November 6, 2020

“Do or Do not, there is NO try!”  Yoda

Abe Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I would take four of the hours to sharpen my ax!”  What a delightful way to express the importance of preparation; in the Army the motto was P3=P3!!!  No matter how you phrase it, preparation is one of the most important keys to success…in sports as in life!!

A fairly simple equation for success in any venture is:  Preparation + Hard Work = Success.  “Hope for the best, but prepare for the future” is a credo well taken.  Many have espoused the “secret” of success and charged a fee for the revelation; there is NO “secret” as it will get down to that simple formula.  There are other variables as to the degree of success (opportunity, good fortune, etal), but experience proves it valid.  It takes 3500 repetitions or more in order to learn a skill set and 10,000 hours to become great at something.  These reps and hours are the preparation and hard work necessary for success.  Many a failure and lack of reaching goals is due to lack of preparation; doing the goal-setting, primary repetition/practice, and other things to prepare for the venture.

Youngsters have the very best opportunities.  Whether it be in the class room, social scene, or on the athletic field, youth have the toughness, intelligence, time, and will to prepare for success.  Taking the time to prepare with passion and goals will teach you to work hard for what you wish to accomplish.  Russell Wilson(Seahawk QB) believes that “the separation is in the preparation” and Muhammed Ali’s mantra was “the fight is not won in the ring, but at 4 am each morning running behind a truck”  You win with preparation!

For young athletes, the off-season is most important and affords a time to prepare for the coming season.  This does not mean that you limit yourself to one sport, but that you maintain the overall mind set of the sport you going to play.  Baseball players should set goals(daily, monthly, etc) for the coming season with a realistic work regimen/routine to accomplish these goals.  The best plan is to do a “little something” each day in order to refine a skill set or fulfill a goal/objective.  You can find the time as it does not take much to work on conditioning, strength, skill sets, or reviewing vision or mental drills.  Essentially, if you maintain good physical shape, keep your arm “warm” and “eyes on the ball”, you will prepare properly for the coming season.

Preparation for baseball/softball in the off-season should include:

  1. Have an EYE EXAM!!!  Two every year!!!!!
  2. Proper nutrition:  Eat “5 colors” at each and every meal(foods, not condiments or additives).  Lots of protein, fruit, and veggies.  Limit soda pop, sugar items, “fast foods”, and eliminate seeds and energy drinks.
  3. Sleep 8 or so hours each and every night.  HYDRATE.
  4. Take 5 or so minutes(twice a day) and stretch, jump rope, do pull ups, push ups, sit ups, etc.
  5. RUN! RUN! RUN!  Mix short dashes with longer runs.  Running the foul poles on a regulation diamond.
  6. Throw:  Keep the arm “warm” by throwing 3-5 times per week for 10-15 minutes.  Do lunges and throw long toss 2-3 times.
  7. Hit:  Work on vision drills, use mirror drills and do tee work to keep your stroke.  Focus on “short and quick” to the ball.  20-25 swing per day.
  8. Do strength drills: rollups, hands in rice, etc: see #3.
  9. Learn the rules of the game and research your position(s).  Know the game.
  10. Prepare and take care of all of your equipment: oil glove, need new bat?, keep you gear bag up to date, etc.

Water boils at 212 degrees and at 211 degrees it does not…be the one that goes the extra degree with proper preparation.  Remember, success is simply a matter of luck, just ask any failure!

Get to work now!! Sit down, write it down, and get down to work!  Procrastination and rationalization are barriers to overcome.  Your mind set should be “I can do it” and “I will make the effort” to prepare.  Many do not live their dream(s) because inside we tend to believe that it is people, things, situations outside of our control that are to blame; i.e. not tall enough, do not have the money, dad is not the coach, race, not smart enough, poor social standing, too young, etc.  NOT SO…that is “garbage in, garbage out”(GIGO)..just another lie to yourself.  Preparation will lead to success in anything you try to accomplish!!


How prepared was Ted Williams before every game?  He would call the park to see which way the wind was blowing(out or in), who was pitching for the other team, and who was the plate umpire for the game!  He Dared to’d that work?