There are three things that you no doubt will have to deal with this spring – doubting yourself, an untruthful coach and stressed parents. Let’s look at how all three can impact you:
Practice should prepare you for games and games should prepare you for the next practice. The over-used saying, “practice makes perfect,” often causes players to doubt themselves because they feel they should be rewarded immediately for their hard work.
If the famous quote, “hard work pays off,” was true for everybody, earth would be heaven.
An untruthful coach
While players want the truth, sometimes the truth hurts. As a coach, I’ve lied to my players about their current ability as a hitter to prevent them from struggling more than they were. In my mind, I felt I was doing what was best for them. But a lie is a lie, and good things don’t come from lies.
Spring and summer baseball comes with stress, especially if you’re competing at a high level of baseball. Parents don’t make things better when they’re stressed about how you’re playing. Parents get stressed because they want their son to meet a standard that they’ve set for him. Oftentimes, the failure of the son makes them feel like a failing parent (at least I’ve struggled with that with my daughters playing tennis).
- Talent is thing you do well.
- A habit is something you do well repeatedly without thought.
- A skill is something you do well repeatedly without thought while under stress.
Here’s the thing, hitting is complex, but it isn’t complicated. Practice is the time to learn and try new things that you can put into action when you play games. Furthermore, the games you play are preparing you to perform later, when the stakes are much higher (like a championship game or World Series, etc.).
Take advantage of the opportunity to practice and test what you’re learning in practice during your games. Heck, all of your games are practice until you become a Major Leaguer.
So how do you stay ahead of doubting yourself, untruthful coaches and stressed parents? You do it by having the right attitude and being honest with yourself.
Practice prepares you for games, and games prepare you for practice.
It’s as ridiculous for you to expect to hit with the consistency of a Major Leaguer right now as it would be for your parents to expect you pay the bills for the household.
There are seven parts to the swing. It takes 3,000 reps to convert a habit to a skill. That’s 21,000 reps to convert a habit to a skill. That’s specific – and not the over-used “hard work pays off” term. Remember our philosophy:
Master one part of the swing at a time and you’ll be just fine. Families aren’t budgeting their personal finances to come watch you play yet anyway.
Skills pay the bills > Practice makes perfect
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.