July 24, 2019
The Little Things are Opportunities to do Big Things
How little things can add up to big things. How routines define preparation, planning, training, and ultimately success.
In baseball success can be traced back to the most minuscule details of everyday practice, of an off season workout, of a pre-game. Sometimes in the shuffle it can be easy to get lost. It's tough to understand that the little things you do everyday affect your willingness to push yourself, your determination, your courage to win, your discipline in important situations, and your leadership when others don't see this. As a ball player you go to the baseball field everyday to get better. What does that mean? Is that simply picking up a glove and practicing hard? Listening intently to all of your coaches for all of practice? Thinking differently about how to succeed at the plate? Yes these are all extremely important facets to improving your physical game, however the most physically prepared athletes can still fall short, when the pressure is on.
Let's dive into the other things that happen at practice and why they are important:
Packing your Baseball Bag:
- The 7 P's. Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. This is the first thing to make sure you win the day. Make sure you have everything you need for practice and an extra. Make sure you have tape, make sure you have extra lace, make sure you have a glove tool or pliers, etc.. Be prepared with the right gear for whatever problem you encounter and you will overcome it.
Your Arrival Time:
- Set the tone right. Show up to practice at a minimum of 15 minutes early. This allows you to get your cleats on and get your gear out and ready to go. You should be finished with your warm up poles and beginning stretching as practice begins with your team. Leaders on that team should hold those accountable who are not there on time. If you can't show up to practice on time, you won't show up to a game on time which hurts everyone.
Setting up the Field:
- Everybody should have a job to do when they get the field. Leaders or the Coaches should assign those jobs and everyone should get there job done right. This creates resiliency, routine, and discipline. When it's your job to bunt someone over in the 9th you'll know why its important to do your job and do it well every time. These are soft skills that carry over into the game and into life.
- The Team should have one extensive stretching routine that encompasses both dynamic and static stretching to get you prepared for the day. About 3 Leaders should run the stretches. Everyone should know how to do every stretch effectively to get the most out of their bodies on the field. Not taking this seriously can lead to injury, which hurts you individually and your team.
- This is an Individual Routine. Knowing your quantity and distance you will throw to get loose is key based on what you have done that week, and how you feel. Listen to your body. However the beginning parts of your throwing routine should be the same as everyone by position. Example would be: (Wrist flips, Elbow flips, One Knee, Chest square, Power position, long toss). Working footwork and glove-work on the receiving end is extremely important as well. This establishes discipline and effective mechanics for a game that is primarily throw and catch.
- Listen to everything the coaches say. Be a sponge out there. You never know when a piece of information will yield affective. Be ready to move onto the next drill or portion of practice asap. The quicker and more effective you get through each segment the more you can do as a team each day.
Cleaning the Field:
- Similar to field prep, everyone has a job, and leaders should ensure that everything is done correctly, everyday. This demonstrates teamwork and keeps your field looking great which ultimately helps you come game time!
Post Game Talk:
- Listen to your coaches with eye contact and hear everything they have to say about the day. Then ask yourselves did you individually win the day? Did you as a team with the day? If not, there probably were little things that you cut corners on that ultimately led you to cut corners on drills or trainings which led to you losing that day.
Everyday you individually have the opportunity to do all the little things correctly and effectively to ensure you are building up your soft skills and your mental skills which affect how you train, and how you develop as a ball player. To do great things individually you must be able to ask yourself if you won the day and with honesty say that you did because you didn't cut corners, and you gave 110% that day. To do great things as a team, you need a couple leaders to hold everyone accountable to the "Win the Day" concept. When everyone believes in not cutting corners, and being extraordinary at doing the little things, they eventually add up to Big Things and Success.