It is one of those ubiquitous quotes that pops up at random on the internet — block text laid over a motivational image, the type that litters social media feeds.
But the words stuck with LSU equipment manager Trent Forshag: It’s funny how the harder you work, the luckier you get.
His hard work, combined with the luck of some players transferring out, turned into a chance to walk on to the LSU baseball team his freshman year.
When the numbers the next year were not in his favor and he turned in his player’s uniform, Forshag, a high school catcher at Jesuit, accepted an opportunity to work as a student manager. He threw himself headlong into even more work, catching bullpen sessions and doing laundry.
Now, Forshag does not consider himself lucky to have received his latest opportunity — being part of LSU coach Paul Mainieri’s Team USA coaching staff this summer.
He earned it.
“I just thought as a reward for him, to have an experience — a 25-day tour, 17 games with the USA team, travel to Cuba and catch the best pitchers in college baseball — what a neat experience for the kid,” Mainieri said. “I think he’ll do a great job.”
A struggling Toledo team came to Alex Box Stadium and gave LSU a good fight for almost seven innings Friday.
Forshag’s title will be something along the lines of bullpen coach, but really he will do many of the things he does with the LSU baseball team — like catch bullpens and hit fielding practice to infielders.
The title is secondary. It is the experience he is looking forward to.
He received a call from Mainieri out of the blue last summer. After some small talk, the coach asked an odd question.
“ ‘Hey, what are you doing next summer?’ ” Forshag recalled. “I said, ‘Coach, I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow.’ ”
Mainieri told him he had accepted an offer to coach the Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2018. Mainieri did not know exactly what role Forshag would have on the team, but he did know he wanted Forshag to be a part of it.
Forshag may not have known what his summer plans were, but he enthusiastically let Mainieri know his schedule would be cleared.
It did not really sink in for Forshag until he returned to LSU for class last August (Forshag has three semesters remaining at LSU).
He walked into Mainieri’s office, looking to thank him in person, and Mainieri pointed to his framed Team USA uniform hanging on the wall, a memento from Mainieri's tenure as an assistant on the 2015 team.
“He was like, ‘Do you see that? You’re going to be able to put that in your office and hopefully show your kids one day,’ ” Forshag recalled.
Who: LSU vs Sacred Heart
Forshag struggled for a moment when trying to find the right words to sum up his personal journey at LSU. Eventually, he settled on “opportunist of circumstance.”
He relished his one year of experience as a player, developing close friendships and becoming a part of the LSU baseball fraternity.
He made sure to do so in the moment, because Mainieri made sure to tell him when he made the team that his time as a player may be limited to that one year. He said he was invested in the dugout, wearing his “heart on his sleeve.”
That resulted in his current position, which he admitted took a toll on him last year — not so much mentally but physically. The hours are long,; the work is tough; and the job is thankless outside of the inner LSU baseball circle.
Forshag's attitude and work ethic never went unnoticed in that inner circle, though. Mainieri remembered Forshag’s reaction when he asked him to accept a managerial position on the LSU team, long before a Team USA spot was in the cards.
“Without hesitation, it was like, ‘Yes sir; I’ll do anything I can to help the team,’ ” Mainieri said. “What an attitude.”
Isn’t it funny how that hard work leads to luck?
“It ended up with this position that coach offered me,” Forshag said. “I feel grateful and honored.”