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Athlete Interview Series - Cole Tucker

Shortstop | Pittsburgh Pirates

PMR: Who or what motivates you to pursue your goals?

COLE: My main goal in life from the time I was 5 years old was to be a major league shortstop. Everyday I wake up, I get closer to realizing that dream. That alone excites me and pushes me to be the best I can be and to continue working. I want that for myself and I want that for my family. I know that if I take care of what I can control on a daily basis, that it's going to put me in a better position to make that dream of mine a reality.

PMR: When it's all said and done and you move on to be successful in the next phase of your life, how would teammates you respected remember you as a teammate?

COLE: I hope that they will remember me as the guy that brought people together. I pride myself on being a good teammate and a good friend. I hope the people that shared a locker room with will look back and say that I made their experience better. My goal is to have good relationships and positive influence wherever I go.

PMR: If you weren't playing baseball what would you picture yourself doing and why?

COLE: If I wasn’t playing baseball I would want to be a drummer in a rock band. But if I were to have an everyday job, I would like to be a teacher. I think it would be really cool to be a middle school or high school teacher. Kids are so impressionable at that age and I think I could make a pretty great impact. I look back at the teachers I had when I was younger and am so appreciative of the differences they made in my life and I would want to pass that along to others.

PMR: Is there something in your career that you look back on and think "that was pretty incredible"?

COLE: Just the whole thing man. I was a relatively unknown, skinny, awkward, long limbed kid. If you looked at me when I was 16 or 17 years old you wouldn’t have thought first round pick or top prospect. You definitely wouldn’t have thought big leaguer. I’ve run into a ton of incredible people who have poured into me along the way to help me get to where I am right now. I’ve always had the confidence and belief in myself that I’m a good player. But not a lot of people get the opportunity to go out and play like I have. I’m extremely fortunate.

PMR: Name a coach or teammate over the course of your career that has had the biggest impact on you and why?

COLE: Kevin Young has probably been the most influential person in my baseball life. KY has coached me since I was 8 years old and he’s just always believed in me and always been there to help me become a better person and a better player. He played in the big leagues for the Pirates for a long time and he’s just been there every step of the way to show me what it looks like to be a pro.

PMR: Name 3 things an athlete needs to be successful.

COLE: 1) The ability to bounce back from adversity. It shows up so much in sports. You can’t run from it. You’ve gotta face it head on and grow from it. 2) You have to be a good teammate. I’m a firm believer that better people make better players and better players make better teams. 3) Intrinsic motivation. You’ve got to want to be great. It can’t be your coach or your mom and dad. You have to want to excel and you have to put in the work to improve your game. That desire to be successful has to come from you.

PMR: In order to continually test yourself physically and mentally you must have a good "why". What is your "why"?

COLE: Like I said in that first answer, I’ve got lofty goals. They drive me everyday and they make me want to push through the parts of the game/my life that aren’t that fun. In order to be who I know I can be, I know that I have to keep pushing. My goals and my dreams mean so much to me that I push through no matter the circumstances.

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