She Used To Be A Great Pitcher….

Parents frequently bring me a new student and tell stories of how she used to strike out everyone. Now, she seems to have lost it. Admittedly, sometimes they lose their effectiveness, but most of the time it is because everyone else simply caught up with her.
If you think you are on the right track because you are successful before the age of 13, you need to understand that success at an early age is a very, very poor indicator. Only about 10-percent of the kids who are strong pitchers at age 10 will be among the elite at age 18.

A few years ago I watched a kid pitch and thought she would be amazing. She was far above the other kids her age. A couple of years later I watched her again. She was pitching exactly the same way, but now in a higher age group, trying to rely on her talent to keep her on top. She was only average because she was still doing things in the same old way, hoping to get better because she was older. Assuming that you will get better just because you get older is why so many kids never reach the promise they show in earlier years.

A lot of other kids are gaining on you. They have a very interesting advantage. They tasted defeat, frequently, when they were younger. It was nasty. They use that as motivation to change the outcome. They may be involved in advanced strength training, they are getting bigger, they are taking advantage of increased body awareness so they can better understand athletic movements, and this helps them to make changes to their motion that will propel them higher. They are seeking advantages that come with better coaching. They study the game closely in order to learn ways to be more effective.

If you are not steadily progressing with age, it is time to ask tough questions. You can’t sit there hoping the magic will return. It takes planning, practicing with a purpose, a clear understanding of where you want to go, uncompromising work ethic, and a timeline to keep you on track. A kid recently asked me why she should consider getting into our new strength assessment and training program and I responded, “Because the kids around you are doing it”. That is the same reason you should constantly search for the best instruction in every part of your game.

Success doesn’t just happen. Real competitors do not like losing. They make specific changes to make sure it does not happen again. They are hoping you will take your eyes off the prize. They want you to continue to do things in the way you have always done them. This offers an easy passing lane for those who don’t like the view from behind.