"As a pitcher, man, I control the game," said valley baseball standout Grant Kelly.
For Grant Kelly, high school baseball is just the beginning.
"He doesn't lack confidence. That's for sure," said David Shaw, Rancho Mirage head baseball coach.
"What stands out to me is he's a fierce competitor," said Darol Salazar, Palm Desert head baseball coach.
"I just think that no one can hit me. If you have that kind of, like, I guess you could say cocky attitude, some people might look down upon it but I think it's an advantage," said Kelly.
He's earned the right to be confident through hard work. Kelly wakes up at 4:30 in the morning to work out and his weekly schedule is filled between training and rehab, both locally and in Los Angeles.
"Guys like that make their teammates better because I think he's a leader by example," said Salazar.
"I never doubted his character, I never had a question about, whether we were in a dog fight, or winning or losing, his character was there," said Shaw.
He also knows that baseball is just as much a mental game as it is physical. That's been put to the test this year between a cancelled season and undergoing Tommy John surgery.
"I just take it one step at a time, get better every day, and just, try to stay strong throughout the whole process, cause it is, it's really hard, and I don't think people know how hard this is cause, it's really just, not for everyone," said Kelly.
Self-motivation has never been an issue.
"You have to obviously have big goals, that's important, cause, for me, those big goals keep me going. But, I think that you just take it one day at a time and at the end of the day say, 'Did I get better? Did I accomplish something?'"
Those goals include playing on TV one day in front of his family, friends and coaches that helped him get there.
"For as much as he puts in, I want to see him rewarded and if it's at Cal State Fullerton, or if it's in the professional draft, that he's happy," said Shaw.
NOMINATE A STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
- SENIOR: Must be a standout senior athlete
- STUDENT: Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher
- PERSON: Must be a leader in the community, person of high chracter
Send nominations to Blake.Arthur@KESQ.com or Taylor.Begley@KESQ.com
The Student-Athlete of the Week segment airs every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. on KESQ News Channel 3.