“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou
Starting in Georgia, America needs coaches who are on mission to change and maintain the culture of development of diamond sport athletes by using a proven blueprint of success.
Today, more than ever, baseball needs legions of players who possess the five A’s:
- Attitude — How you act
- Awareness — How you think
- Adjustments — How you respond
- Aptitude — How you correct
- Athleticism — How you make things happen
1. Attitude — How you act
We have a lot of players who have bad attitudes because their coaches have bad attitudes. I’ve been coaching professionally for 21 years with more than 30,000 hours logged. I’m more mature today than I was 21 years ago. When I started coaching, I was a jerk. I was ignorant, arrogant and intolerant. In turn, I was successfully preparing my players to be jerks.
2. Awareness — How you think.
My thinking is now governed by six core values:
- Excellence — Meeting expectations.
- Humility — Not thinking less of yourself while thinking of others more than yourself
- Integrity — Doing the right thing even when you can do the wrong thing
- Loyalty — Unwavering commitment
- Stewardship — Protection of said values and beliefs
- Teamwork — Individuals working at a level of excellence for a specific goal
3. Adjustments — How you respond
As a coach, I started making adjustments with regards to being a jerk. I was convicted by parents, who were tired of me being me. Making adjustments didn’t mean I had to become a perfect person instantly. It meant that I had to start doing things differently based on being aware that I was doing things wrong.
4. Aptitude — How you correct
The well-known S.A.T. testing stands for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, which measures your ability to learn and apply. The three dominant learning styles are kinesthetic, auditory and visual. Learning is half the battle. For the other half, you must apply what you’ve learned. The one core value that helps me the most in my time of stress is integrity. Honesty is one thing, but integrity is a more supreme thing. I remain committed to doing the right things, especially when I have the opportunity to do the wrong things.
5. Athleticism — How you make things happen
When I hear coaches call players “good athletes,” they often make it sound like its a negative thing. Being athletic is your ability to make things happen even when you don’t have the fundamentals. I believe that my six core values are good fundamentals for living. There are several coaches I’ve admired and have been mentored by who could never tell you the core values that govern their lives because they never gave thought to what they were. Even still, they are good coaches.
I believe that life would be better if we live on purpose, being fully aware of the fundamentals and applying them to our lives for the development of others.
For me, change looks like these three things:
- Increasing the number of African-American student-athletes (baseball) from 2.9 percent at the NCAA Division I level to 30 percent by 2030
- Increasing the number of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball from less than 8 percent to 30 percent by 2030
- By 2040, have the leadership skills developed of boys through baseball to produce the Governor of Georgia and two U.S. Senators
Pitches are questions that I serve to coaches. Here are six fastballs for you:
- How is your attitude?
- How do you make adjustments to your attitude when it is negative?
- What are the core values that govern your life?
- What corrections do you need to make in your life so that you are living on purpose?
- What are the things that you naturally do well with thought while under stress?
- What does change specifically look like to you?
Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.
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.