Jonathan Rivera: Persevering for the Future
Jonathan Rivera is the perfect example of hard work and perseverance paying off.
After transferring from Steinert High School to Nottingham High School, Rivera commented on the progress he’s made since coming to Nottingham. “I’ve been making more contact at the plate. I think hitting off the tee in practice has helped,” he said. In 2011 he made only one error in fifteen games.
Rivera feels he’s really grown as a player since the transfer. He believes his greatest asset is between his ears. “I have a great mindset; mentally I’m always in the game,” he exclaimed. “In this game you need a short memory. If I strikeout, I don’t even think about it the next time at bat,” he added.
The competition in South Jersey has been a great test for Rivera. “The players are very good, they seem to get better every year. The coaches are just as good at preparing them. We have one of the best in the state,” he explained.
Rivera plays or trains all year around. He has been working out with weights and improving his cardiovascular conditioning. It already started to pay dividends as he led his Junior American Legion team in stolen bases. Rivera plays for Post 458, located in North Trenton. He plays shortstop and bats second in the order. At the time we interviewed, the team was 8-0 and had their eyes on the District Championship.
His number one goal is to get a scholarship to play college baseball, preferably Division I. Rivera is searching for a school that has a good graphic arts program. His passion is 3D animation. He enjoys designing characters for video games or movies.
His brother has been a great influence on him as well as a role model. He graduated from Penn State University with a computer science degree. Rivera’s elder sibling is a mentor for him on the diamond as well.
In 2010 he broke a Nottingham H.S. record with a batting average of .609. His goal for 2012 was to take more of a leadership role and become comfortable in pressure situations. “There’s always something new to learn in this game. I’m training to get my arms stronger to improve my power at the plate,” he remarked. “I always push myself and my teammates to play hard and try to get better,” he concluded.
Photo Credit: www.Hamilton.k12.nj.us