Last month, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, Alek Manoah stopped by IGNITE’s Health and Wellness Real Talks event to give advice to students.
Originally from Homestead, Florida, Manoah has been playing baseball since he was three years old. Manoah didn’t always love school, but he knew he had to succeed academically to be successful in sports.
“I didn’t love school but I knew I needed school to be able to continue playing sports. I knew in high school I needed to have a good GPA to be able to get into certain colleges. You just have to use that competitiveness that you have in your sport and use it in everything else around you and just try and control what you can control.”
After graduating high school with multiple baseball accolades Manoah received a scholarship to play Div. 1 baseball at the University of Western Virginia. Manoah says that being a student-athlete taught him the importance of keeping a routine.
“I think for me, it was just about creating a really good routine—And just creating a really good routine that works best for me to be able to play at my best ability and do good in the classroom.”
In 2019, Manoah became the 11th overall pick to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft—making his MLB debut on May 27, 2021. Between this time the COVID-19 pandemic hit, so Manoah’s Minor League season was cancelled and he had a period away from baseball. Manoah says that during this time he was able to rest and turn off the “engine.” He had to ground himself and understand he can’t control everything.
Advice for students
Manoah’s advice to students is to find something that motivates you.
“I think the biggest thing is to find something that motivates you. Baseball is more than just a game for me. It’s my life. It’s been everything to me since I was three years old—growing up I kind of always told myself that whatever I have to do to be a baseball player, I’m gonna do it. So you have to use that competitive nature that strives for you to be as great as you are on the field. “
Check out the rest of the interview below and remember, go Blue Jays!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity
Keeping a good routine involves organization, take these tips to IGNITE your studies.