How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything
A lot of hitters want to be great, but are they willing to put in the deliberate practice and “smart work” that will help them become consistent in everything they do? Are they willing to work on their strengths, rather than their weaknesses, in order to master their unique ability to move a baseball?
Big leaguers understand what they do well and what they don’t do well. Part of their development stems from the understanding that in order to be great, they need to spend more time maximizing their strengths and less time working on their weaknesses.
A lot of young players work so hard on their weaknesses, that they neglect what they actually do well. Working solely on your weaknesses only makes you average in a lot of things. So the question is, do you want to be average or do you want to be great?
There is a fine line you walk when working on your strengths and managing your weaknesses. Instead of trying to balance the two, make sure your priorities are aligned.
Working on your strengths doesn’t mean that you’re not aware of your weaknesses. It also doesn’t mean that you never work on your weaknesses. Think of the strength/weakness alignment like a 70/30 or 80/20 split. You spend 70-80% of your time mastering your strengths, and 20-30% of your time trying to improve those weaknesses to a point where you won’t get exposed as much.
You only have so much time in this game to improve and reach your goals on the field. The best in the game know what they do well and “stay in their lane.” The only way they are going to succeed is by working on and executing their strengths on a nightly basis.
When talking to big league pitchers I ask them, “With the bases loaded and game on the line, are you going with your third best pitch? Or are you going to pitch to your strengths and see what happens?” All of them say they are going with their best pitch in that situation.
On the flip side, when working with big league hitters I ask them the same question. They will say they’re looking for their pitch in their zone and that’s it. If the pitcher makes a mistake, they’re ready to do damage in their “margin of success.” If they don’t get the pitch, then they tip their cap and tomorrow the sun will rise.
How can they be so convicted in their approach?
They are in the big leagues not because they made their weakness a strength, but because they identified and mastered what they did well.
Consistency IS Success
The purpose in everything you do provides the consistency in what you do.
When given endless opportunities, anyone can hit the ball hard – one time.
Anyone can get a hit – one time.
Any last place team can beat a first-place team – one time.
The list goes on and on, but the best are the best for a reason. They have figured out how to be the best for a long period of time by understanding and executing the small things, which in turn, provide the consistency in their lives both on and off the field.
When you approach things with PURPOSE, you begin to work smarter, not harder. And when you start working smarter, you begin to see consistent results in your life. When you look at successful people, you’ll often hear others talk about the talents they display.
They assume having talent automatically leads to success. Talent may help you gain short-term success, but in reality, consistency leads to success for years to come.
Talent gets you drafted. Consistency allows you to play baseball for a living.
Life is a puzzle full of pieces. And the success of the puzzle relies on the understanding that every piece has a PURPOSE for fitting into another. Like a puzzle, finding success on and off the field requires vision, planning, and precise execution every single day.
Think about the big names in the game. Do you know Mike Trout because he had one good month in his career? Do you know Derek Jeter because he had one good week at the plate? How about the guys in the Hall of Fame? Did they have one good year and then ride the proverbial roller coaster the rest of their career?
What do they all have in common? They were consistent day in and day out. I’m not talking about consistency in the stat book. I’m talking about the consistency in their routines. Consistency in everything they did. They became obsessed with having purpose, even down to how they put the ball on the tee.
Details Matter in the Game of Baseball and Life.
If someone came to your place of work and asked you WHY you do what you do, would you be able to provide them a direct and meaningful answer? How about if someone comes up to you during your pre- game routine and asks what you’re working on? Would you be able to explain the PURPOSE of your cage work in a clear and concise manner?
Details sometimes get glossed over in our race to the top. We think it’s a straight shot from A to B and that if we just start to push the vehicle downhill, the momentum will take us the rest of the way.
As you put the baseball on the tee, do you have a certain way you like to place it on the tee? Or do you simply drop it on top of the stem and get in your stance? Understanding what part of the ball to hit is crucial to being able to consistently square up the baseball. Hitting the inside part of the ball is a simple hand-eye coordination result. If your eyes look to hit the inside part of the ball, then naturally your bat will make contact directly flush behind – and in the middle of – the baseball. Simply putting the baseball on the tee with the 2-seams standing upright and facing back towards the catcher, allows for a great visual of exactly
where you want to aim for hitting the inside part of the baseball.
While you’re getting into your stance ready to hit the ball, do you look down at the ball or do you look out towards the pitcher – imagining a pitcher on the mound in front of you going through their windup and throwing a pitch to you?
Imagery is a big component of being a good hitter.
You don’t necessarily have to see a physical pitch coming towards you to work on your visualization and your timing. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined (hence why you wake up from a dream initially wondering if it’s real or not).
The road to success is littered with clues. Along your journey, if you understand WHY you are doing something and have PURPOSE for everything you do, chances are that you are going to find consistency in your life.
- Do you work more on your strengths or weaknesses?
- Do you have a purpose for everything you do?
- How much do you value consistency?
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