Sometimes you do not have a coach to put you through drills, or a team to practice with, or a teammate to play catch with. Sometimes you do not have a lot of room to work. Average players can find excuses everywhere. Great players make no excuses.
I recently saw one of our former players (2018 graduate) show up to our facility to workout. It was during a snowstorm. He was alone. And he had just finished an all day swim/dive meet.
I was so impressed with this player’s focus. He walked in, waved to me from across the facility and began his warm up. After a brief warmup he started hitting off the tee. He probably hit about 100 balls, performing various drills in different tee positions. He took his time between reps, thinking between each rep to make the small adjustments for the next swing. It was very clear that he had a vision for each swing…a plan and a specific destination for each ball he hit. It was also very clear that this was not his first time going through a baseball workout alone. After each bucket, he took his time picking up the balls in the cage. He was not just picking up baseballs, but was planning and visualizing his next set of swings.
When he was done hitting, he picked up his glove and started his throwing progression in the cage. Same type of vision and plan that he showed in his hitting session. Within each rep there was focus on footwork, release point, and athletic movement….it seemed as if he had a game situation in his head for every throw.
Lastly, he stepped out of the batting cage and found a wall. From about 10 feet away, he threw countless numbers of balls against the wall, working on every different type of short hop and ground ball simulation. He paid attention to fielding and glove positioning, setting his feet to throw, and taking the ball out of his glove consistently and quickly.
After finishing his solo wall ball session, he walked over to his equipment bag, packed up, and walked slowly out of the facility. On his way out, he looked over to me and said thank you. Those were the only words he spoke during the entire workout.
I was not entirely sure why he was thanking me. I should be thanking him for reminding me and everyone else who was at the facility that day what it takes to become a great player.
Great players love training and the process of improving. Even during bad weather, by themselves, and with limited resources. They especially enjoy putting in the work when there are countless excuses to skip the workout. Great players win games months before any games are played, sometimes by themselves, with no coaches or teammates around.
Great players make no excuses. They are getting better and learning how to win when others are not.
Great Players Make No Excuses February 8, 2018/0 Comments/in Uncategorized /by bradSometimes you do not have a coach to put you through drills, or a team to practice with, or a teammate to play catch ...
If you have followed the previous posts on goal setting, we have gone through the exercise of creating our three levels of goals (short, middle and long term goals). We also created a daily/weekly checklist to help us move closer to our goals…every day.
Now we have hardest task of all. Committing to these goals and putting in the work to reach them. There are millions of people around the country who pass the test of creating goals with flying colors, then fail to commit to what it takes to reach their goals.
There is never a guarantee that anyone will reach their goals, even if they do all of the right things. However, a player has no chance to reach lofty goals without commitment and sacrifice along the way. This is the most satisfying part of goal setting. Investing time, effort, and sacrifice to achieve a level of success unachievable without a lot of work.
While there a numerous strategies to get there, we have provided a few ideas to take a player from just having goals to actually reaching them.
1. Post your goals somewhere where you can see them. Our goals drift away if we write them down and never look at them again. Every player needs a constant reminder of their goals so that their decisions, actions and behavior support the goals that they created. If a player creates goals and a checklist online and stores it in a place that is never to be seen again, that player will likely lose track of those goals. If a player uses a picture of his goals as the screensaver on his phone, he is reminded of these goals every time he looks at his phone. If a player displays his daily checklist on a bulletin board in his room, or on the inside of a door that he uses every day, he is again constantly reminded of what he committed to with his goals.
2. Recruit an “Accountability Partner”. Every person needs someone to help them stay accountable to their goals. Some players assume that their coach is that person. Coaches often play a part in holding players accountable for their goals, but the best accountability partner is a teammate. Find a teammate with similar goals, and hold each other accountable on a daily basis. There is nothing more powerful than a respected friend and teammate that can be a constant reminder to do the right things and keep you on track with your goals. Share your goals with a friend or teammate, and give them free license to challenge you when necessary to reach your goals.
3. Change behavior to support your goals. If you goals are important to you, you should be willing to sacrifice and invest in your goals. Make a list of some of the unproductive activities that do not support your goals, and replace them with more productive ones. If your typical routine after school is to (hopefully) complete your homework, and then watch TV for 1.5 hours per night, a good behavioral change to support your baseball goals would be to cut the time to 45 minutes of TV, 30 minutes of drills, and 15 minutes of reading a book on sports psychology per night. Or, if your routine is to drink a Mountain Dew and eat Oreos for a snack after school, a good behavioral change is to substitute water and fruit (with an occasional Oreo because no-one can quit Oreos completely) to your diet for more nutrition and sustained fuel for your body.
So in summary…you have to see your goals often. You have to have someone you respect support your goals and support you through the process of reaching your goals. Lastly, you have to invest in your goals by changing your behavior to support your goals.
Setting goals is only 1/2 the battle. Creating success in reaching your goals requires commitment and sacrifice on a daily basis. Good requires average effort and commitment. Exceptional requires exceptional effort and commitment.
Thank you for reading and hope to see you on the field this season.
Owner- Woodall Baseball Academy and Silver Sluggers Major League Player- Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs ... See MoreSee Less
If you read Chapter 1 of this series, you know that proper goal setting requires:
*Long range goals– Where you want to be at the end of the season
*Mid-range goals– Where you want to be at the beginning of the season or at the end of training seasons.
*Daily/weekly goals– Drills and any changes of behavior needed a daily basis to achieve our future goals
Our goals should be challenging, but realistic and achievable with a lot of hard work. They should also be quantifiable so that we can track progress. Lastly, they should be controllable in that you should not have to rely on others to make these goals happen. For example, a goal to be a better teammate is admirable, but is difficult to quantify. A better strategy is to break this goal into components of being a good teammate. A pre-season “Better Teammate” goal could be (1) Going to every open gym before the season, and (2) Creating an accountability group to make sure a core group of teammates is attending every open gym, with (3) Each member of the group working together to create a practice plan for each open gym. A long range goal could be (1) To create an informal mentoring program where the older players “adopt” a younger player to help them learn at a faster rate and feel more comfortable on the team during the season. These goals are now quantifiable in that a player can check off the list if they have (1) Created an accountability group, and (2) Mentoring program. A daily goal would be to make sure the group is communicating at least 3 times per week (on a schedule) discussing what they will be working on in open gyms.
On to our next step. No long term goal will work without a daily or weekly plan.
Our homework this week: Create a weekly plan, based upon your current academic and in-season sport schedule, to accomplish your daily/weekly goals.
It is always very tricky to be able to balance other current (in-season) activities with baseball, an off-season activity. We have found an effective process to create a realistic but productive schedule for positive movement toward goals while juggling other sports, academics, and family time.
Step 1: Assess how much free time after school you actually have. Take into account all priorities that rank above baseball training. These include any family time or activities, in-season sports, ample time set aside for academics/homework, and adding into the schedule a consistent and early bed time. After this exercise, you now have a good estimate of the amount of time you can schedule in training on a daily basis. Also, be sure to build in a day off or an easy day. Our bodies and minds need it to reenergize. Each day will likely be different in how much time you have available for baseball. That is ok. At least you know what you have to work with now.
Step 2: Make a list of drills or activities for baseball that will take you closer to your pre-season and end of season goals. This list can be lengthy, with any and all drills or exercises you can think of. This is your rough draft version that will be revised as we go through the first couple of weeks. One quick test for each of these drills is to ask the question – Does this drill or activity help me come closer to reach one or more of my goals?
Step 3: Create of “Daily Grid” for the week. Picture this grid in a spreadsheet or table. Day of the week at the top of the column. Each row is reserved for drills or exercises to go on your checklist. Also, add to each day how much time you estimate to have for baseball training.
Step 4: Create a checklist for each day with any regular after school activities you have higher on your priority list than baseball training. You can be as detailed as you would like, including time slots for the activities, color coding by priority for quick glance reference.
Step 5: Add your Baseball Activities to fill up your time availalble on that day. Go through every day of the week, including assigning a Day Off in writing to make sure you are building that into your schedule. If you go through these steps, you now have a rough draft of your daily checklist. We have provided an example below. Pay much more attention to the format rather than the content. The content will be customized for every individual.
This exercise may take some time to think through all of the variables of drill options and time available per day. Do not be afraid to spend ample time on this step in the process. It is part of the success formula of goal setting. Thinking about your goals and how you will achieve them is always a good thing.
Enjoy this process of creating your weekly schedule and checklist. You are heading in the right direction for your baseball success….and this is good practice for effective goal setting in other aspects of your life.
Thank you for reading,
– Owner: Woodall Baseball Academy and Silver Sluggers – 5 year Major Leaguer (Braves, Brewers, Cubs) ... See MoreSee Less
Goal Setting for Baseball- Chapter 2 of 3 January 11, 2018/0 Comments/in Uncategorized /by bradIf you read Chapter 1 of this series, you know that proper goal setting requires: Long range goals– Whe...
Goal Setting for Baseball- Chapter 1 of 3 This is the time of year that people around the world set New Years resolutions for better habits and results in the coming year. For baseball players, it is a great time to turn attention to the upcoming season, improve their skills and create great habits going into the season.
It is proven that people who regularly make short and long range goals are more successful than those who do not. It is also proven that setting goals (or resolutions) correctly and sticking to them is very difficult and the failure rate is very high.
Over the next month, our Silver Slugger players will practice setting effective goals and working to acheive them on a daily basis. Below is our homework for this week.
By the end of this weekend, complete the following 2 Steps to establish our goals for the season.
Step 2 Write down, in your Silver Slugger notebook (or your phone) this 3-step process to set goals for yourself this season.
1 (Long Term Goals) Write down 2 individual goals for the season, or what you would like to accomplish this season on the baseball field.
2 (Checkpoint Goals) Write down 2 individual goals (based upon your season goals) to achieve in the next 3 months to help you have success achieving your season goals.
3 (Daily Checklist) Create a checklist of drills, fundamentals, or actions you can take every day to set you down the path to achieving your checkpoint and season goals.
This is the most important aspect of goal setting. Our long term goals are hard to reach without a daily change in behavior that moves us down the path to positive results. Completing these steps will set the foundation for success this season. Chapter 2 will deal with tips and strategies to keep us accountable to our goals. ... See MoreSee Less
Sports Psychology Articles Available Sports Psychology Articles: Principles of Effective Goal Setting Goal Setting for Athletes Hitters Needing A Plan at The Plate Mental Training & Performance Enhanc...
Many young players spend countless hours developing their specific baseball skills, going to camps and clinics, individual training for hitting and pitching. However, baseball skills training is only part of the equation for success. One essential aspect of becoming a successful baseball player is to dedicate significant time to athletic performance training (strength, speed and explosive movement). We have seen so many players take their game to the next level with dedication to a structured athletic performance program. Many young players know what a great swing or pitching delivery looks like, but they have to train their body to move more explosively and control the rotational movements needed for baseball success.
In the same light, a big challenge for student-athletes is finding the right program to train sufficiently while balancing school and other sports schedules. ....click below to read more. ... See MoreSee Less
The Importance of Strength and Speed Training Posted on October 27, 2017 by Brad Woodall Many young players spend countless hours developing their specific baseball skills, going to camps and clinics,...