The mind is vast. It’s the master at wandering. It’s capable of 40 visual images and thoughts per second. That’s 2,400 visual images and thoughts per minute and over 3,000,000 in a 24-hour day. The ability to be present is one of the greatest challenges player faces. When a player struggles, their mind often wanders to the past (thinking about what happened), or to the future (what they fear might happen). Elite players have a short term memory! How short is your memory and how quick is your bounce back when you’re not hitting well, after making a mistake, after something goes wrong or when you don’t get your way. Success takes place in 1-time zone “The Present!” The 6th Tool!
Proactive: The mind is a muscle too, therefore we need to practice being present. Challenge yourself this week and see if you can watch 2- inning of MLB baseball without losing focus.
Note: The Do / The Did / The Don’t / GYMR
To develop arm speed, foot speed and bat speed athletes must train fast. Former DI Coach Gabe Ribas (now with the LA Dodgers) talks about Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt and how he runs fast to develop his foot speed. The “Train Fast” concept should be applied to development of each of the 5 tools. With balanced training at different speeds, athletes can take their tools to another level. Training fast means training at max effort, while being relaxed and maintaining balance and posture.
Proactive: Each day you practice this week, spend some time training fast (throw fast / Run fast / Swing fast?) Better Everyday!
Note: Note the extended amount of time travel-ball players sit, stand, walk and jog over a weekend of tournament play / Intermediate muscle fibers will be swayed / Challenging tools develops tools / There is no travel ball in the DR
I first learned of playing catch with a softball in the Dominican Republic about 10 years ago. It was definitely and eye opening concept which I had never scene before. What I learned was a lot of the baseball players and academies in the DR threw softballs in catch play to develop arm strength. I brought the idea back to the US and when I first started teaching it I was a bit hesitant and people thought I was crazy. Over the last few years we have thrown softballs in our arm strengthening program. The results have been amazing, experiencing countless amount of players jump 5 to 10 mph within a 3-month time period. We start each day of catch-play with a softball and finish with a baseball. On extended long-toss days we throw softballs all the way through our max effort phase of long toss. The thrower then transitions to a baseball on the pull-down phase and through the end of catch-play. On lighter days, our guys start with the softball and about half way through they transition to a baseball.
Proactive: To develop arm strength, be like Dominican baseball players and play catch with a softball daily
Note: Latin Americans have some of the best arms in the MLB (Joel Zumia, Edwin Diaz, Maricio Cabrerea, Adrian Beltre, Alcides Escobar, Javier Baez, Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, Robinson Cano, Miguel Sano, Jose Guillen, Raul Mondesi, Giancarlo Stanton, Bobby Abreu, Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Roberto Clemente, etc…)
Often times high school players make their college decision without asking the right questions, the result is transferring at a later date or an undesirable college experience. Close to 50% the players I’ve worked with over the past 10 years did not finished college where they started and or had a college experience that didn’t meet their expectations. In the video the college coach says that when players are pursuing colleges, to make sure to identify specific criteria that is important to them.
Proactive: This week make a list of criteria that is important to you in your college choice / Also this week work on completing your college list of schools placing them in the Reach, Realistic and Reserve categories in your College Organizational excel file
Note: Criteria to consider when creating your college list of schools; Size of campus, population of school, culture and feel of the college town, weather, distance from home, experience of coaches, team culture, coaching and team philosophies, quality of player development, majors offered, academic load, level of play, Scholarships available, etc…
Dominicans have a special joy for baseball. Win or lose they exude a true appreciation and enthusiasm for the game. I have coached all over the world in over 10 countries, and nowhere is the game more beloved. This video was shot after we loss to this team. Even though we lost the game, it was awesome to experience the Dominicans team spirit for each other and for the game!
Proactive: Be like Dominican Baseball player Vladimir Junior. When Vlad Jr. takes the field he consciously makes it a priority to not put extra pressure on himself and to simply enjoy the game - Sauve!!!
Note: The video shows something very cool, the coach taking his entire team home after the game / Miss matched uniforms is a thing of the past