Last PLAB Blog I wrote why a player should have NO PLAN B (read that blog here).
This week - I wanted to share the most important quality a ballplayer will need in that pursuit of "PLAN A."
And it’s not incredible bat speed, throwing velocity, foot speed, or perfect mechanics -
Skill and Talent are needed - but the deciding factor will be PERSEVERANCE.
Because nobody’s journey to their dreams will be an easy one.
There will be setbacks, obstacles, and challenges that arise - for EVERYBODY.
And in the game of Baseball/Softball - no amount of talent or skill - will be enough on their own.
Perseverance, Grit, Resiliency, Mental Toughness - whichever you prefer to call it - will be an absolute MUST to continue to move forward through the tough times.
And of all the Mental Strategies or Mindset Techniques, I’ve learned over the years to help build perseverance in Ballplayers -
NONE are more effective than having a Ballplayer know the exact destination they desire to reach.
Having a clear Goal or Outcome - gives the brain direction, motivation, and the power to find a way to make it happen.
Detailed Goals create the energy that propels us back up on our feet after even the hardest of days (or weeks, months, even seasons).
With the majority of Summer Seasons coming to an end this week - I believe this next month is the perfect time for ballplayers to rest, recover, enjoy some extra family time -
BUT - also to get crystal clear with what they want to achieve over the next calendar year.
With that - I wanted to share 2 of the Most Important Training Steps that I use with the Athletes that I coach to Set & Achieve their Biggest Goals -
1. WRITE THEM DOWN & BE SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE - First - if your goals are just playing around in your head - I consider them to be mere fantasies. So if needed, begin by turning them from fantasies into actual goals by writing them down!
Second - nearly all Young Ballplayers I find are way too general and vague with their Goals (or the outcomes they want going into a specific game). Being unclear with what they want - not only limits their ability to create peak performance results, but also the speed in which they develop their physical skills, talent, and even confidence and mental strength.
So - when writing goals down on paper be as detailed as possible and INCLUDE the senses of what you’ll see, hear, and feel when it's achieved -
This is important because the brain loves sensory details and the more provided - the more power and focus the brain (consciously AND unconsciously) will have to find the opportunities to make them happen.
Notice for yourself with these two examples -
“I want to play ball in College.”
(A vague statement I'm given the majority of the time)
Now read -
“I want to be a successful starting pitcher for a winning Collegiate program by the age of 20. I see myself strong and powerful in my body when I toe the rubber. I see my face relaxed as the PA announces my name, and can see my outstanding mechanics as I deliver strike after strike. I hear the buzz in the stands as I dig my cleats into the dirt, and can feel the extraordinary confidence, focus and determination I exude to compete and win each pitch. As I walk off the field I look up and see the victory on the scoreboard and can hear the crowd cheering as I high-five my teammates."
Ok - I can go on forever with the details - it's what I do.
(And trust me - a ballplayer should write out a few more paragraphs like that - I mean c'mon - don't forget about the ice-cold lemon-lime Gatorade you'll be drinking between innings!)
But - you get the point.
Which Goal-Statement is more motivating?
Which gives more direction on what needs to be improved to make it a reality?
The brain is a goal hunting machine - and when you describe exactly what you want AND tie in the emotions of why it's so important - You’ll be blown away by how your brain can DISCOVER THE COURSE to get you there.
Which leads me to the next important step -
2. FOCUS ON BEING THE PLAYER/PERSON, FIRST - Ok, I may have jumped ahead in describing a detailed goal. You may have noticed how I referenced more than the goal itself but began describing the qualities of the player, and the outcomes they produced.
I believe it's vital to do so - because the more descriptive we are with what that goal achieved will look, sound, feel, even smell or taste like -
The more awareness we'll gain of WHO we need to BECOME to achieve it.
Because make no mistake - if a player wants to one day be a successful collegiate pitcher -
They’re going to need to develop the confidence, focus, skills, and perseverance, FIRST - before they ever get the results that lead to that opportunity.
And when it comes to becoming the player - my advice - is to begin “acting like it” now.
If a player is 13 and is inspired to be an Outstanding 20yr old College Pitcher -
Then they need to imagine and "act as if" they are that level of player now -
To walk like one, talk like one, think like one, train like one, and even breathe like one (extremely powerful brain command - try it out) -
And in the "acting as if" - they'll begin to develop and condition themselves to have the mindset, beliefs, and character that will be NEEDED TO CREATE the skills and performances that will lead them to become an Outstanding College Pitcher.
And in my experience - for highly driven Ballplayers the month of August is about getting as clear and specific on as many details as possible.
Give your body a break - enjoy the other beautiful aspects to life outside the white lines -
But set time aside and get clear on the Goals over this next year (and future years) that you desire.
The quality of the details of your Goals - will be the quality of the foundation that you build your skills, athleticism, confidence, perseverance, and performance over this next year to achieve them.
Until Next Time,
Aim High, Swing Hard, and LIVE THE DREAM!
- Jason Botts
And for those that are interested in receiving advanced instruction and guidance with your Goal-Setting and Achieving this next year - I invite you to join the next 6-week round of the Elite BEASTS Group - starting August 6th - where I’ll be sharing more strategies around Goal-Setting, powerful Visualization techniques, and common pitfalls to avoid in their pursuit.
Many may skip this round due to “no games being played” - BUT in my experience - this is the most important ELIB Training of the year.
Any questions feel free to reach out at [email protected]
Jason is an Advanced Mindset Trainer, Performance Strategist, and former Major League Baseball Player. When not playing catch or shooting hoops with his own two sons - Jason trains, mentors and coaches Athletes of ALL ages to Increase their Performance, Achieve their Goals and 'Live the Dream.' Go to the Elite BEASTS page - to learn more about the next 6-Week Live Video Group Coaching Program (this round focused on teaching Advanced Goal-Setting and Achieving).