Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hitting Excellence: Winners and Learners

                                                              (Photo credit:

If you want to be a champion, you cannot lose.

Read that again. If you want to be a champion, you cannot lose.

There should be no such thing as "winners and losers." There should be "winners and learners."

Those who are defeated are quitters. Those who quit are defeated. Champions lose, learn, make quick adjustments and prepare again. This theory holds water not only in competition, but also in hitting.

So many hitters turn one at bat into four. One inopportune result, not necessarily a bad at bat, can lead to three more just the same. A bad game turns to four and there you have it...the dreaded slump.

Relentlessness and mental toughness are attitudes. Attitudes are chosen.

Feelings are not facts. They are not tangible, evident problems. If you are frustrated, that frustration is most likely born out of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear you did not prepare hard enough, etc. "Will I be as good as I hope to be? Will I have another good season? Maybe I should have taken more focused swings in the cage."

These are normal thoughts. Likely, they are common for many hitters. Average hitters.

Excellent hitters have a written or clear mental plan of how they want to prepare. They trust their preparation. They bust their tail so hard that they feel they have left others behind. Next, an excellent hitter has success and failure, just like the average hitter. But the excellent hitter has confidence in his preparation to go back to, like a fat storage in winter, that provides through tough times. Just a few ounces of extra confidence can spark a quality at bat to turn things around.

If confidence in preparation did not turn things around, an excellent hitter notes what he has been doing well, doing poorly, and how pitchers have been pitching him. He maintains perspective, an integral part of seeing in darkness. An excellent hitter ensures he is in control of himself; he breathes deeply and has aggressive and positive self-talk. He then makes sound adjustments and attacks the game with new information. He is a learner.

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