Forget about Luck

How often do you hear a successful person talk about someones luck?

They don’t. They may be humble and talk about how lucky or blessed they are to be in the position of success that they’re in. But you will never hear them say that someone else got to where they’re because of luck or chance.

So, why do we?

The first step is taking responsibility. When you realize that things don’t just happen and that if you really really want something, that its going to take consistent focus and patience. People often underestimate patience.

Sports helped me understand this. But even though I thought I understood, I didn’t really understand how much consistent focus it truly took to achieve exceptional results. I earned a better understanding of this when I tried to get back in shape. I had gained weight after my last season of collegiate baseball and strived for a better looking and feeling body. I decided I would do whatever it took.

I first committed to a 21 day diet and workout plan. I didn’t see that results I longed for but I saw results. I decided to just continue the same plan till I did. Once again I didn’t care how long it took. The reminder of what I wanted was key.

I soon realized that I had done this particular diet for 3 months. I saw the results I wanted but got addicted to the process. Adding things back to my diet and adding different workouts to keep me interested, fueled my consistent focus. I have now been eating healthier and working out for a year and a half. Like I said, I am now addicted to the process and because of that I am in the best shape of my life.

 

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Five Key Moments for Body Language in Baseball

Momentum is commonly discuss in athletics. Usually the team that maintains the momentum the longest during the game ends up winning the game. Coaches are always searching for ways to create momentum. Which leads us to a very important questions, How does a team get momentum?

Momentum is built by the team that thinks they have it. It doesn’t always take a big play to get it. Often teams show up, warm up, and already have it. So, what is it and how do you build the conception of having it?

I believe the main way to display momentum is to control and display positive body language. The teams that has players with positive body language even during tough innings are dangerous. Dangerous teams can beat anyone on any given day. They never give up, hence the danger.

During Warm up

This is the most crucial time to display confident body language. Not only for the players, but also the Coach. Good teams practice their warm up to make sure they do so efficiently and with confidence.

This may be the only time that the opponent has seen you play. If your warm up looks poor, then they expect to beat you. They just gained a little momentum. Do not allow them to get any fuel by watching a poor warm up.

On the Mound

Pitching is my favorite form of competition. Its you and the batter. You can through a perfect pitch and still get jacked or through a mistake he fans it. The strike zone is small enough that you have to deliver a hitable pitch. I feel body language is the number one difference between a thrower and a pitcher.

The hitter and his teammates all have their eye on you. You got the ball. A lack of confidence can give them the extra boost they need. Getting in a pitchers head is easy to do if the pitcher doesn’t practice on body language during pressure moments.

In the Batters Box

This is the chance for the pitcher to read you. A good pitcher or coach will be able to pick up your intentions by your body language. I remember being on the mound and having a good idea whether I thought the batter was going to swing or not, based on their approach to the box. Also, being able to read where he liked the ball based on his practice swing. The was always something I could pick up from a batter in the batters box or on deck circle. That gave me an edge.

In the Dugout

Don’t give the other team something to feed off of. Laziness and pouting in the dugout is the easiest way to let the other team know that you are out of the game. On top of that, the negative energy will role over to your other teammates. Whether you are in the game or not you should be standing up, near the fence, and supporting your own team.

I say supporting your own team, because often I see players yelling at the other teams. Making fun or trying to distract the other team can only hurt you. It may seem harmless and fun in the moment, but in the end you are only firing them up and making yourself look like a jerk.

At the End of the Game

The other day I saw a tweet by a coach. It was something in the regards of “If you’re not hated, then you most likely not wining”. I really hope this coach doesn’t use the level of hate to measure the level of success in his program. If you are hated, I strongly encourage you to self reflect or ask someone why. I guarantee the main reason is not because you beat some one in a game. But in the way you beat them.

Sportsmanship is often talked about but often not enforced. I have fell victim to emotion in times where I should of enforced sportsmanship and character. This coming season my goal is to have the most respected group of young student athletes in our league. Not only respected by wins, but by how they carry themselves on and off the field.

How you handle wins and losses after a game may be the most crucial teaching moment for your athletes. Make sure step back breath before you become a bad example as a player, coach, or parent. We all have a role in developing our young athletes as contributing members to our society.

One of Baseball’s Best Lessons

Adversity can be the best thing that ever happened to you. And baseball has a lot of it.

Our natural instinct is to avoid confrontation in our own lives. We often are quick to give up and resort to excuses. Reversing this natural instinct takes practice. Practice that I feel can be simulated in sports. Specifically baseball, because you are destined to strike out or make an error.

Baseball can be a phenomenal way to reverse think instinct because of the repeated failure you are guaranteed to face. This game was designed by failure and is one of the reason so many players enjoy playing and don’t enjoy watching the game.

The best recorded batting average in history was by Ty Cobb. His career ended in 1928 and he held a batting average of .366 during his 24 seasons. Meaning if he had three at bats in a game, he statistically would get one hit.

This is much different then other sports because the best athletes fail majority of the time. As a young athlete trying to find out what you are good at, baseball can be very intimidating. A coach or parent can be very crucial, whether this young athlete chooses to invest in baseball or choose a different hobby.

With the proper encouragement a young athlete can develop the confidence not only to face diversity in baseball but also in other areas of his life. Simple lesson like not striking out looking can transfer into the real world. As a young baseball player I learned this was a cardinal sin of baseball. If you were going to strike out, you better be swinging. Because every swing would get you closer and closer to hitting that pitcher later in the game. Effort is something we can always control and was not optional during my baseball career.

Mistakes and errors happen. All baseball players have let a ball go through their legs, stroke out looking, thrown a ball over the middle of the plate for a hitter to smash, not backed up a base, and many other common baseball blunders. The ability to regroup and take on the next pitch or ground ball was a great lesson. And as a coach, the ability to keep your cool, teach lasting lessons versus reacting with anger, was an even greater lesson.

Baseball truly molds us to deal with failure. The lesson to step back, take a deep breath, and step back in and give it your all. That is a lesson to take with you to all aspects of life.

 

 

New Two Month Goal: Dunk a Basketball by August 12th.

Some of you may know that I’ve been working out 6-7 days a week for a little over a year now. With a change in diet and following my man @corygfitness , I have lost roughly 50 lbs and I’m now wearing clothes that I haven’t warn since high school!

When I was eighteen I thought I was going to play basketball at Capital University. I worked hard on my agility and my explosiveness at Go: Sports Performance in Grandview. I was never blessed with the ability to jump but I dunked the ball one time before attending Capital. Shortly after that I had a sport change and started focusing on pitching at Capital. After being cut for not my basketball skills or work ethic, but for my athleticism. My ability to jump quickly diminished after quitting basketball and basketball specific training.

Recently looking for something to drive me physically, I came up with the idea to pursue dunking again. It’s a long shot since even at my last fitness prime I was barely able to do so. But with my recent success in the gym, I feel I may be close. I have set the goal to complete this in two months and plan on documenting some of it to hold me accountable.

I will be sure to post some of the workouts I am using. Cory Gregory’s squat every day program will be my base workout with some other training added in. Hopefully this can help other athletes achieve their goals.

Two Month Fitness Goal: Dunk a 🏀 by August 12th. . . Some of you may know that I've been working out 6-7 days a week for a little over a year now. With a change in diet and following my man @corygfitness , I have lost roughly 50 lbs and I'm now wearing clothes that I haven't warn since high school! . . When I was eighteen I thought I was going to play basketball at Capital University. I worked hard on my agility and my explosiveness at Go: Sports Performance in Grandview. I was never blessed with the ability to jump but I dunked the ball ☝️ time before attending Capital. Shortly after that I had a sport change and started focusing on pitching at Capital. After being cut for not my basketball skills or work ethic, but for my athleticism. My ability to jump quickly diminished. . . Recently looking for something to drive me physically, I came up with the idea to pursue dunking again. It's a long shot since even at my last fitness prime I was barely able to do it. But with my recent success in the gym I feel I may be close. I have set the goal to complete this in two months and plan on documenting some of it to hold me accountable. . . Sorry if you don't like fitness post 😂 . . . #twomonthgoal #ballislife #challenges #wakeyourassup #whatsinyoursack #fitness #dunking #dunkademics

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Impact Others

Full Video

I came across this video today on Facebook and I felt it was a must share. Robin Yount reminds us as athletes that a game is more than a game. Someone is always watching you and you can have a tremendous influence on your teammates, coaches, fans, and community.

We have all seen how professional sports can impact an entire city. A team can bring economic growth and overall togetherness to a struggling community. I personally feel you don’t have to be a professional to have an impact. Even as a high school team, you can compete respectfully and transform a community and a younger generation of fans.

Robin talks about how you never know if there is someone in the stands that only has one chance to view you play. This is also true at the high school level. I see young players attending high school varsity game and I can tell they are soaking it all in. I wonder if what they are watching is going to encourage them to be better or worse?

If a high school players acts or does something unsportsmanlike, I feel I can guarantee you that behavior is going to roll over into that young spectators performance on the field or at school. This kind of behavior can trickle through a community.

Selfishness and being consumed by your own success or lack of success, rather than the teams success can be detrimental. The game of baseball and life is not about you. You greatest moments will be time where you helped someone out or accomplished something as a team. I promise you that batting over .300 in high school is not nearly as rewarding a winning a district title as a team.

Sports teach us things that can improve our life even after we hang up the cleats. As a parent, spouse, employee, friend, etc, you are being watched and can have an impact on your surrounding community. The choice is whether you want it to be a positive or negative one.

Referrals and What They Mean

Its been a while since my last post and even finding time to write this post has been extremely challenging. I chose to talk about referrals because this is currently whats keeping me so busy. And I love it!

A referral to a salesmen is the #1 best compliment he can receive. It tells me for one, that your product doesn’t suck. Second, that the customer that purchased it thinks your the best person to get it from. What else could you want after a business transaction.

If your not getting referrals then you should evaluate those two aspects. Its either your product sucks or you need to provide a better service and explanation of the value you provide.

Some of you may think that your product and your sales approach are good. But good service is not what causes people to talk about you and your company. You have to do something extra. In my office we constantly ask each other what we do that separates us from the rest of the industry and make us exceptional. If your not exceptional you won’t be remembered when your past client is in a referral situation.

Once you have upped your game and have a product you can believe in, I recommend taking two more steps. Have you ever asked for a referral from your clients?

If you have to think about it then you aren’t doing it enough. You have to ask and even give incentives for referrals. By offering an incentive for a referral it softens the sales pitch and provide value to your customer again.

The second thing I would recommend on getting more referrals is by staying available and in touch with some of your clients that are most likely to refer business. Going to networking meetings or catching up with a previous client can spark future business. Never stop being available and stay fresh in their minds.

 

 

Olympic Lifts Train Baseball Players to be Explosive

When I was in high school and college I was told to avoid several lifts because I was a pitcher. I was often told what not to do and never told what to do by several pitching trainers. This led me to lose confidence in the weight room. Mainly because I began to feel a sense of fear that I may injure my throwing arm.

First of all, I am not a personal trainer and I do not claim to be a fitness expert. Although as a baseball coach, I am constantly looking for new baseball and fitness workouts. Something that has stood out to me is the idea of implementing Olympic lifts into my and my players workouts. These moves require tremendous fast twitch muscles but can also put stress on joints. This stress on your joints from research and my personal experience, is mainly prominent when doing a lot of consecutive reps and with improper form.

While I was in college I went to a speed and strength facility where they taught me the correct way to do some Olympic lifts like the hang clean, RDL, front squat, push press, overhead squat, and others. I noticed a difference shortly after doing my first couple workouts. I also noticed a difference when I stopped doing these exercises.

In the past couple years I have stumbled upon a website called Topvelosity.com and read articles like New workout facility has O’s ahead of the curve by Brittany Ghiroli. These articles and programs have reassured me that other professionals in the baseball community feel the same way about implementing these lifts. I know this is the type of workout plan that will meet a lot of resistance in the MLB because of the history and the value of a players body and arm. But it is interesting to see a team like the Baltimore Orioles implementing this type of workout plan. At the time of this article being written, the Orioles are currently leading the AL East and have the second best record in the entire American League. 

Since Olympic lifts are new to baseball, I have focused my research toward experts in power lifting and promoters of body health. Cory Gregory, owner of Max Effort Muscle, is a source I often use to learn from. Cory provides a lot of free content to his fan base to build up his supplement company and other ventures. He also is known for his squat ever day #Squatlife program. Cory puts up powerful results on a frequent basis. Meaning he must be doing something right with his rep count and organizing his workout plans to be strenuous but still healthy. Watching his content has help me learn a tremendous amount of info.

Another expert who focuses a lot of his experiments on the body is Tim Ferriss. Tim has written several books on business, fitness, and health. You may of heard of them: Tools of Titans, The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef. He loves to collect data from other experts through interviews, experiment their methods on himself, then write how it worked or didn’t work for him. Tim has been an excellent resource for free content to better understand what results can be earned through different lifts and methods. One example of his free content is his podcast. If you have time, be sure to check out The Tim Ferriss Show. His books are also an excellent source of info well worth the cost.

There is tremendous opportunity for athletes to implement these exercises into their workouts before it is a norm. I would also strongly suggest that they work with a professional that knows the correct way to perform these lifts.

 

Constant Reminder

Rain nearly cancelled yesterdays game for a local high school team I coach. The field had several spots of standing water from the night before but I chose to leave my job early thinking we had a chance to play. After two hours of work, by myself, the field was ready for our game. The kids started to arrive and the pregame started.

Shortly, it was the 3rd inning and our team had struck out 6 times and we were losing 1 to 0. The other teams pitcher went on to throw a no hitter and win 1 to 0. On top of that, their one run was unearned.

Baseball and sports in general, can get you so worked up. The players, coaches, and parents put in immense work to be able to participate in this game. Sometimes the game doesn’t go our way but I am starting to remind myself how lucky I am to be part of baseball. Baseball and coaching is something I love to do and I never thought that I would be more fulfilled with what I am doing.

I was an above average player and I worked hard to be as good as I was. It was rewarding to me to achieve some of the things I achieved. But the most rewarding thing is being able to pass my experience on to younger players.

Often I think about how lucky I am that these kids, their parents, my coworkers, my family, and my fiance allow me to take part. For me this is the best reminder to help bounce back from a bad practice or game. As a coach, its not about you, its about serving the game of baseball and its players.

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