Throughout my blogs, I talk a lot about the discipline and passion it takes to developing your skill sets. Developing a skill is obtained by way of high levels of struggle in deeper practice, which helps you develop more myelin. Myelin is living tissue in your brain that wraps around neurons and skill.
- Neurons – what you do
- Habit – how often you do it
- Skill – how well you do it
- Myelin – living tissue in the brain that protects skill
Myelin grows by way of high levels of struggle and deep practice.
Why are we discussing skills? Because it’s February. Here’s a breakdown of the critical months for our training.
- August – October Accessing tools
- November – January Building habits and strength
- February – April Converting habits to skills
- May – July Maintaining skills
Here are my top 3 simple Skill Build Drills:
Load with your eyes closed
One of my favorites tools for hitting skill development is the Tanner Tee Hitting Deck. The numbers on the side of the deck presents a challenge for hitters that lack awareness and discipline.
As a general rule of thumb, your load should be the length of your bat, aligning your front foot and back in a straight line. A good load – if done on time and on tempo – allows you to be in a position to track the pitch, establish/maintain a short approach, be aligned properly at the point contact, further allowing you to leverage your body for maximum extension for power production.
Tanner Tee Hitting Deck
1. Align your back foot and front foot with the correct numbers on the Hitting Deck making sure that the load is the length of your bat give or take 1-2 inches.
2. Start in your stance.
3. Stride and complete the load.
4. Compete this exercise 100 times, loading successfully with your eyes closed at least 90 percent of the time.
Click here to learn more about the stance and load.
Loading properly with consistency is definitely a skill. In order to hit at the collegiate and professional levels, you must also get loaded on tempo at least 90 percent of the time.
Click here to learn what to do
Compete this exercise 100 times, loading successfully at least 90 percent of the time.
Hitting a baseball using a tee isn’t much of a challenge. However, hitting a baseball using a tee expecting the ball to travel 30 feet away hitting a hanging target the size of a baseball is a challenge. Can you do it?
Hanging target the size of a baseball
Take 100 swings, successfully hitting the target 30 feet away at least 30 times.
In recognition of February and Black History Month, did you know that Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first Black player to play in the MLB?
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.