Laying the Foundation in Youth Sports: Kyle Carlson


Kyle Carlson knew at an early age that he was in baseball for the long-haul PHOTO//Kyle Carlson

Andrew Klein, Contributing Writer

A thirst for success grows for athletes once they enter the collegiate ranks. Athletes obtain the want to succeed at different times throughout their playing careers. How many athletes figure out they want it when they turn eight years old?

Kyle Carlson is a Lassiter High School graduate, a sophomore Business Management major at Piedmont University and the starting third-baseman on the Lion’s baseball team. The second Carlson stepped onto Loudermilk Field, players and coaches realized what the program had gained: an irreplaceable talent.

“He gives it his all every single day. There is not a rep he does not take seriously, whether it is taking light bp (batting practice), running bases in bp or anything else when he steps into the cages or on the field (Carlson); it is all business,” Piedmont baseball player and teammate Blakey Silvey said.

Carlson produced solid numbers on the field during his freshman campaign to help show precisely why his teammates think so highly of the young Lion baseball player.

“Kyle has that ‘it’ factor when talking about baseball players specifically. Only some baseball players truly possess intangibles that cannot be taught, and he (Carlson) is definitely one of those guys,” Piedmont baseball player and teammate Peyton Irvin said.

Statistics are from Piedmont University Athletics (2022)

  • Appeared in and started all 41 games at third base
  • Placed second on the team in hits (49) and doubles (9)
  • Ranked third on the team with 28 RBI
  • Tied for third on the squad with 30 runs scored
  • Delivered 14 multi-hit games
  • Went 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI on Feb. 28 against Elizabethtown
  • Was 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored in Feb. 12 win over No. 7 BSC

“It was a decent freshman year, but the team did not ultimately achieve our goal of winning a conference championship, and that is all that really matters to me. My individual performance means nothing unless we get the win on the scoreboard, and that is my goal every day to step on the field and give everything I got to win for the team,” Carlson said.

Through conversation with Carlson himself, he attributes his work ethic and success on the field to how he was raised to play the game of baseball.

“Playing high-level travel ball at such a young age (eight) taught me that I was not the only kid on the field who could play well. It made me work that much harder, even at such a young age. If it were not for those hard lessons learned at that age, I would not be the player I am today,” Carlson said.

Carlson learned to deal with adversity and how to fail at a young age, so once he continued to play at even higher levels where the failure only increased, it was nothing new to him. Giving youth athletes the experience of failure can change their athletic careers and lives tremendously.

“I really hope youth athletes and their parents realize it is okay to fail. If you want to play this game (baseball) a long time, the sooner you realize how to deal with failure, the better player you are going to be,” Carlson said.

All coaches, particularly youth coaches, must hear Carlson’s message. Listening to athletes that have been through the process and learning from their testimonies is critical in changing the issue in youth athletics. Let the children have fun and lay a solid foundation to help them improve as athletes and people in the long term. Just let the kids PLAY BALL!