It’s the end of December and we’re days away from a New Year. Is there any better time of year to reflect? I don’t think so. As you reflect on what this year has offered, here’s my advice for 2018. It’s about being REAL.
R – Ready and not raw
E – Empowered and not enabled
A – Action-oriented and not arrogant
L – Loose and not lazy
Being ready to perform in the spring starts with your ability to practice in the winter. The winter is where you get thousands of reps. And it better be 21,000 reps to be exact.
Remember, a habit is what you repeatedly do without thought. There are seven parts to the swing and it takes 3,000 reps to build a habit. That’s 21,000 reps to build a habit.
You convert a habit to a skill by doing tough stuff under stress. It also takes 21,000 reps to convert a habit to a skill.
Will you eat raw meat? Will raw hitters be ready to compete against elite pitching?
It takes skills to pay the bills.
Empowered hitters have proven themselves trust worthy and are trusted by their coaches to follow the “75-20-5 Rule.” Empowering is good and enabling is bad.
Coaches can unintentionally create an environment that stunts learning for their players because of their own ignorance. I’m raising my hand high to this statement, because I was the king of “faking it until I made it.”
These were my three mantras as a young, inexperienced and developing coach.
- Scream & Dream – This is when you scream to kids the things to do at the plate knowing full well you haven’t really prepared them for success.
- Hit & Get – This is when you give kids tons of reps and expect them to get a hit every at bat simply because they got tons of reps.
- Hope & Cope – This is when your hope for success for your players as a coach is stronger than your baseball coaching acumen, and you lean on the, “We’ll get ’em next time” philosophy to cope with the failure.
Being action-oriented means you’re willing to actually take action. On the other hand, arrogance causes some hitters to simply believe they can believe their way to success. Hope is a gift, but turning hope into reality is a journey.
The journey toward leading your team in hitting in the spring when the flowers are blooming happens in December when it’s cold outside and the flowers are dead.
Coaches and parents tell you to “be loose” all the time, like it’s really a thing you can turn on. For a fact, lazy hitters can never turn it on because they haven’t earned the opportunity to be successful.
“Be loose” can be turned on after you’ve received 63,000 reps.
- Fall (August-October) x 21,000
- Winter (November-January) x 21,000 reps
- Spring (February-April) x 21,000 reps
And just when you thought it was over, it takes another 21,000 reps in the summer to maintain your skills.
That’s 84,000 reps on the year. Lazy hitters can’t even dream of taking this many reps.
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.