Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hitting Emotion: What is Your EQ?

(photo credit:

Baseball is a sport whose athletes thrive on emotion. Those who control their emotion win, those who let it control them, lose.

A hitter’s IQ is important, but not as important as his EQ: emotional quotient. This is the mental game.

Acquiring a strong EQ means maturing as a person, as a leader. Hitters that complain, pout or show negative body language are focused on recent and past failure, and are scared that the future will hold more of the same. Hitters that throw equipment or shove their helmet into the rack might be worried that they aren’t good enough or cannot make an adjustment.

Know this: the moment that a human definitely commits one’s self to a growth mindset, everything changes.

When that commitment comes, three concepts will be applied.

It takes patience to trust the process. It takes serious passion to work hard enough to trust that process will pay off. If you don’t have patience, passion AND a work ethic, you will likely be a roller coaster ride of success.

So, how high is your EQ?

Nothing is more common than unfulfilled talent. It takes a high EQ to fulfill your talent. So many hitters have average ability, and top notch EQ, and they get the job done at a high level. They are always on base and execute big swings. So why does talent fail? Talent fails when it listens to fear, doesn’t work hard enough, doesn’t trust the process, and doesn’t hit with passion. We need all three.

Lots of hitters try to hit well. They show up. They hit a lot. They work on their swings. The best prepare their minds to be relentless, aggressive and confident while they prepare their bodies. When the game challenges them, their minds are ready, and they are in control of their bodies to put their best swing on the ball.  

The difference between preparing well, and preparing well enough to win, is small. When cooked to 211 degrees, water is simply very hot. At 212 degrees, that hot water produces steam that can power a locomotive. One degree is the difference.

Perhaps the greatest example of patience and process can be found with the giant timber bamboo. It must be watered daily and requires lots of water to grow. In the first three years, a planted giant timber bamboo seed does not grow one inch. Then, in the third year, it will grow 90 feet in 60 days. One must be passionate, process oriented and patient to grow giant timber bamboo.

You see, it’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it that matters. Tee work, drill work, mirror work, video work, machine work, live throwing, soft toss, front toss. If we do not prepare the mind during each of these activities, we miss out on our extra one degree.