It’s December and we are closing in on a new year! Most people are starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions…what do they want to change for 2016? How do they want to look? How do they want to feel? Where do they want to go?
And if you or your child is a serious ball player who is working hard to be the best you/player you can be you should be asking yourself…What did I do well in 2015? What needs improvement? In what ways did I improve in 2015? Did I go backward at all? And most importantly you should be asking yourself what am I going to do during this off-season to make 2016 a great season?
All great players will tell you that what you do in the months of January-March will set the stage for your performance during the months of April-October.
Sit down before January 1st and make a decision to really commit to a set of goals. Then come up with a game plan that maps out how you are going to accomplish these goals. Make sure these goals are attainable & measurable, but also understand that some "measurable numbers," such as ERA, W-L record, & batting average, can be skewed. It is also important to keep measurable goals that focus on the things you CAN control, such as: hard contact plate appearances, strike to ball ratio, throwing velocity, strikeouts to walk & strikeouts to innings pitched ratios (for pitchers). Since there are a lot of variables that go into numbers such as, batting average, it's important that you keep track of your "hard contacts" too. For instance, if you crush a ball to left center field & the left fielder makes an amazing diving catch. The diving catch by the left fielder is totally out of your control, but hitting the ball hard is in your control.
Why is that important? At times players can get discouraged when they look in the box score & see "0 for 3." However, maybe he's actually "2 for 3" in the "hard contact" column. Knowing that he was "2 for 3" will give more accurate feedback that he is doing the right things at the plate & shouldn't change what he's doing. If that same player only focuses on the "0 for 3" he may make unnecessary changes, only to take himself further from the direction he wants to go.
Now let’s talk about how to accomplishing these goals? In short, here's how: practice the skills of the game the right way as often as possible (without hurting yourself). The players that train at our player development academy are always told, "If you train with us you will get better, BUT if you train with us & go home to work on it, you're going to get A LOT better." The players who have done this have made the biggest improvements in their games.
If you’re serious, COMMIT! Write down your goals, because a goal not written down is really just a wish. ASK for help from a parent, mentor or coach. KNOW that your success depends on your commitment, your desire and your willingness to do the work!
Share with us how you or your child has improved this past season in the comments below.
Happy Holidays & Best Wishes to Everyone in 2016!