Success Strategies from Baseball Great Jimmy Nelson

Dogged by injuries in 2020 that kept him from playing a single game during the season, baseball pitcher Jimmy Nelson is no stranger to adversity. But this winner knows how to survive a setback and return stronger than ever.


Jimmy Nelson is one of baseball’s top pitchers, and he’s played with teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers. He talks about steps you can take to turn setbacks into triumph.

Undoubtedly, 2020 was a rough one for many, but 2021 is full of opportunity. To help you get the year off to a flying start, we’re presenting our “I Am Potential” series — articles designed to help you succeed, thrive and prosper in 2021. 

It’s official: 2020 is history.

The year 2021 has dawned, and with its arrival comes the opportunity for a fresh start.  

With the new year still in its infancy, you have the perfect opportunity to draft a road map for change in your life. What would you like to improve? What transformations would you like to make? Now is the time to take a look at what’s working in your life and what isn’t. This new year brings with it the chance to make a potent and life-changing reset in the areas that matter most. 

As you’re putting your plan together, take inspiration from the life stories of those who have beat the odds and triumphed. Every setback and subsequent redemption that they’ve experienced holds a lesson that can help you reach your full potential and live your best life.

With that in mind, we’ve reached out to a few top athletes to hear about their plans for starting fresh in 2021. These stars are all top contenders in their respective sports. They’re also Fresh N Lean partners who’ve had great success integrating our meal plans into their daily regimen. 

Meet baseball pitcher Jimmy Nelson

Today, we’re connecting with baseball great Jimmy Nelson. Born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Jimmy was drafted in high school to play in the majors, but he put those plans on hold for a college education. Since then, he’s played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers. 

Jimmy Nelson signed to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020, but lumbar surgery prevented him from playing a single game during the season. For 2021, this extraordinary pitcher is focused on recovering from his injury and returning to his sport stronger than ever before. 

Here’s what he had to say about his successes, inspirations and plans for the future:

1. What steps are you taking to start 2021 physically and mentally strong?

I’m continuing rehab and training here in Florida. And I’m making sure I’m ready come spring training 2021. Also, I’m spending time with the family — we don’t always get to spend time together during the season. 

2. Can you share one resource (for example, a book, article, Instagram post or quote) that’s helped you become a better version of yourself in 2020?

Anything by Ryan Holiday and David Goggins. Both of those authors have solid reads. 

3. Please tell us about the routine you follow after a workout.

After a workout, I make sure to refuel and do some breath work. I also start the recovery process, which can include many things: contrast baths, H-Wave, hyperbaric/oxygen chamber, meditation, etc. Work hard, recover hard. 

4. If you could choose only one word for 2021, what would it be?


5. How do you reset when you feel like you need to get back on top of your game?

I find some alone time to reflect and clear the mind. I also spend time with family to refocus on what’s important. It’s important to trust your routine, move on from and learn from mistakes, and use what you’ve learned to your advantage. 

The big challenges have been injury, surgery, rehab and getting back into training after having to take off months after surgery. And overall, overcoming the last three-plus years of injuries, surgeries, and rehabs.

With my high output of work on a daily basis, it’s important for me to make sure I get enough food to match my workload – and quality food at that. 

8. How do you define potential?

Potential is a mental and physical ability level that can be reached and surpassed with the right type of consistent work. 

9. When did you realize your potential to become a star?

I first realized my potential when I got drafted in high school. 

10. How should the people reading this article harness their potential? And how can they become winners at what they do? 

It’s important to be consistent, listen to others and be open to change. You also have to work hard and learn to love the difficulty of things. Additionally, I think it’s essential to appreciate what you have and pass on what you’ve learned to others.

11. You’ve committed a significant part of your life to your sport. What specific moments make all your sacrifices worth it?

Getting a scholarship and getting drafted are right up there. Also, getting to MLB and providing for my family.

12. In your opinion, what has been the most pivotal moment of your career?

The most pivotal moments were in high school and college when I learned my potential and fell in love with the work. The drive and work ethic started then.

13. What failure are you proudest of?

There were failures in college, minor leagues, and MLB that I had to overcome, learn from and work through. None in particular stand out because they all shape you into the person you end up being. They’re like pieces to a puzzle; some people just have bigger puzzles to put together that take longer. Keep plugging away. 

14. In your opinion, what makes an athlete great?

The things that make an athlete great are humility, consistency, desire, work ethic and being a good teammate. 

Next steps

Jimmy Nelson is working hard to recover from injuries so he can have a winning season in 2021. Use his drive and determination to inspire you as you plan your own course to success. 

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