I have had the pleasure of being one of Olivia Hall’s softball hitting coaches since June 23, 2020. A junior shortstop at The Walker School, she crushes balls from the right side and is extremely fast, athletic and talented. One of the reasons Olivia began training with me was for to get mentally stronger.
Talent is what you do well; habit is what you do well repeatedly without thought. Skills are what you do well repeatedly without thought while under stress.
I recently asked Olivia to answer seven questions each week for seven weeks, which would allow me to better understand her mental makeup. There is a college out there that is going to be taken to the next level because of her.
Following are Olivia’s “Super Seven Statements:”
- Describe someone you admire because of the way they handle adversity.
- What is the easiest thing about playing softball?
- What is the most challenging thing about playing softball?
- How is playing softball preparing you for adulthood?
- What is one thing you have learned about yourself over the past seven days?
- This week, what advice would you offer someone who is trying to overcome adversity—whether it is in school or sports?
- What is one of your seven favorite quotes?
- My mom because she grew up with many struggles with being poor and everyone was holding her back.
- Showing up to practice.
- Getting out of my head.
- Helps you improve your work ethic.
- When I get angry/frustrated enough I get emotional.
- Do not beat yourself up too much.
- Just keep swimming.
- My teammate Regina, who got shoulder surgery and still came back to play.
- Having fun.
- Dealing with failure.
- Learning to deal with failure in softball will help me deal with failure in life.
- I am too naive.
- It gets easier.
- It is better to try and fail than to fail to try at all.
- My dog because he has worked hard to maintain his temper.
- Putting on my cleats.
- Not being a self-umpire.
- Not everything is in my control.
- I hold people too high and get hurt. The higher they are, the further they fall.
- Get up. (Period).
- There is a life you learn with and the one you live after that.
- My cousin Dasha moved from Russia, spoke little English and still did well in school.
- Being with friends.
- Running back to the dugout after striking out.
- I am impatient.
- Live in the moment.
- Sit with the pain and learn from it.
- Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
- (Me) Being out of my shell when I meet new people (not keeping to myself or being too shy).
- Hitting and outside pitch.
- When I want something bad enough, I go for it.
- When things do not go your way do not let it bring you down.
- Make a gratitude list.
- Perfection is not obtainable but if we chase defections we can catch excellence.
- My friend who tried to kill herself, but decided to get help when it failed.
- Running onto the field.
- Not losing it on the umpires.
- I want to go into sports medicine.
- You can still have good things happen even after things go badly.
- This will make you stronger if you let it.
- Nothing is impossible to those who will try.
- My cousin Breda, who is over coming health problems and has to quit sports because of it.
- Looking good in the uniform.
- Ignoring the parents and/or dugout.
- I like being blonde.
- Things will go better if you work as a team.
- Do something else to make yourself feel better.
- I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’ quit.” Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.
To help keep your skills sharp, we have introduced a new type of Skill Build—our Virtual Skill Build, where I can help you develop hitting skills anytime, anywhere using anything. Check it out.
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 associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 22 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 a track record of success that can work for you.