“If my wife, two daughters and I were homeless, and I had my Tanner Tees and Tanner Hitting Deck, we wouldn’t be homeless for long.” – C.J. Stewart
Tenacity. Equipment. Encouragement. These are the tenants of my profession – the tools of the trade.
I recently met Tanner Tees founder Joe Tanner. It was incredibly awesome to hear this living legend talk about hitting. Within 10 minutes, he simplified the complexity of physics and how it translates into hitting a baseball. I wish it was that easy to understand while I was in high school.
I was introduced to Tanner Tees by Mo Hill, my former Chicago Cubs hitting coach. Mo was a hitting legend who showed us the benefits of taking thousands of swings using the Tanner Tee. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, I wasn’t able to reach the Majors to become the hitter that scouts and coaches had projected. Looking back, I realize that I had lacked tenacity and encouragement. But I still have my Tanner Tee. ️
In the 18-plus years after my playing days ended, I still rely on Tanner Tees to develop some of the top hitters in baseball, ranging from local youth players, all the way to the Major Leagues. Without Tanner Tees, I couldn’t have helped shape the characters and swings of Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler, Tyler Flowers and Kyle Lewis.
If you want to become a professional hitter, you must have, what I call, that T.E.E. Factor – Tenacity, Equipment and Encouragement:
Tenacity is the quality of being highly determined. It takes 3,000 reps to develop a habit, complemented by the seven parts to the swing. Do the math: That’s 21,000 reps to develop a good swing that’s functional:
Without tenacity, you will never become a professional hitter, a great parent or anything else you strive for in life. I would argue that it takes tenacity to be lazy, so you might as well be productive.
While there are tons of baseball equipment on the market to help develop a functional swing, my favorite is the Tanner Tee and the Tanner Tee Hitting Deck. Both are simple to use and long lasting. They have become a “nice to have” for hitters that lack tenacity.
Simplistic (a shallow and quick statement) – “Hard work pays off”
Complex – Millions of youth playing baseball, but fewer than 3 percent ever play collegiate or professional baseball
Simple – It takes 21,000 reps to develop a good swing that is functional
Check out Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler using the Tanner Tee in my Hitting Lab.
Give me a team of at least five people who I can trust who encourage me and I believe that I can accomplish anything. I’m talking about five people who see the best in you, even while you’re at your worst. I didn’t have that at any time in my baseball career, from childhood to the pros. But I have it now, by the grace of God, and it’s one of the reasons I’m among the industry leaders as a professional baseball swing coach and mentor.
Encouragement is the act of giving someone support, confidence and/or hope. Without hope, one will physically die.
Remember: Intelligence trumps 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, 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.