Ballplayers - don't waste your time. Do this.

Uncategorized Dec 31, 2019

I’m 100% certain my “Baseball Career” could have gone one of two directions -

And the path that I chose that would lead me eventually to a 15yr professional career came one night when I was a sophomore in high school.

Perhaps the biggest misconception I find with most Ballplayer’s understanding of the Mental Game -

Is that the importance of strengthening their Mindset is not solely to feel more confident in big situations, 

Or to stay “mentally tough” during the challenges and adversities that will inevitably come during their journey -

But the missing piece that I’d like to see more player’s doing - is getting intentional with their thoughts and channeling their focus during their practices and strength/conditioning workouts.

Because -

The quality of a Ballplayer’s work ethic - will become the quality of their game results.

I’ll write that again so you know it’s important…

The quality of a Ballplayer’s work ethic - will become the quality of their game results.

As a Mental Hitting Coach and Advanced Mindset Trainer to Athletes - 

I base very little of my step by step Mental Performance Systems and Models on “what I did” during my career -

I prefer to take the advanced trainings I’ve gone through and combine them based on the steps that other successful Athletes do to perform their best.

Yet, with that being said (and not to toot my own horn) -

 Here’s what I began doing at age 15 that changed the course of my Baseball career.

I grew up a big kid in a very small town -

And since my earliest memories, I recall wanting to grow up to be a Major League Baseball player. 

(just like another million other kids)

I loved playing ball, I loved to practice, and I loved to practice even more on my own. 

(I must have spent 5,000 hours throwing a tennis ball off the garage or hitting Wiffle balls off a tee in our small backyard alone)

Because - I was told that hard work and lots of practice would make me great - yet - there I was a big kid with average skills and talent in a very small town.

By the time I was 14 - I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe my dream wasn’t meant to be. 

I looked around my local county and saw that I didn’t even stand out in the area.

If that was the case, I must really be nothing compared to the talent that exists in some of the hotbeds of SoCal, AZ, TX, and Florida - let alone the other countries that produce top professional players.

But it all changed one night for me.

After getting my butt-kicked in a game as a sophomore in high school -

I wrote down that by the time I was 25 I WOULD BE a Major Leaguer.

Now, a lot can be said about the power of goal-setting (and how it activates powerful and deep unconscious systems in our brains) -

But what it did for me that night was led me to ask a new question - how could I possibly make this happen?

And the answer that I received - take charge of your Mindset and get deliberate with your actions.

I’ll write that again so you know it’s important…

Take charge of your Mindset and get deliberate with your actions.

It came to me to create new training habits, and amazingly I was ok with starting slow.

Which was perfect - because I WAS SLOW.

I had been going to the high school track for a while, running 60yard sprints, again and again, each time pushing myself and trying harder and harder to be faster (and it wasn’t decreasing my times).

So I began to focus on relaxing myself.

I’d breathe slowly, deeply, for a minute or two. I’d close my eyes. I’d visualize myself running, my strides getting longer and longer, my feet turning over faster and faster -

And then I’d run.

It was a process that I’d do over and over again before each sprint.

Next, I began to take it into the weight room. Instead of pushing and “doing something till I got tired” -

I began to relax deeply before each set with my breath - I’d see myself in my mind’s eye doing all the reps easily and effortlessly (of weight far heavier than what I was about to do btw).

My strength began to shoot up.

Then, I took this approach to my individual practice - breathing, relaxing deeply, visualizing a better throw or swing, before I actually did it.

It was a slow process at first - but once I began to create the habit it was a couple of steps that I could do in a matter of seconds…

I began to see unbelievable results - 

My sprint times were rapidly lowering, my strength was significantly increasing - and the precision and refinement of my swing and throwing mechanics were developing faster, too.

As I improved my ability and the speed which I could center myself, relax deeply, and focus my intention on doing what I was about to do better than I’ve ever done it before - 

I was able to start doing the steps in team practices and workouts too without anyone even noticing.

My progress continued to pick up speed over the months - I became faster, stronger and my mechanics began to utilize that power.

The dedication to the steps - the practice and art of channeling my thoughts, began to show up in the game as well.

I found myself with the heightened ability on the field to clear negative thoughts quickly and to focus in on with crystal clear clarity what I was about to do successfully on the next pitch.

My game performances, and my consistency - skyrocketed.

Month after month of focusing on deliberate training - quickly rolled over into years of it.

I went from a tall 15-year-old who was a “good player” in a small town with zero interest from colleges or pro scouts -

To three and a half years later being offered a scholarship from the #1 ranked Collegiate Baseball Program and a professional contract with the Texas Rangers (on the same day).

And I’ll also mention that I used the same step by step process to begin switch-hitting (I only hit right-handed as an amateur) when I showed up in Pro Ball (again, toot toot).

To put my message of this week’s blog into a single sentence - there’s a difference between hard work and a deliberate work ethic.

I’ll write that again so you understand it's important...

There’s a difference between hard work and a deliberate work ethic.

Too many Ballplayers with passion and great intentions are simply wasting their time and energy -

They are dedicated with lots of swings in the cages, bullpens, strength/agility workouts - 

But too often they’re going through the motions and are limiting their progress and development.

Slow things down. Breathe and relax deeply. See clearly in your mind how you want to perform the action.

Then do it. 

And then repeat the process again.

I teach Mindset now to Athletes not solely because it’s my passion and I believe I have a relatable voice for them -

But because it literally changed the course of my career.

My career could have gone one of two ways - 

I could have kept doing what I was doing, and perhaps I would have played some at the local Junior College and found a tiny 4-year College to transfer to (would have been very nice) -

But fortunately, it came to me to take charge of my mindset and train deliberately -

And I was able to unleash my full potential on a path that found me enjoying a 15-year Professional career including 4 seasons at the Major League level.

I KNOW that was the difference that mindset and deliberate training did for me - what’s the difference that it can make for you?

Until next time,

Do the work (& do it deliberately), trust the process, and stay hungry...

LIKE A BEAST!

- Jason Botts

 

Don't miss out to learn more about the Mental Game as a Player, Parent or Coach - have the PLAY LIKE A BEAST Blog (& free training) sent to you each week. To subscribe - click here.

 

 Jason is a highly trained Peak Performance Strategist and Life Mentor to Athletes. Jason's expertise in Mental Skills, Neuroscience, and NLP modeling strategies uniquely combined with his relatability as a former Major League Baseball Player have helped Ballplayers and Athletes of all ages to improve their skills and increase their Performance faster - so they can achieve their biggest goals.

Learn more about Jason's new 8-week LIVE Video Mental Skills Training starting MARCH 8th - As well as his audio Visualization & Mindset training program PLAY LIKE A BEAST 2.0.

 

 

 

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