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India's first ever MLB player comes to IMG Academy to teach, motivate, and inspire

Rinku Singh
India's first ever MLB player, Rinku Singh, pays a visit to world-renowned IMG Academy.

24-year-old Rinku Singh has a more than interesting story of how he became the first ever MLB player from India. While in India, Singh entered a popular Indian reality TV show called “The Million Dollar Arm”; a contest in search of one individual who could throw the hardest and most accurate in all of India. Even though he had no prior knowledge or experience playing the game of baseball, Singh ended up winning the contest over 37,000 other competitors throwing a stunning 87 mph hour on his first throw EVER. After winning, Singh was immediately sent to the University of Southern California to train under elite pitching coaches where he would begin to learn about the game that would soon become his career. In only his fourth year playing baseball he has become a professional relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On July 13, 2009, Singh became the first Indian-born pitcher to win a professional baseball game in America, striking out the only batter he faced. Singh and the Pirates recently had spring training down in Bradenton, Florida where Singh was able to stop by and talk with IMG Academy numerous athletes from India. Singh was truly an inspiration and shed a great deal of positive light on these kids from his home country. Below are some of the major points that Singh stressed on these student-athletes training at IMG Academy:

“Challenges will come and go, we all will be faced with them at one point in our lives. The biggest task is how we deal with these challenges. Things will get tough, but we can't get frustrated. We must stay positive and have positive enthusiasm at all times. Our attitude is something that we can always control, so control it in a positive manner and in turn people will feed off your energy. I had many challenges when I came to the US. I had limited baseball experience and I couldn't speak any English. It was extremely tough at times, yet I kept working at it, kept my head up, kept growing and I got better at both every single day. “

“Believe in yourself. You have to have faith in yourself, If you don't, than no one else will. You have everything you will ever need at your disposal here at IMG, yet if you don't believe in yourself it is all useless. You must get to know yourself, ask yourself why you are doing this, and push yourself in all that you do. You want to give 100 percent at all times; the last thing you want to do is look back and have regrets. Mistakes will happen, don't fear them, embrace them. Mistakes are how you will learn and get better."

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