February through April is all about converting habits to skills through my Diamond Directors methodology. August through October is when I assess my hitters. November through January is when we develop habits. The fun really begins May through July when we maintain what we have assessed, built and converted.
Is it possible to develop skills as a hitter if you don’t take a smart approach?
I believe skills are developed only when you take an intelligent approach. You cannot be stupid or ignorant when it comes to your development.
I know you may cringe when you hear the words stupid and ignorant. But these are important words that describe us on a specific subject matter. The empowering thing about being stupid and ignorant is that you can become smart and intelligent rather quickly if you have a good coach.
Let’s look at the meaning of these words. Stupid means you don’t know what to do and you can’t physically and mentally do it. Ignorant means you don’t know what to do, although you are physically and mentally able to do it.
Smart means you know what to do, although you are physically and mentally unable to do it, while intelligence means you know what to do, and you are physically and mentally able to do it.
Push back here is much appreciated.
As it relates to hitting, a stupid hitter is someone who doesn’t understand how to hit, and is physically and mentally unable to do so. By definition, I have never met a stupid hitter. I’ve worked with hitters that lacked passion and were lazy, but not stupid. I’m stupid when it comes to flying like a bird or swimming in the ocean like a shark.
We are all ignorant about something. Even if you’re the most knowledgeable hitter, you don’t know everything there is to know in the world. That said, most of my clients come to me as an ignorant hitter, meaning they are physically and mentally able to hit, but don’t understand how.
You must understand that understanding how to hit and hearing the fundamentals of hitting aren’t the same. If you understand it, you can do it and teach it to others. As a professional in the Chicago Cubs organization, I was ignorant as a hitter. I had lots of bat speed and raw power, but I didn’t know anything about the fundamentals of hitting. But like me, ignorant hitters could turn out to be intelligent coaches.
Smart hitters understand what to do, but are unable to physically and mentally do it. These hitters also could turn out to be great coaches. I have a very keen and clear understanding of how to pitch in the Major Leagues. My physical inability to do it at the Major League level makes me a smart pitcher. As a smart pitcher, at best I could direct pitchers to an intelligent pitching coach who has experience doing it competitively.
I’ve developed several intelligent hitters – Major Leaguers like Jason Heyward and Dexter Fowler. You aren’t born with intelligence as a hitter or even physical superiority. You must be taught the fundamentals of hitting and you must spend lots of time developing athleticism. Intelligent hitters understand what to do, and can physically and mentally do it.
When we started, Jason and Dexter were both very focused on becoming Major Leaguers at a very young age. They were extremely talented and possessed strong work ethic. My job as a professional hitting development specialist was to teach them – rather than tell them how to it.
Intelligent hitters develop skills and skills pays the bills.
Some of the skills that you need as an elite hitter includes:
- The ability to be on time – Good MLB hitters get to a good hitting load position on time 90 percent of the time.
- The ability to be on tempo – Good MLB hitters get to a good hitting load position on time with good tempo 90 percent of the time.
- The ability to track pitches – Good MLB hitters successfully track pitches 80 percent of the time.
- The ability to repeat their approach – Good MLB hitters successfully repeat their approach to the ball 70 percent of the time.
- The ability to hit the ball hard – Good MLB hitters successfully hit the ball hard 50 percent of the time.
Obviously, the good MLB hitters get hits 30 percent of the time, but what you didn’t know was the skills that I have them develop to get the hits. Well now you know.
Hitters that start out as ignorant quickly move to intelligent when they understand how to hit, as long as they have a coach who possesses a development methodology.
Smart hitters must really focus on building their physical and mental strength to support what they understand about hitting in order to become intelligent.
Improve your physicality this spring with yoga to gain more strength, coordination and flexibility. It is a must that you enhance your mental performance with Habitudes (use link to GrowingLeaders.com).
What type of hitter are you right now?
Learn more to do more, because it makes more sense to be an intelligent hitter.
Remember: Good hitters don’t work hard; they work smart.
For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today.
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, CJ 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.