1. “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
The coach who impacted me more than any other, who I worked with in tenth and eleventh grade said this. I heard him say this a million times. Sick of getting the same old results? Look in the mirror and challenge yourself to change – and then continue to challenge yourself day in day out. It’s rare, but as the legend Louie Simmons says, “normal people only get normal results.”
2. How you do one thing is most likely how you do another.
I heard this same coach say this phrase a million times as well. You may not see it, but hitting snooze on the alarm twice rather than getting up and making sure you crush a breakfast before heading off to school is the exact same reason you won’t do your post-throwing recovery to an excellent standard. I’m going to write it again, “normal people only get normal results.”
The Rustlers Baseball Academy. I don’t know who I would be if not for these two years in High School. Three of my absolute best friends in the world to this day I met on this team.
3. Keep a journal.
I have this same man to thank for the fact that I have training journals all the way back to when I was fifteen, nearly fifteen years worth now. In the beginning they were sloppy. It’s not a coincidence that at the same time as I made a 10 mile per hour jump in velocity – halfway through tenth grade, the journals suddenly became meticulously kept. I now have the ability to go back to any point in my life and spend some time reflecting. Most of the entries are workouts but there’s goals and thoughts about what was going on in my life, as well as quotes I may have come across that resonated with me.
4. Leave it all on the line.
It was the first week of the fall my sophomore year at junior college. It was hot and humid in Kansas in August. Our standard conditioning after practice was the dreaded 6 in 9 (6 triangles – home plate to foul pole across to foul pole back to home plate, in 9 minutes). On the last stretch of the last triangle a bunch of us sprinted hard and our times were between 9:15 and 9:30, only a few guys ahead of us had managed to finish under 9. I remember thinking our coach would be happy with the last second effort. Instead he was absolutely furious and we got tore into, to put it mildly. And then we ran again. His point was that if you were going to miss the time he would have rather we be completely out of gas with a triangle left to go. If we had energy to sprint the last leg, we obviously had energy to have shaved off 15 to 30 seconds of our time.
5. It only costs a dime more to go first class.
This lesson came from a different college coach. This basically means don’t go through the motions. If you’re throwing, throw. Fully focus and get better each rep. You’re already doing it, it doesn’t take that much more effort to do it exceptionally well.
I could probably compile hundreds of lessons from the four or five coaches that truly impacted me when I was younger, but I’ll stop at these five for now. I hope you’re able to gain a bit of wisdom from these lessons like I did.