Reaping your harvest

by Admin on June 20, 2018

(At left) C.J. Stewart and Mike Strickland, head baseball coach at Marist School and manager of the USA National Baseball Team (15U).

For my Diamond Directors clients, August invites the “New Year” of development. August-November are the assessment months, where we try new things to determine what works and what doesn’t, while fall baseball is the best time to make it happen.

So, why are we discussing fall baseball in June?

For starters, because I know your swing isn’t working exactly how you want it to work every game. I also know you probably arrive at the field intent on becoming an elite hitter, and signing a college baseball scholarship and/or professional baseball contract.

Here are three things you can do now to give you the results you’re looking for, as well as prepare you for a productive fall season to retool your swing: Wake up, Listen up and Step up.

No. 1 — Wake up
Hope without action is a dream. Add action to your hope and you have faith. How does this quote make you feel? “We have met the enemy and it is ourselves.”

You aren’t a Major Leaguer yet. One of the reasons young hitters fail so much and so often is because they try to be more than what they are. Your Travel Ball games are all practice until you make it to the Majors, so commit to allowing your games to prepare you for your next practice and allow your practices to prepare you for your games.

Before seeds can be planted, the ground has to be tilled.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

No. 2 — Listen up
A good coach leads the way with wisdom, because experience is the best teacher. If your coach won’t admit and communicate the failures that he had as a player, he’s not worth listening to when you’re experiencing failure as a hitter.

It is important to listen to the right people in order to accomplish the right things. Seeds must be nurtured and the weeds have to be uprooted in order to reap a harvest.

No. 3 — Step up
Step up or step out is a real statement for those who are playing baseball to become elite hitters. Hitting is complex, but it isn’t complicated.

As we are taught, there are seven parts to the swing. It takes 3,000 reps per part to maintain a skill. That’s 21,000 reps.

  1. Stance/Load
  2. Timing
  3. Tempo
  4. Tracking
  5. Approach
  6. Contact
  7. Extension/Finish

If you’re having success without executing and tracking the reps you’ve taken, explain to me how you’re doing it? Your inability to explain could be the result of the twins—Luck and Chance, but they don’t last. Step up and be intentional about your success.

Here’s a simple Skill Build that you should do to help you maintain your skills for all parts of the swing.

Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.


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