Building a True Champion

Recently I was asked to speak to a parent/coaches clinic about “Developing a High-Performance Pitcher”. I printed a list of our students who currently have D1 scholarships or are currently pitching on the D1 level.

That list was 3 full pages, single spaced. I really had no idea. We don’t think much about it. I went back over the list to see what these kids had in common. We can all learn from that study.

First, let me say that we have ten times as many kids who could pitch on the D1 level, but just need a little adjustment. It is not usually physical. I often tell the story of a student who wanted to increase her speed by 6 miles per hour. She was serious, I was serious, and in just two days she did it, perhaps throwing faster than anyone her age has ever achieved. Two weeks later, she was almost down to her original speed. Why? I had changed her movements, but she had not changed her self-concept…yet.

Right now we are training at least 20 pitchers who have the potential to among the best. Which one/ones will make it? Good question. We tell them several things. We can suggest, push, develop, prod, and beg you to be great. We cannot:

-Determine your goals for you.

-Overcome a lack of self-discipline.

-Explain the kind support you need to your patents, support which is unique to you and depends on the communication you have together.

-Make sure that you don’t play so much that your mind or your body pay the price.

-Pick the kind of travel ball coaches who will develop you properly.

-Make sure that you eat and rest well.

-Stop you from making poor choices in strength training.

-Force you to change your self-concept.

-Limit your innings to a reasonable amount.

-Keep you from putting too much pressure on yourself.

When you partner with us, we will go out of our way to teach, suggest, collaborate, work with you parents where needed, help you with contacts, and share a thousand lessons learned from a couple hundred kids who pitched D1. We can also tell you about a lot of kids who had the ability but got in their own way, and we can explain ways to avoid those pitfalls.

For the most part, success isn’t about talent, getting a big break, or some sudden occurrence. We find that it is usually one small area that is out of balance. Spending a little time assessing and correcting those areas not only decreases the amount of frustration but dramatically increases the results. Too many people look outside when the answer is often within your control.

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