- Learn how to practice.
- Learn how to play
- Learn how to perform
Learn how to practice
Learning how to practice has everything to do with your awareness when you do things wrong. You must learn how to make adjustments, recognize when you’ve done something right and be able to repeat the process.
You can get the best instruction in the world, but you’ll always get more reps away from your coach. With that said, if you can’t practice, you’ll never get paid to play, because you won’t be good enough.
In addition, it takes 3,000 reps to build a habit. As we have discussed, there are seven parts of the swing. That’s 21,000 reps. Mastering the ability to practice also requires that you be a committed and disciplined person. A commitment is simply a promise you make to yourself, while discipline is doing things you need to do even though you don’t want to do them.
The seven parts of the swing are:
Learn how to play
Learning how to play baseball is more than playing games. Learning involves practicing with your team, drills that you do at home and the private instruction you receive. Games should be nothing more than a test of what you have done to prepare for the game.
Most coaches don’t have a methodology of baseball development to start with. Without having a methodology in place, coaches are left to schedule a lot of practices and games knowing the “cream will rise to the top.”
Playing baseball as a hitter ultimately leads to getting lots of hits, driving in runs and scoring runs. Lots of people want to get a lot of hits, but won’t master the skills necessary to convert your “wants” to a reality.
Learn how to perform
Performing requires you to have skills. Unlike talent, skills are developed by training under stress. Hitting 500 baseballs every day improves your talent, but not your skills. Hit a target 50 percent of the time from 50 feet away using a tee and 500 baseballs, and then you can brag about your skills. Your skills will undoubtedly show up in your games.
Here are two of my favorite complaints I hear from hitters:
“I was hitting good in the cage but not in the game,” or “I’m hitting the ball hard in the games but it’s going right at people.”
The gold standard for collegiate and Major League Baseball remains that you get a hit 30 times out of 100 at-bats. You can strikeout 70 times in a row and get 30 hit, and you’ll still get paid to play.
You must be trained to perform, and practicing and training aren’t the same. These three S’s must be in place in order for you to claim that you are being trained:
Systematic – “What all are we doing?”
Sequential – “Are we doing it in the right order?”
Simple – “Can I do it?”
Having tools is cool but skills pays the bills.
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, 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.