Control the Controllable
There are many things in baseball you as a player cannot control. You can’t control the umpire (I wish). You can’t control what happens after the ball is hit. You can’t control what the defense is going to do. However, there are things you can control that will help you become a better baseball player. Towards the end of my career I figured out that there is no point in wasting my time on things I can’t control. I started focusing my attention on things I could control and I became a better baseball player because of it. The 3 things that I focused on everyday that I could control were: work ethic, attitude, and confidence.
Work ethic- Remember that the game of baseball owes you nothing and you owe it everything. Everyday you put on a jersey is a privilege and you owe it to your coaches, teammates, and most of all yourself to work as hard as you can each and everyday. You never want to come home at the end of the day thinking, “what if.” What if I would have worked harder? What if I would have ran that ball out? What if I would have pushed myself in the weight room? If you can come home at the end of the night and ask yourself, “did I work as hard as I could today?” and answer that yes, that’s all you can ask of yourself. Trust me, you will sleep better at night knowing you gave it your all that day.
Attitude- Attitude is defined as: a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. Each and everyday you need show up with a positive attitude and ready to learn. Through the highs and through the lows of your baseball career, have a positive attitude. It is especially difficult when you are struggling to have a positive attitude. But remember, baseball is a game of failure, where a hitter who gets out 7 out of 10 times is considered successful. It is easy to have a negative attitude but it is just as easy to have a positive attitude. If you have a positive attitude and believe that things are going to get better you might surprise yourself and actually do it!!
Confidence- The more years I played baseball the more I realized that confidence is one of the most important things in baseball. If you aren’t confident in yourself and your abilities than you have already lost in my mind. I would take a player with a ton of confidence and not a whole lot of playing ability over a player with a ton of ability but zero confidence any day of the week. Be confident in yourself through the highs and the lows. f you have a bad day don’t hang your head. Keep your head up and chest out and be confident that you are going to succeed the next time out. If you are confident enough you might trick yourself into succeeding!
What I started noticing is that when I focused my attention on these three things I became a better baseball player. It made it things simple for me and simple is always better. There is no sense to waste time on things that are out of your control. But rather control the things that you CAN control! Work hard, have a positive attitude, and be confident in yourself! It made me a better baseball player and who knows it might help you become a better baseball player too!
-Jason Van Skike