My Signature: 'Head Down, Eyes Up' Mentality Keeps Schmidt Moving Forward

May 30, 2017


I can control how this plays out for me.
Clarke Schmidt

"It was during the Florida game. Probably the third hitter I faced that game, my arm was getting really, really tight. That's when I noticed something was wrong.

I went back in the dugout, and it seemed fine. When I went out there for the second inning, I could tell something just wasn't right.

When I first found out I needed surgery; that was the toughest part. The first thing I thought about was the team. I didn't want to make it about myself. I wanted to still go out there and compete and still win. It's tough not to go out there on a week to week basis. I wanted to help this team make a run towards Omaha.

With what my brother, Clate, went through, it kind of puts everything in perspective. This isn't life threatening for me. My brother had cancer. It was life threatening, and it was uncontrollable. I couldn't control how he was going to respond to chemo. I can control how I respond to my rehab. I can control how this plays out for me.

My faith is a big part of me. God has blessed me with this amazing talent and this platform. When you get bad news like this, you still have to be thankful for what you've got. I had arm surgery. I didn't have heart surgery or a life threatening disease. I'm so extremely blessed. I still get to be around these guys and this wonderful team every day. If He can put this obstacle in my life, He can certainly help me get through it.

The thoughts of `why me' can creep in when you're just sitting there by yourself. With this surgery, the success rates are pretty high now. The mental side is the hardest part, so if I can keep myself in a good place mentally, it will be OK. I have great teammates and a great family. I've had a lot of people and fans reach out and support me.

I've had the chance to talk with (Wil) Crowe, Cody (Morris), Colby (Lee), and (John) Parke. It's crazy to call all those names of teammates who have gone through this. All these guys came back just fine. That gives me comfort that if I work and do things the right way in my rehab, then I can come back just fine. The medical staff here has treated me great, too.

I wouldn't really say I'm worried about my draft status. It affects it a little bit, but whatever happens on draft night is going to happen.

`Head down, eyes up' is probably one of my favorite sayings. The whole premise of it is to block out all of the negative things around you and stick to your plan and do what you're supposed to do. That's my mentality on the mound. That's what I try to do off the field, too. That keeps me going.