As the great Vince Lombardi said, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
That’s the exact motto that Hopewell sophomore Charlie Smetana has been living religiously by since November.
Since he could walk, Smetana has wanted to be a baseball player. If you live in the Sweet Brier neighborhood, it’s been the norm to see Charlie working on his hitting in the batting cage in his backyard with his dad, Mike, or throwing with his younger brother, Vin, or friends.
Charlie has lived to be a baseball player but not just any old baseball player, he has a desire to be really good one.
However, to be the player that he ultimately wanted to be, he made the personal choice to lose weight and to get in better shape and anyone that’s seen Chuck lately, can see that he’s certainly done that.
Since making this decision in November, Smetana has lost 40+ pounds and did so the right way.
Hopewell Sports Nation spent some time this morning with Smetana at A’Brewed Awakening and talked about this change in lifestyle and how it’s paid off for him in a huge way.
“The motivation or what got me to do this was just me looking at myself and saying that I could be a lot better in baseball if I was faster and could move quicker,” said Smetana. “Thankfully, because of this, I believed that I have played a lot better.”
“I started this in November and from then until December, I lost 40 pounds. The first week was the hardest but after that, it’s just been about staying disciplined and got a lot easier.”
To Charlie’s credit, he’s been able to keep all of this weight off since December and hasn’t slipped. We asked him about the difficulties of that along with what he’s done to maintain this amazing transformation.
“I work out twice a day and I’m eating very healthy,” said Smetana. “I run two miles in the morning and then I’ll go to the gym to lift, plus I also still do baseball things which helps. As far as my eating, it’s been about low carbs, a lot of chicken, a lot of protein and a lot of smoothies.”
“Sticking to this was really hard at first and not having stuff like ice cream and all that stuff was hard because I love that. But it’s gotten a lot easier, and I really don’t even think about it anymore.”
This body transformation has helped Charlie on the baseball field and is no doubt the reason he was able to take over as the starting catcher for the WPIAL 4A Champion Hopewell Baseball team despite only being a freshman.
“I’ve noticed a huge difference. As a catcher behind the plate, I move quicker and can block a lot more baseballs and I get up quicker out of my stance with my throws to second base and I’m a bit faster running.”
Smetana’s play behind the plate and his handling of the pitchers was a big factor in Hopewell winning the WPIAL Championship, despite entering the playoffs as a No. 14 seed.
As you can imagine, he hasn’t stopped trying to craft his game as Smetana tells HSN that his biggest goal in the offseason has been working on the offensive side of his game.
“I’m really working on my hitting this offseason. I think it’s coming along with me playing in travel ball (Beaver Valley). The live at-bats has helped and I’m also working with my catching and hitting coach Matt Martin.”
Many athletes dream about having success, but it takes more than dreams, it’s all about hard work and Charlie Smetana is a good example of that.
Keep it up Chuck!