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 playing 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.

First Base

I ‘ve always been told the best way to get where you want to be is to get started. There is no reason to wait till you feel ready or a special moment happen. There will always be a different obstacle holding you back from getting started.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris has inspired me to start writing on a regular basis. Tim talks about getting a real life MBA by putting yourself in real life situations, versus paying a large some to learn about how other people made mistakes. In the safe environment of the education system, you may learn from others mistakes. But you have the potential to learn a lot more by trying things in the real world.

I am not a good writer and I don’t claim to be. But I have always wished to become a good writer. My goal is to stick to writing a weekly blog on one of the three things I enjoy spending my time doing: Baseball, Business, and Bodybuilding. If you feel the urge to follow me or comment on my writing on how I can improve, I would greatly appreciate it and would love to follow you back.

 

 

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