got to have dinner at Tantalums and then catch the 80s band Knyght (no typo) Ryder at Gaslamp bar. Day 4: We are in Downtown LA. Starting out breakfast at Eggslut At the grand central market, then hit up the last bookstore which is a cozy bookstore with vintage books and new books, Head over to Art district and check out some cool spots there along with some bars. Grub at Sushi Gen. In evening we’re catching a dodger game. Dodger dog and beer are a must. Day 5: we are going to walk around Laguna beach. Lunch at Kya with their rooftop bar over looking the ocean. Such a great view. In the evening a theater show the book of Mormon for some comedic laughs.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Someone who’s had a huge influence in my life from an early age up until now is a former high school coach that I played for, Scott Pearson. He taught me at early age what it took to be mentally tough and develop a competitive mindset and not settling. It’s interesting how at young age you don’t notice these things but when you look back you can see the impact coaches had on you. He Is someone who has had a great impact in my life even as an adult now with my business. he’s been super supportive and has open doors for me and my business to grow and flourish. Another positive influence that’s been a huge part of my life is reading books. I started reading books in 2005 in a time where there’s was lots of uncertainty in my life and what I wanted to do. Books helped improve my emotional development , it made me more empathetic, helped keep an emotional balance, and helped build new beliefs within me of what was possible. Books made me curious to explore my potential growing up in the inner cities of Los Angeles. At a young age your thoughts are very limiting and you can’t really see yourself doing awesome things. It takes a rewiring and reprogramming of your brain to start to believe in yourself. Books helped me make that transition faster. 3 books I highly recommend are: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho The Infinite Self by Stuart Wilde The 7 spiritual laws of success by Deepak Chopra.

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Image Credits
Juan Memorable