“If you are going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price.” – Bud Wilkinson
It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s time for baseball. That’s right, baseball. Delving into the competitive world of tournament baseball takes commitment and sacrifice. After all, you’re giving up a summer of hanging out by the pool with your friends to chase your dream.
Here’s the good news. Travel baseball has its perks. It allows you to travel the country and go head-to-head with the nation’s other top players. It gives you an opportunity to see where you rank among some of the best.
But before you take the summer ball plunge, let’s find out where you currently stand. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to get started.
1. Where do I rank as a hitter on my team?
Most hitters are judged as “great” based on batting average. But there are other things to consider (a blog for another time). The gold standard for great hitters in the Major Leagues is a .300 batting average. To hit .300, you must get in a good loaded position to hit “on time” 90 percent of the time. This will allow you to repeat a short and direct approach to the ball 70 percent, which, in turn, will allow you to hit the ball hard 50 percent of the time. If you hit the ball hard 50 percent of the time, you have a 30 percent chance of getting a hit.
So it’s simple: If you want to finish the summer ranked in the top 20 percent of your team in batting average, you must get in a good position to hit the ball 90 percent of the time.
2. Where do you rank in your state?
To be the best hitter in your state means you need the ability to make quick adjustments. During the summer, every team is throwing its best pitcher at you. Often times, you won’t get many good pitches to hit. Simply put: Making an adjustment as a hitter means you can correct what you didn’t do the first time at the plate. And it isn’t limited to just one at bat. You must be willing to go 0 for 10 in order to be 10 for 10. If you can make the adjustments (doing something different) at a rate of 70 percent, I’m certain you’ll get a hit 30 percent of the time. And this may make you one of the top hitters in the state.
3. Where do you rank in the nation?
The nation’s top hitters are consistent – period. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside, raining or you’re facing a pitcher who throws a lot of off-speed stuff; high batting averages aren’t the goal of the elite hitters. What makes them good is that they have developed a repeatable approach. You know you are repeating your swing if the inside and outside pitches you are getting are hit between the middle infielders. If you have 100 at bats and you consistently hit the ball on the ground or in the air between the middle infielders, you will get a hit 30 percent of the time.
If you aren’t sure if you are getting in a good position, click here to allow me to analyze your swing. Overall, the key is to simply put the ball in play and allow good things to happen. That’s the Diamond Director’s Way.
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.