Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Being a competitor by Bruce Brown

Being a competitor is not dependant on your gender, your sport or your genetics. Being a competitor is a choice; it is a decision, and it becomes a life style.

Competition tests and measures people but it also helps them grow and expand their vision of what is possible. A true competitor elevates the performance of everyone around them and the entire culture of a team. When a team has an example of competitiveness, it allows everyone to work harder and set standards and therefore, reach more challenging goals.

If a person becomes more competitive, they will improve faster than those who don’t compete. Competitors look forward to every challenge and individual duel in games or practice. They don’t accept mediocrity, they push themselves, and they lift others to heights they didn’t believe possible. Competition demands the best that they’ve got. They learn to prepare for the challenges and attack them with a vengeance. Competitors anticipate the great feelings that come with succeeding by having that be their focus, they enjoy the journey as much as the result. Enjoying the journey allows them to be successful more often.

Being competitive comes naturally to some people and they crave every opportunity to put it on the line. Some people are forced into competition when they realize that the other people around them are competing and they are losing ground unless they get into the game.

Sometimes the fear of losing, being denied causes people to become competitive because they see losing as failure. These athletes usually find themselves competing to not lose. They sacrifice the natural joy of competing because their focus is on the final score not being in their favor.

The fearless competitor sees competition as an enjoyable component of life by keeping their focus on the positive aspects. For those who can learn this early in life, it is often just fun. Later in life it helps them do well in things that are more important than athletic competition. Competitors put the same principles to work when dealing with test taking, job interviews, and every life challenge handed to them. They take the lessons they have learned from competing in sport and apply it everywhere it is helpful in their lives. As a student, one of the best places it can be applied is in the classroom. They have a disciplined focus, prepare daily, don’t back away from challenges and ask for help when it is needed, even when it is not their favorite subject.

Just telling yourself that you want to be competitive won’t make it happen. You need to understand the process, mentality and actions of how to compete successfully.

When understood and approached correctly, competition can and should be healthy and beneficial in every aspect of your life. Unless you completely remove yourself from society, everyone competes whether you like it or not. Because it is a natural part of life, learn to do it well.


· Is Passionate
· Has a Strong Will
· Lives in and Loves the Moment
· Is Mentally Tough
· Controls the Controllables
· Is Disciplined, Self Controlled and Poised
· Has Courage
· Is Fearless
· Has Confidence Based on Preparation
· Is Unselfish
· Competes Ethically
· Is Committed
· Never Gives Up – They are Relentless

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Word: Winning

Great quotes about winning:

“We just want to win. That’s the bottom line. I think a lot of times people may become content with one championship or a little bit of success, but we don’t really reflect on what we’ve done in the past. We focus on the present.” – Derek Jeter 2004 and 2005 Gold Glove winner and 2000 World Series MVP

“I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.” – Michael Jordan

“Everyone talks about age, but it’s not about age. It’s about work ethic. Winning never gets old.” – Lisa Leslie WNBA all time leading scorer

“For me, winning isn’t something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowd roars. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream.” – Emmitt Smith NFL all-time career rushing leader

“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” – Steve Prefontaine Held every American T&F record from the 2,000 to the 10,000 meters

“When you win, you want more of it. You can’t win enough.” – Randy Johnson Five-time Cy Young Award winner

Verlander on the importance of working out

Great comments from Justin Verlander about the benefits from working out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do the next right thing right!

Great story on one of the greatest coaches of all time. Coach Meyer is a basketball coach at Northern State University. He is 2nd all time in college basketball wins. Here is a excellent story on what he has gone through in the offseason and how he and his players are working through the beginning of this year. I love the message of "do the next right thing right."


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Power of Self Discipline

by Brian Tracy

Over the years, I have read thousands of books and articles on the subjects of success and achievement. It seems that the reasons for these accomplishments have been discussed and written about for more than two thousand years, in every conceivable way. One quality that most philosophers, teachers and experts agree on is the importance of self-discipline. As Al Tomsik summarized it years ago, "Success is tons of discipline."

Some years ago, I attended a conference in Washington. It was the lunch break and I was eating at a nearby food fair. The area was crowded and I sat down at the last open table by myself, even though it was a table for four.

A few minutes later, an older gentleman and a younger woman who was his assistant came along carrying trays of food, obviously looking for a place to sit.
With plenty of room at my table, I immediately arose and invited the older gentleman to join me. He was hesitant, but I insisted. Finally, thanking me as he sat down, we began to chat over lunch.

It turned out that his name was Kop Kopmeyer. As it happened, I immediately knew who he was. He was a legend in the field of success and achievement. Kop Kopmeyer had written four large books, each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. I had read all four books from cover to cover, more than once.
After we had chatted for awhile, I asked him the question that many people in this situation would ask, "Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?"

He smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied, without hesitating, "The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, 'Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.'"

He went on to say, "There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work."
Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Control what you can control!

by Chris Low From

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A tearful Tim Tebow promised the Florida fans this back on Sept. 27.

Since the loss against Ole Miss, Florida has been on fire.
Ole Miss had just come into the Swamp and shocked the Gators, and Tebow and the rest of his teammates were struggling to find answers.

The Gators' Heisman Trophy winner didn't vow that they would win the rest of their games. He didn't guarantee that they would average 49.5 points along the way. He didn't promise that the Gators would put themselves in a position where they control their own destiny as far as getting to the BCS National Championship Game.

But he did promise that fans would see a different Florida football team the rest of the way.

"What I said was something I could control, and that was that we were going to play with a passion, an enthusiasm and love for the game like this university has never seen before," Tebow said. "I knew I could control beyond a shadow of a doubt my effort, our team's effort and the kind of intensity we play with.

"I said what I said to give our fans confidence and our team confidence that we were going to come out and play with the kind of effort and passion that we're playing with right now."
Call Tebow a prophet, because since that disappointing September day, there hasn't been a better or more complete team in college football.
Tebow after the Ole Miss Loss: “I’m sorry. Extremely sorry,” Tebow said. “We were looking for an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida’s never done here. But I promise you one thing: A lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

5 benefits of Weight Training.

Weight training for baseball is very important to the mental approach to the game. Here are 5 benefits for baseball weight training.
1. Weight training energizes you.
2. Weight training makes you strong. Strength gives you confidence on & off the field.
3. Weight training makes you less prone to nagging injuries.
4. Weight training improves your balance and coordination.
5. Weight training improves your muscular endurance.

.A great effort in the weight room will reap big benefits on the diamond. You can feel healthier and play better, which in turn will improve your skills.


Here is a book that I think every athlete should read! I recommend buying a copy.
MIND GYM by GARY MACKIt is an athletes guide to inner excellence.
Here is the link to check it out and buy it on

3 Nutrition Tips to Help Recover Faster from Workouts

taken from the Complete Pitcher by Steven Ellis

To help your body recover from the stress of your baseball workouts, you should try to consume calories within 30 minutes of the end of your training session. It will help you trigger your body out of a state of breakdown and into a state of recovery.
When I was pitching in the Chicago Cubs organization, my post-workout meal consisted of 20 to 30 grams of protein and 40 to 90 grams of carbohydrates. We were taught to shoot for a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 carbs to protein.

1. Shakes were my favorite because they contain protein that your body can easily digest

2. Chocolate milk is also a great, cheap option because it's got the sugar (carbs) and protein you need at a fraction of the cost of shakes

3. Any meal that balances 4 ounces of protein with a large helping of carbohydrates is good, be creative!

The difference a year can make...

Cliff Lee is a great example of the difference a year can make. Lee recently won the AL Cy Young one year after being in AAA. This is just an example of the tremendous strides that can be made by working hard and not cutting corners. Below are a few good quotes from the article followed by a link.

"I knew pretty early that it was going to be a special year. I really did," Lee said. "But I also knew that I had to keep my mind in the moment, keep doing my work, not cut any corners."

"I made a conscious effort to work on throwing away from righties and using my curveball more, using my changeup more and actually pitching," Lee said. "I was going to miss spots here and there, but for the most part I felt like I had command from the first start to the last start and I made guys earn their way on."

"Obviously, I used '07 as motivation in the offseason to go and do everything I could to make sure that didn't happen again," he said. "I also think that going through what I did last year did help in making me a mentally tougher baseball player. Looking back on it, it wasn't any fun. But it definitely makes for a better story."

"My job is to come back in '09 and do it again. There's no reason to think I can't," Lee said. "I honestly feel like I'm going to come back and pick up right where I left off."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


taken from the book Mind Gym by Gary Mack

Everyone wants to be successful, but those who achieve success are steeled by an unwavering resolve. They are self motivated - the kind of motivation that fueled and sustained Jack Nicklaus early in his pro career as he beat golf balls for an hour, then another, on the practice range until it was almost dark.

"Let's go, Jack," his new wife, Barbara, called out impatiently. "I'm hungry." With callused hands, Nicklaus hit another ball, then another, then another into the dying light. "So am I," Jack repied.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And then some......

These three little words are the secret to success. They are the difference between average people and top people in most sports.
The top people always do what is expected...and then some...
They work hard…and then some….
They are thoughtful of others; they are considerate and kind...and then some...
They meet their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely...and then some...they are good friends and helpful neighbors...and then some...
They can be counted on in an emergency...and then some...
I am thankful for people like this, for they make the world more livable, Their spirit of service is summed up in these little words...and then some...
Carl Holmes

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hitting Tips from Grady

An athlete whose skill level and work ethic are equally matched is a rare find. Grady Sizemore is one such athlete and the league has officially taken notice.

Sizemore was called up from the minors by the Cleveland Indians in July 2004, and he’s been a fan favorite ever since. His non-stop motor and willingness to do whatever it takes to win have helped the Tribe become regular and realistic American League pennant contenders for the first time since the 90s.

The one-time football superstar [he signed a letter of intent to play both football and baseball for the University of Washington] sets himself apart on the diamond with his hustle. “It’s always been a part of who I am,” Sizemore says. “I think ever since I was growing up, I always tried to leave it all out on the field and give 100 percent—outwork everybody else.”

With all the power hitting skills he has unleashed, one might think Sizemore is looking to knock the ball out of the park on a consistent basis. But that’s not the case. “I try not to be a homerun hitter,” he says. “I want to be getting on base, scoring runs, driving in runs. Homeruns just kind of come. Hopefully I can continue this and progress and continue to get more power. But like I said, I’m not trying to hit homers, they’re just mistakes.”

Having pop in your bat doesn’t necessarily mean you have to look like a beast at the plate. Sizemore is a perfect example, as he is able to combine his slender 6’2’’, 200-pound frame with immaculate mechanics to squeeze every ounce of power out of his body.

“You try to work on mechanics as much as you can before the games and be prepared, whether it’s using your hands or staying back [to] stay strong in your legs,” Sizemore explains. “Everyone has a different swing, so you’re trying to find what works for you.”

Preparing for and scouting your opponent, another critical part of hitting, will help you gain an edge when you’re in the box. Knowing each pitcher and his favorite pitch helps you understand what to expect during your at-bat. “Not only do you study your swing, you study the opponents, the pitchers, how they attack you,” Sizemore says.

Just because the rest of the league now realizes what Sizemore brings to the table doesn’t mean he’ll be contained. He will continue to outwork and out-prepare his competition to maintain his place among MLB’s superstars.

Follow these five hitting tips and a drill from Sizemore and Indians hitting coach Derek Shelton. Soon you’ll see a boost in your power numbers.

1. Balance & Stance

Sizemore: The best thing is being in a good strong position. You want to stay balanced and be strong in your legs; that will help you hit any pitch.

Shelton: Good balance starts when you set up your stance and continues until you finish the motion. The common element in all good hitters—from Little Leaguers to pros—is that when their front foot hits the ground from the stride, their weight is on the inside of their back knee.

Test Your Stance

Shelton: Assume your batting stance, then have someone give you a good push on the chest or from the side. If you are in a good, balanced position, your feet won’t move.

2. See the Ball

Sizemore: Obviously, you definitely need to see the ball. I think tracking the ball is probably the second biggest thing. If you can’t see it, you’re not going to be able to hit it.

Shelton: The tendency for young hitters is to try to hit the ball too hard. They end up pulling their head off the ball. When that happens, their shoulders and hips come off the ball, too, since the head leads them. Concentrate on keeping your head down to alleviate those problems.

3. Hands in Launch Position

Sizemore: For me, it’s just try to keep the bat loose in my hands. I think the biggest thing with my hands is swinging too hard or maybe trying to do too much. So I try to keep them relaxed so I don’t overswing or try to get big in certain situations.

Shelton: Your hands have to be in a good strong launch position when you start your swing. This position is different for each guy. And it doesn’t matter if you set up with your hands in position or move them there when you start your swing. You just have to make sure that is where your hands come from.

Finding Your Launch Position

• Stand at plate
• Hold bat loosely in fingertips with arms forming “V,” bat pointing down first base line [third base for lefties]
• Swing bat toward backstop, like taking backswing with golf club
• Stop bat at furthest point back, which is your strongest position

4. Mental Preparation

Sizemore: I look at a lot of film. I try to pick up little things here and there—how they attack me, if they’re tipping pitches, if they’re running into certain tendencies in certain counts. I like to watch film . . . and see how my swing was the night before. If I notice anything, I’ll go from there.

I think the biggest thing is [to] do all your preparation before the game. You work on mechanics; you study film of the pitcher; you try to keep everything before the game so when you go up to the plate, you’ve got a clear head and just see it and hit it. Just focus on where I want the ball, what I want to do with it, and go from there.

Shelton’s Tee Ball Hitting Drill

• Place one tee on inside of plate and another on outside
• Assume balanced stance with hands in launch position
• As you begin swing, coach calls “inside” or “outside”
• React with hands to hit appropriate ball

Shelton Says: It is sometimes hard to get younger players to hit off a tee, because they think it’s only for kids; but our guys work off the tee a lot. Begin with one tee in the middle of the plate. If you can’t master hitting a ball in the middle of the plate, you’re going to have some trouble; it is the best pitch to hit. The reactive aspect of this drill eliminates a player’s tendency to predetermine where he is going to swing. He doesn’t know where a pitch is going to be when he bats in a game, so teaching him to react to ball placement is key. This also improves plate coverage, because players get used to making contact on the inside and outside of the plate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The 1-1 Pitch Count

What MLB Stats Tell Us About The 1-1 Pitch Count -- And How To Use This Secret To Your Advantage When Pitching

The 1-1 count is the crossroads in the hitter-pitcher matchup. It's the difference between a batter moving to the edge of the two-strike abyss or getting ahead 2-1 and being able to anticipate the type and location of the next pitch.

Here are the results for all MLB hitters this season after each count.
1-1 became 1-2 BA: .188 OBP: .241 SLG: .283 OPS: .524
1-1 became 2-1 BA: .263 OBP: .398 SLG: .423 OPS: .821

What do the stats tell you? Get ahead of hitters in the count, get ahead of hitters in the count, get ahead of hitters in the count!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mike Singletary Full Press Conference...Classic HD Quality

Post game press conference from Mike Singletary on having a team first attitude and what it takes to be successful as a team. While the setting he chose to air his comments is questionable, I do believe with the importance of many of the concepts that he is speaking of. Check it out!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rays play small ball to even Series

World Series Game 2 was a great example of small ball by Tampa.

-The Rays manufactured three of their four runs without a ball leaving the infield
-Speed, good defense and outstanding pitching -- it's how the Rays won 97 games
-Momentum shifts the Rays' way, even as the World Series moves to Philadelphia

Quotes from Game 2:
"You're not always gonna hit home runs," Maddon said. "When you're facing better pitching, when you get an opportunity to score a run, you better take advantage of it. And if there's less than two outs, it doesn't have to be a hit."

"Big things happen," Pena said afterward, "when you focus on the smallest of things."

Shaky starting pitching, an offense struggling and a Rays team that is getting back to its roots all suggest a Series that has shifted noticeably Tampa Bay's way, even as it shifts to Philadelphia and rowdy Citizens Bank Park.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

9 = 8 ?????????

Albert Camus weighs in with a thought, although it's not clear if the French existentialist had any advice for hitting a split-fingered fastball. Economist Alan Greenspan is also represented.
The words of college basketball coaching great John Wooden are cited.

"Integrity Has No Need Of Rules." — that's Camus.

"Rules Cannot Take The Place Of Character." — Greenspan said that.

"Discipline Yourself So No One Else Has To." — that's all Wooden.

"9=8."— Now, that one belongs to Joe Maddon, the unconventional skipper who sold his young players on the motto that's become the club's mantra during an improbable run to the World Series.

"I didn't know what the hell it meant at first," designated hitter Cliff Floyd said, recalling a speech Maddon delivered on the first day of spring training.

Some players rolled their eyes. Others stared straight ahead with blank looks on their faces.
Floyd, a 14-year veteran signed last winter to add leadership and stability to the clubhouse, gave Maddon the benefit of the doubt.

"It was a different speech than what you're accustomed to hearing when you come to spring training. It's usually, 'We've got a good team, you've just got to believe it.' It was different. So when he said it, people perked up. 'Whoa. OK, let's figure out what this means and try to accomplish it."'

The rest, as they say, is history.

"9=8" essentially translates to nine players playing hard for nine innings every day equals one of eight post-season berths.

Maddon also sold the concept that the Rays, who won 66 games and finished with the worst record in the majors in 2007, could make the playoffs if they got nine more wins because of hitting, an additional nine because of pitching, and another nine because of defence.
Turns out he was prophetic. The Rays had never won more than 70 games in a season, clinched a post-season berth for the first time with their 93rd victory — exactly 27 more than a year ago.

"I'm so used to the eye roll. I'm so used to the scoff," Maddon said, looking back on that first day of camp. "I'm so used to it, and I'm really immune to both … At some point, corny can turn into cool."

While much of Tampa Bay's success can be attributed to young talented athletes such as Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and Scott Kazmir, players say Maddon's insistence that things are done "The Ray Way" is responsible, too.

Although he's an intellectual type who prefers fine wine to a cold beer following a game, Maddon can be one of the boys.

When Upton decided on a whim to get a Mohawk haircut last month, the fad caught on in the clubhouse. Maddon joined in the fun, getting his hair cut and noting the importance of solidarity.
"That stuff all matters," he said.

It all promotes calmness that spills over onto the field.

"He's acts like he's one of us in here, and that's awesome. Guys appreciate that," rookie David Price said. "He comes in, we have gangsta rap music just blaring in the locker room. Does he say a word? No. It probably stops about two minutes before the first pitch is thrown. Joe just lets us be us … He has a relationship with every player, and no relationship is the same. That just speaks volumes about Joe."

Maddon's also shown he can be a disciplinarian.

The manager benched Upton twice for not hustling on the bases after Maddon first tried to get the player's attention in a private conversation. He preaches approaching every game the same — be it spring training or playoffs — and is convinced that's one of the reasons the team has not been overwhelmed by the post-season stage.

"Our program's been validated. Our concepts have been validated," Maddon said Tuesday.

"It's not anything complicated. It's the basic stuff. Running hard, good turns. Playing catch. Fastball command. First to third. Those kinds of things. Everybody thinks we're so fancy, but we're so basic."

The Rays don't plan to change anything now that they're in the World Series.

"We're going to be the same loose guys we've always been," Longoria said.

Fellow rookie Fernando Perez agreed.
"We're looking at it just like other games. It's a young attitude, but I think it's fitting," Perez said.

"I think we're respecting both sides of the coin. We know we may never ever be here again. But there's kind of a confidence that we think we will be back — not that we're taking this for granted at all, but I think that in a lot of ways we're taking it the right way."
The Ray Way.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How to reach the top

Four stages required of reaching the top:
1. You must learn how to be COMPETITIVE.
2. You must learn how to win.
3. You must learn how to handle winning.
4. You must take it to another level.

The Enemy We Face

The Enemy We Face
Courtesy of the book, "Make the Big Time Where You Are" by Frosty Westering.

The enemy I had, I didn't even know.
He followed me unseen, wherever I would go.

He blocked my plans, he blocked my way,
He countered me, even before I could say.

Each time I would make the effort to try,
He made me afraid, so I'd let things pass by.

One night I caught him and grabbed for his mask;
I wanted to see, I wanted to ask.

But to my amazement as I looked at his face,
It was me that I saw, and I prayed for GOD'S GRACE.

The enemy who had been hiding inside,
I finally let go of, and the enemy died.

My new friend inside shares an exciting new way.
He says "YES WE CAN" as we start out each day.

Our SPIRIT in life is the KEY TO IT ALL.
Our BELIEF deep inside picks us up when we fall.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love for the team!

Great article about a player's sacrifice for his team. The article is about a player who decided to cut off his pinkie instead of sit out the rest of his senior season. While cutting off a body part is definitely the extreme, it is a great story on how this player feels about the team and his love for the game.

Here are a few excerpts with a link to the article.

"To have somebody tell you that you've played your last game of football, I just wasn't going to let that happen," Trevor explains. "I couldn't do that to my teammates. I'd take a bullet for those guys."

"When I think about how much I love football, and my team, I just get goose bumps," says Trevor, who, big shock, wants to coach after he graduates. "To be able to play and hit people and not get in trouble for it? Man, it's a blessing. I love my team. And I'm a big believer in actions speaking louder than words."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Muscles are a lot like life!

Great stuff courtesy of Coach Cooley:

"You can’t change the muscle without fatigue, and it’s impossible to really fatigue the muscle without pushing it. The only way it gets transformed is by pushing it beyond what’s comfortable.

It’s kind of like life. Our lives don’t really change until those moments where we were pushed, and that’s where we grow the most and our life becomes more rich. If you don’t push your body beyond what it’s comfortable with, nothing changes."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Committed or interested?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses.”
-John Maxwell

Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Article!

A must read article on the Twins and their road to success.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Associated Fire versus Omaha Westside

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” -John Wooden
“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.”-John Wooden

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't give up.......

Monday, July 21, 2008


Great postseason clip of Kevin Garnett celebrating the big victory. Anything is truly possible, just ask Coach Cooley and KG.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Great quotes from Husker Cody Glenn:

“People ask me, ‘How you feel about the season?’" said the native of Rusk, Texas. "Oh, I’m amped about it. I’ve never felt this good going into a season health-wise, confidence-wise, everything.”

Even the intense summer workouts haven't seemed so bad to Glenn. He's trying to lead younger players by example in each workout.

"I know guys are looking up to me," he said. "I know if I run like this, they’re going to run like this. I know if I lift like this, they’re going to lift like this. It’s been easier just because I have that mind-set and I know these guys are counting on me. With them counting on me, I’m not going to let them down. It makes me want to go harder. It makes me want to do everything I have to do.”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dealing with adversity

Great story on a former Oregon State Catcher and CWS champ and the adversity he has had to deal with.
Here is the link:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

7-8 Associated Fire versus Papillion Post 32

Win over Papiliion

Friday, July 11, 2008

7-2 Associated Fire versus Omaha Bryan at PLV-South

Papio Times article

Here is a link to a Papillion times article.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Good article from ESPN on the overachieving St Louis Cardinals. They have the 6th best record in baseball and definitely do not have the 6th best talent. They have overachieved by coming to the ballpark and simply COMPETING everyday!

It's everybody that's in uniform, everyone that's involved in this clubhouse. We're all here to compete, whatever the set of circumstances. It's that simple.
--Tony La Russa

Here is the link to the article, please read!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Why Emphasize The Bunting Game?

In all of baseball, both professional and amateur, management and players do not place enough importance on the bunting game; consequently the players cannot execute this phase of the game. The end result of poor fundamentals is the player cannot bunt for base hits nor sacrifice at critical times to get runners into scoring position.
In failing to have a good bunting game players lose the other values of hitting that come from bunting concepts. The threat of the drag bunt keeps the flanks (third and first basemen) playing close to the hitter. This increases the hitter's advantage to drive the ball past them. In sacrifice bunt situations, the good bunters have the ability to slash hit from a bunting stance, once again taking advantage of the drawn-in infield. The ability to drag bunt, sacrifice bunt and slash hit from a bunting stance will increase every player's batting average at least 100 points. I did say 100 points! Coaches armed with a good bunting game have the weaponry to attack and score in adverse weather conditions, wind blowing in, cold and wet weather. The bunting game helps you create offense no matter what the occasion or condition.
Bunting in baseball is as important as blocking in football. In football if you can't block you won't move the football, you won't generate any offense, and you will lose. In baseball, there is a "ho-hum, don't ask ME to bunt" attitude.
In building a house you start with a good foundation. A coach must treat the bunting game as the foundation of hitting and offensive weaponry. There are many aspects of the bunting game, including the drag bunt, the threat of the drag to keep the flanks up, the sacrifice bunt, slash hitting from the sacrifice bunt stance, the safety squeeze and the suicide squeeze. All of these concepts place tremendous psychological pressure on the defense, which can cause havoc with the pitcher and can force errors by the opposing team.
Bill Madlock, former major league all-star, related that the year he won the National League batting championship by one percentage point, he was successful in 22 of 23 drag bunt attempts. This added quite a few points to his batting average. We can only guess how many other balls that he hit went by the drawn-in third baseman.

Local Baseball

Good article on Omaha high school baseball
Fundamentals will lead to success!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Positive thinking has helped Bulldogs!

Good article from about the Georgia Bulldogs improvement from last year. They credit positive thoughts with a big portion of their improvement.

Quote from article: "Last year, it was one of those things where if something could go wrong like we thought, it would happen," Beckham said. "And this year we think better thoughts, I guess. Think a happy thought."

Here is the link to the article:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pete and A Rod

Two of the greatest hitters to play the game.
Great artifcle from ESPN on thier relationship.
Click here to read:

You can play for us when...

You Can Play For Us When...
· You don't care if you are the one who bunts the runner over or the one who hits the runs in, because you are fulfilling your role, whatever that role is, is most important.
· You have a desire to excel for the benefit of those relying on you.
· You have an unquenchable need to exceed your past limitations.
· You play without the option of defeat.
· You play and know, without a doubt, that you competed like a champion.
· You understand your commitment to your teammates.
· You understand that baseball is a team sport.
· You finish playing and only your body leaves the field…your heart and soul are captured within the game.
· You will exchange your blood, sweat, and tears for the benefit of the team.
· You understand the irrelevance of individual awards.
· You would rather encourage a teammate to success than benefit personally from his mistakes.
· Your respect for the game outweighs your personal pride.
· You make mistakes and use them to improve instead of using them as excuses.
· Your ability to make your teammates better increases each time you play.
· You do the little things right when nobody is watching.
· You serve your teammates with unselfish motives.
· You understand your role and strive to perform it better.
· You have done all you can and still feel you haven't done enough.
· You play with pain without creating a scene.
· You give more than what is asked and take less than what is deserved.
· Your effort is constant and your play is consistent regardless of the situation.
· You think you can, and you do.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

MUST READ- The players on the bench

The Players On The Bench
It takes more than nine players to make a winning team. The starting nine may win a game, but it takes the whole team to win the championship-to go all the way. The team is really like an iceberg. You see the starting nine, but underneath it all is that big, wide, strong base-the rest of the team. This is the part of the team that builds the character of a lasting winner. The more dedicated the man on the bench, the harder he works, the more he pushes and strengthens the starting player-the higher he pushes this iceberg out of the water-the bigger it gets-the better the team. If he quits, doesn't give his all, or becomes complacent in his position, he erodes that strong base and erodes the character of the team. He contributes to the error in a tense, one run game, he is partly to blame for that mental lapse with two innings to play in the big rivalry, he undermines the total effort necessary for the team to come back from a four run deficit in a championship game. And yet this player on the bench must be there-watching, waiting, and hoping-sometimes agonizingly-for that chance to use his special skill to better the team effort-to make the base of that iceberg stronger-to help build the character of the team. Yes, agonizingly because he knows there is a chance he won't play because he may be the smallest man waiting to break open the game with a double or he may be the big man called in an instant to shut down the other teams best hitter. He may even be the man that's hurt, but working twice as hard to be physically fit in time to play in the playoffs. He may be the man on the bench who demonstrates to the fans that this team really has character from the bench to the basket. But even more important he may be the whole bench that the player looks to late in the game when he is hurting, out of breath, and burning inside for that spirit, that push, and that enthusiasm, and that love necessary to make the big play and win the game for the whole team.
When the game is over, when the season ends and all the fans and sports writers are talking about the top of the iceberg, the stars and heroes, the players will know that the real winner is the team, the whole iceberg, especially the base-the men on the bench who build the character to make the team a lasting winner.


1. Concentrate on getting the first ball over and getting the first man out!

2. Allow 2 or less walks per game

3. Strike out to walk ratio should be 2 K's to 1 BB

4. Hit ratio should be less than 1 per inning

5. Get ahead of all hitters

6. Curveball thrown when HITTER is ahead in the count does not have to be your best.

7. If ahead and you miss, miss out of the zone

8. Universal hitting weaknesses: Low and away for righty, High and tight for lefty

9. Rather have curveball in the dirt than up in the eyes

10. Visualize throwing the perfect game

11. Know what pitch you can throw to get a groundball

12. Behind in the count: Split the plate with breaking ball Ahead: throw your best, hardest breaking ball

13. Be quick to the plate 1.4 and below

14. 2 quick outs- go after hitter with good stuff

15. Bunt plays- throw strikes - make sure to get one out

16. There is no defense against the walk

Week 2 article from Papillion Times

Here is the link to the week 2 article from the Papillion Times:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Week 1 article from Papillion Times

Here is the link to the article from the Papillion Times Week 1:

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Many people wonder why Nebraska is good this year. Here are some quotes from the Baylor coach at the Big XII tourney on Nebraska.

Steve Smith, Baylor's head coach for the past 13 seasons, obviously has gained a significant amount of respect for Nebraska baseball's style of play over the years.

Sure, Smith says, Nebraska has had some starpower in recent years. However, "The vast majority of their position players are just blue-collar, gutsy guys that compete," he said Wednesday. "That's why I've never understood why people were so hard on them, because they play the game the right way.

"I've got way more talent. I've got WAY more talent -- follow the draft a year from now and you'll see that. I wish I could get my guys to compete day in and day out like those guys do."



Here is a book that I think every athlete should read! I recommend buying a copy.
It is an athletes guide to inner excellence.

Here is the link to check it out and buy it on

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Great article about Jacoby Ellsbury and the dimension that his baserunning has added to the Red Sox team.

Here are a few quotes from the article:

"I usually try to look at some film and get an understanding of his move to first," said Ellsbury, "not necessarily his time, but what he does with his body when he goes home."

Ellsbury is looking for patterns, something he can use to give him the smallest advantage, the most minuscule edge since, as he notes, almost every stolen base attempt "is bang-bang -- a fraction of a second can make the difference [between being safe or out]."

"You'll see me talking to [Red Sox first base coach Luis Alicea] after every pitch, asking, 'Hey, did you see that?' [In the dugout], I'll watch Coco -- and what the pitcher's trying to do -- or Julio. I don't pay much attention when the big guys who aren't much of a threat are on base because then the pitcher's not using his slide step. Things are different.
It's work, but it's well worth it. Especially when the game is on the line and you get in scoring position. It can be the difference between a win and a loss."

Monday, May 19, 2008


Get ahead.....then get dirty. That is the philosophy that we want our pitchers to use. Here is a great article from Ryan Sawyers, a pitching coach for Garden City CC. In the article he speaks of the importance of getting ahead with 1st pitch strikes. We definitley agree with the point he is making. And by first pitch strikes we do not mean a fastball, we mean any pitch from your repertoire over the plate to get ahead of the hitter. Getting ahead is the key to successful pitching.
Here is a link to the article:

Friday, May 9, 2008

A true Team Player!

Great article from the May 8th edition of the OWH by Tom Shatel. The article talks about Johnny Dorn and his relationship with ex-husker coach Rob Childress. Dorn is not a great pitcher because he has electric stuff. Dorn is a great pitcher because he is COMPETTITIVE, HARD WORKING, and has great COMMAND. Here are a few great quotes from Dorn, the Huskers' ace pitcher.
"I've always thought, if I could take it back, and be the guy who throws 95, but didn't have to work hard for it, I wouldn't change it," Dorn says. "I'd rather be that guy who was here four years and was known as a good teammate who worked his butt off and earned everything."
Pitching Coach Erik Newman On Dorn:
"His stuff is not above average," Newman said. "But his command is above average, and his competitiveness is above average. That makes it good enough to pitch in the big leagues. Most of the guys up there, the third and fourth starters, throw in the 80's, but they know how to pitch and compete and win."
"He is a tenacious executor of pitches," Newman said. "If I call a breaking ball on a full count, he won't flinch. He'll throw it with the same conviction."

Staying Positive

Good article about the Creighton baseball team and how their season so far has not quite lived up to their expectations. The article talks about the need to stay positive when going through tough times.
Quote from article:
"Baseball's a weird game — sometimes the breaks go your way, sometimes they don't," Ruf said. "If you let the negative stuff get into your head it can really bring you down."As a player, you need to keep in mind that anything can happen at any given time."
Link to article:

Sunday, May 4, 2008


A great spring season!
18-3 Spring Season Record
Prep JV Invite Champs

An empty head = a full bat

Here are a few excerpts from a great article on the mental part of hitting. The link to the entire article is available below.

Mental Game Series: AN EMPTY HEAD = A FULL BAT
From Nate Trosky,Carmel Baseball:

• Bend your knees, keep your weight back, stay balanced, take a stride, relax your hands, line up your knuckles, elbow up, elbow down, shoulders level, pull the knob, roll the wrist, no wait a minute - don't roll the wrist!

• A hitter that thinks and hits at the same time is like an eagle trying to catch 2 rabbits at once, ultimately catching no rabbit at all.

• When the head is full, the heart is neglected, reactions are delayed and athleticism is lost. Do all of your thinking outside of the batter's box, at practice, between pitches, and mostly "WHEN THE BALL IS NOT IN FLIGHT!"

• Hitters must learn to keep it simple and to not over think, to trust themselves, to enjoy the game, and to be great competitors.

• Remember that you're an athlete not machine, therefore learn to play the game trusting your athleticism and the hours of hard work you've put forth in preparation.

• "A Full Head Equals an Empty Bat," is a quote from Branch Ricky, one of the greatest baseball minds in the history of the game. Known by millions as "Mr. Baseball," this extraordinary man founded the minor league farm system, the batting cage, the pitching machine, and the batting helmet. Rickey was also one of the greatest contributors to the development of baseball statistics. In 1947, as the General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey made his most memorable contribution to the game, signing Jackie Roosevelt Robinson.

Keep it Simple & Learn from the Best

• Yogi Berra – 3 time American League MVP
-"You can't hit and think at the same time. I tried it once, and swung and missed at 3 consecutive pitches!"
Lint to entire article:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hard Work leads to Success!

Often we see the result but not the work it took to get there. We see the highlight on SportsCenter but not the hours of practicing the routine plays that lead to that great play. Many athletes have tremendous God-given gifts, but they don't focus on the development of those gifts. Who are these individuals? You've never heard of them- and you never will. It's true in sports and it's true everywhere in life.
Hard work is the difference. Very hard work.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Life Lessons- Live Forever, Die Tomorrow

From John Wooden:
Early on I came to believe that you should learn as if you were going to live forever, and live as if you were going to die tomorrow. What does this mean? In the simplest way, I would explain it like this.
Always be learning, acquiring knowledge, and seeking wisdom with a sense that you are immortal and that you will need much knowledge and wisdom for that long journey ahead. Know that when you are through learning, you are through.
But I want to live life as if I were going to die tomorrow: with relish, immediacy, and the right priorities. I also will not waste even a minute.
Here is a video that contains some great life lessons. If you have 10 minutes it is definitely worth your time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Champions do not become champions on the field. They are merely recognized on the field. They become champions in their DAILY ROUTINE. Players do not really decide their future. They decide their HABITS- their HABITS decide their future.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Overcoming challenges- Always being ready!

Buster Olney, ESPN:
A baseball season began on March 31, and for the first time in his life, Joey Votto was not a part of it, immediately. He did not hit well in spring training, at a time when manager Dusty Baker was evaluating whether to install Votto as the full-time first baseman or split time between Votto and veteran Scott Hatteberg, and on Opening Day, it was Hatteberg who started.

Votto didn't start on April 3, either, or on April 5. Veteran players have learned how to cope with intermittent playing time, learned how to prepare. For Votto, who was accustomed to playing every day, this is new, and during the first few days of the season, he found himself drifting, uncertain of how to cope with a situation that was new to him. So he has developed a system: He pretends that he was starting every single game.

"I made a major point to get in and get all my video work done early," he said Friday. "I was really tempted to be lazy, but I kicked myself in the butt and [thought], stick to the same plan -- at least go into the game with the mindset that I was playing every day."

For example, on April 7, when the Reds were set to play the Phillies and left-hander Cole Hamels, Votto reviewed videotape to get a sense of Hamels, of what he throws and how he uses his repertoire, and through his batting practice, he swung the bat with Hamels in mind. And that day, Votto started the game on the bench.

"I've always been told that I've got to keep a routine," said Votto. "I found I played my best when I had the same routine every day."

On those days when Votto hasn't started, the odds are, of course, that he is unlikely to get an at-bat against the opposing starting pitcher. He has switched to the bench-player thought process, which is built around preparation for at-bats against relievers. Votto likes to find a place in the dugout away from players who talk a lot, to give himself the best chance to focus on the game, to mentally prepare, to consider what situations might eventually develop for him -- a double-switch, a pinch-hit appearance against a particular right-handed reliever, that kind of thing. He will sometimes retreat to the clubhouse to watch the game on television, to observe the opposing starting pitcher from the center field camera angle, to get himself as prepared as possible for the moment that he's suddenly standing at the plate. "I've always been told -- especially by Dusty -- that you have to be ready to be aggressive from Pitch One that you see," says Votto.

And in recent days, Votto's work seems to be paying off. He started the last four games at first base, collecting 5 hits in 13 at-bats, with a couple of homers and seven RBI. Baker has complimented Votto's work ethic in his conversations with reporters, but hasn't said anything to Votto. "He really cares about the team [at large], and his No. 1 concern is with getting us a lot of swings," said Votto.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Controlling Your Emotions- You are a product of your thoughts!

Here are a couple good quotes from Royals pitcher Gil Meche. Meche struggled in his first 3 outings this year but made a strong comeback last night with a 6 inning victory over the Angels. Note how Meche talks about how he has had to do a better job of controlling his emotions to improve his performance. When you find yourself pitching "mad" it is important to take a few deep breaths and adjust yourself mentally.

"I needed this win. I've been pitching with a lot of anger for some reason, which is totally not me," Meche said after getting his first win of the year in the Kansas City Royals' 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

"I've been getting really upset at little mistakes I've been making, like not making the put-away pitches when I need to. I just need to relax. I haven't been myself on the mound out there so far."

He got positive results against Los Angeles, going six innings and holding its powerful lineup to two runs and six hits.

"Hopefully, I can relax now and enjoy pitching like I did last year and not worry about all the little things I do that might be mistakes," Meche said after running his career record against the Angels to 7-2.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Passion, Hard Work, Intensity

Matt Tolbert of the Minnesota Twins was a long shot to make the big league club going into Spring Training but he has caught on with the Twins and been quite successful with the big league club so far this season. Here is a great article on how his passion and hard work (he was seen practicing stealing bases in a convenience store parking lot) have lead to his overachieving play. I credit Coach Cooley for pointing me toward this one, and yes I still think the Twins will finish 5th in the AL Central even with this guy.

Where Pitching Confidence Comes From

Here's a great article on the mental side of pitching: "It's just seeing what you want and letting your body take over and do it." This guy doesn't light the gun up, but instead relies on a "deep conviction and confidence in all his pitches." I thought that "conviction in your pitches" was interesting and effective terminology. You got to believe in your stuff! If you do believe in your stuff it is amazing what you can achieve no matter what your arm strength.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Have a plan!

To play the game one pitch at a time, it's important to have a plan on each pitch. If you know what you are up there to do, the chances of "giving away" the at bat decrease and the chances of having a quality at bat increase.
When determining you plan for an at bat, always remember that HITTING IS DIFFICULT. When you realize something is difficult the best thing you can do is SIMPLIFY IT. In hitting, that means the primary focus of your plan is to hit the ball. Listen to these great hitters talk about what they were trying to do at the plate:

  • Pete Rose (4,256 hits): "See the ball, hit the ball. That's it. If you get more complicated than that you're making it more difficult than it needs to be."

  • Stan Musial (.331 over 22 seasons): "My idea of hitting was get the fat part of the bat on the ball and hitting the ball where it was pitched."

  • Billy Williams (Hall of Famer): "I just watched it come in, took a good swing at it, and tried to hit it with the fat of the bat."


It was smart of these hitters to simplify hitting, but it was brilliant of them to keep it simple for as long as they did. Get into the habit of asking yourself before each at bat: what am I going to do at the plate? You plan may be as simple as "hit the ball" or "hit it up the middle" or "stay back."

Whatever your plan , the main point is to know what you are trying to do at the plate and COMMIT to that play. Hitters often go the plate not knowing what they are trying to do, or trying to do something they are not cable of doing (such as pulling the ball out of the park). In other words, they either have no idea or a bad idea.

From:Heads up Baseball

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


A champion is someone who plays his heart out every day,
They don't look for excuses or try to find the easier way.
When the going gets tough they don't give in,
They will do everything in their power just to get that win.

A champion doesn't quit even when they are so tired they can barely stand,
When a teammate is down they never hesitate to give them a hand.
When the odds try to knock them down to the ground,
A negative attitude is nowhere to be found.

A champion never puts others down to lift themselves higher,
They pull themselves together when the game comes to the wire.
When the coach is on your case for making a bad play,
You listen to him, respect him and try to do it the right way.

A champion is mentally tough and strives for the best,
They won't stop until they get there, not even to rest.
They never complain even when the refs make a terrible call,
They extend a hand to help, even when an opponent stumbles and fall.

A champion never tries to bring glory to his name,
He says instead, "Without the team effort it wouldn't have been the same."
They are the guys whose dedication is beyond belief,
They are the ones still running when their muscles ache for relief.

A champion is something that can be created only by you,
You can give up and quit and never make it through.
Or you can finish the task that you've begun,
And enjoy your moment of glory in the sun.

These are the moments that you will remember,
Play like a true champion and do not surrender!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What's your hitting routine?

What's your hitting routine? That is a good question for you as a hitter. Each hitter should have a routine (just like a free throw shooter) to help them focus and produce a quality at bat each time at the plate. I challenge you to think about your hitting routine and think about what you could do in terms of a hitting routine to make yourself a more focused, better hitter.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

UPDATED- March Madness Standings

1. Sean- Champion
2. Ethan
3. Diaz
Sweet 16 Team Drawings

Kansas- Ethan

Santana’s Changeup: Hitters Never See It Coming

Here is a link to a story on Johann Santana's change up. This is a great article on how he has worked to develop this effective pitch.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Great article from about the Davidson basketball team and how their committment to daily improvement has led to great success. Check it out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How To Hit a Drag Bunt

Great clip on drag bunting from Minnesota Twins hitting coach. The bunt for a hit is a great offensive weapon as you could tell from watching our game yesterday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Team Goals Set

Spring Teams Goals were set on March 19th. The team came up with 5 goals for their spring season.
They are:
1. Win the season ending Prep Tourney
2. Win 75% of games played
3. Hit over .300 as a team
4. Always play at a high standard with GREAT teamwork.
5. Do not let the weather affect our play.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cuts and Relays can decide a game!

We expect you to go through the cutoff man on all throws but do-or-dies. Keep in mind 95% of all throw from the outfield at the major league level go through the cut off man. Throwing through the cut off man can save free bases by not allowing the trail runner to advance thus keeping the double play in order. Here is a great example of a well ran cut and relay. The execution of cuts and relays can save games as evident in the video. Check it out!

Friday, March 14, 2008

IF I COULD BE LIKE MIKE: Jordan's Mental Edge

by Jeff Janssen, M.S.Peak Performance ConsultantUniversity of Arizona

Think of some of the all-time greatest athletes in sport - Joe Montana, Bille Jean King, Muhammed Ali, Cheryl Miller, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan. As you think about these people, reflect on the characteristics they possessed that made them so legendary. While most likely these athletes were physically gifted, I'll bet it was their mental approach to the game that truly made them outstanding. For example, one such superstar we all are familiar with is Michael Jordan. While Jordan was blessed with quickness, jumping ability, and height to help him excel, Michael's biggest strength was his mental game. Jordan held a decisive mental edge over his opponents throughout his entire career. It was his mental toughness that propelled him to numerous individual awards as well as six NBA championships.

Why was Michael so mentally tough? Five things truly set Michael apart from his competition:

1. Committed - Michael made a commitment from early on that he was going to push himself to be the best. He was self-motivated enough to put in all the long hours it would take to perfect his game - whether or not a coach was watching him. Over his career, he continually developed new aspects of his game as well as took care of his body in the weight room. "I had locked in, committed to my goals. I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don't do things halfheartedly."

2. Competitive - Michael is probably one of the most competitive people who ever lived. Whether it was basketball, business, or golf, Jordan had an intense desire to win. Opponents quickly learned not to challenge Michael with trash talk because he would take his game to another level and embarrass them. Competitiveness really encompasses two things - a strong desire to win as well as hating to lose. "I always had the ultimate goal of being the best. I feel that if I am considered one of the best players in the game, then I have to prove there is a reason for that."

3. Confident - Michael had supreme confidence in himself and his abilities. Even when he might have had an off night, he still wanted the ball at crunch time. Jordan's confidence was earned by all the hard work he put into his game. Michael was also confident because he focused more on the positive things he wanted to achieve instead of fearing failure. "I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot. If I'm jumping into any situation, I'm thinking I'm going to be successful."

4. Leader - Michael Jordan was the undeniable leader of the Bulls. He held his teammates to a higher standard and made sure he walked his talk. If any of his teammates dared to slack off or disrupt the team such as Dennis Rodman, Michael quickly and effectively addressed the issue, often before coach Phil Jackson had to. Michael earned the respect of his teammates because of his commitment, competitiveness, and confidence. "The second I let down, particularly if I'm perceived as the leader of my team, I give others an opening to let down as well. If the person out front takes a day off or doesn't play hard, why should anyone else?"

5. Team Player - Finally, despite all of his individual accomplishments, Michael eventually learned that the true measure of any player is how well he can contribute to the team's success. Instead of complaining about his teammates shortcomings, Michael learned to make his teammates better by maximizing their strengths and allowing them to play important roles. Instead of complaining about his coaches inconsistencies, Michael learned to adapt and accept the beliefs and strategies put before him and made them work. He changed his focus from "me" to "we." "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships."

While physically you may not always be like Mike, mentally you can work to develop the commitment, competitiveness, confidence, leadership, and team focus that propelled Jordan to greatness.


Good article on Troy Percival and the leadership he is providing for the Tampa Devil Rays.
Check it out:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The POWER of POSITIVE! Self Talk

The running dialogue you have going on in your head (even when you aren't reading) is called your "self talk." In fact, although you have thoughts you can't fully express verbally, you could say that thinking is talking to yourslef. Thus, you do it all the time.

What do you say when you talk to yourself about your ability to play baseball? Remember that what you think often determines how you play. Your thinking consists of your self-talk, along with your imagery. Thus, the words you say to yourself impact how confident you feel, making self-talk a pretty important topic.

We are not always aware of what we are saying to ourselves. That's a good thing because if we were aware all of the time we'd go crazy. However, this is also dangerous because you may be trash talking yourself by saying "I stink," "I can't hit," or "I may never get anyone out" but you aren't aware that you are doing it, you won't tell yourself to stop saying it!

Because of all the failure that is built into baseball, alot of players spend a great deal of time talking negatively to themselves. Your self-talk is something you need to be aware of, at least to some degree. Most important though, make sure you choose to talk to yourself in an encouraging, confidence-enhancing way. In short, talk to yourself the way you'd talk to your best friend.


Figure out what you are saying to yourself when playing your best baseball will help you use self-talk to your best advantage. Say that to yourself whether you feel that way or not.
Here are a few examples of self-talk statements you can repeat to yourself anytime:

-"I am totally focused on each pitch"
-"I have paid the dues and I am trusting my ability."
-"It is my time."

-"Hit it hard"
-"Attack the ball"
-"Be aggressive"
-"Use the whole field"
-"See the ball"

-"The ball is going right there."
-"I'm the man."
-"Let it go."
-"Focus on the target, hit the target."

-"Hit it to me."
-"I can make any play."
-"Stay down."
-"Quick as a cat."

Info taken from Heads-Up Baseball

Monday, March 3, 2008

What does it take to win? TEAM

When asked this question, most players would reply with answers such as hard work, dedication, confidence, ect. The Philadelphia Phillies, who made up seven games with 17 to play last September to steal the National League East from the Mets, agree but also believe that what it really takes is TEAM.

It is important as a player to continue to overcome Human Nature….HN says to do what is best for me rather than what is best for the team. However, doing what is best for the TEAM leads to success.

Here are a few excellent quotes from the story, followed by a link to the entire story.

"I had always known it takes hard work and dedication," Brett Myers said. "But what it really takes is a team."

Jimmy Rollins: "We are more focused on what we need to get right. Not you get right, and you get right, and you get right. We're going to get right. We're going to be right. … Now it doesn't matter who gets it done. We don't care about who the hero is."

"Before," Rollins said, "it was like, 'Let's try to get Bobby up there and we'll have a chance.' Now I have confidence that if don't get it done, somebody will get it done behind me. Now we have a team."

Link to story:

Monday, February 18, 2008


Great article from Creighton pitching coach Rob Smith about free bases.

If you look at Football, the number one statistic that announcers and coaches talk about is the turnover margin. The team who does better in this category will tend to win more games. Why? It’s simple. The more times you give the other team the ball, the more opportunities they have to score. In baseball, a free base does the same. If you give a team a free base with out making them earn it with a hit, then you are in a sense increasing their chances to score runs they may not have otherwise earned.

What is a free base? It is any base that is given to the opponent that they did not otherwise earn. There are seven free bases that you can track and follow to see where your team stands in the area. They are as follows:

Base on balls (Walk)
Hit by pitch
Wild Pitch
Passed Ball
Stolen Base Allowed

Two other possible free bases are catcher’s interference and trail runners allowed to advance.

The top three teams in all of major league baseball last season at FB/9 were (in order)

Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox

Interestingly enough, the two teams that tied for the best overall winning percentage in all of baseball last season were the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox.

The key to winning baseball: NO FREE BASES!

Here is the link to the article with more info and statistics:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Being Perfect"

Great clip from Friday Night Lights on "Being Perfect"

This clip follows along the lines of the belief that success is not based upon the scoreboard but based on being the best you can be and doing things the right way. I could not agree more with this clip.

Try your hardest in all ways and you are a success. Period. Do less than that and you have failed to one degree or another.

I believe this strongly and I have practiced it as best I could throughout the years.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Playing for the team leads to success!

Great article about Darrin Ruf of Creighton. The article talks about how the key to success is to play for your team and not for yourself. When players get caught up in personal statistics (in this case the draft) they often struggle. As a player it is important to never worry about your personal statistics, just simply poor everything you have into the team and good things will happen.

Here are a few quotes from the story along with the link to the entire story.

"No matter how well grounded a guy is — and Darin is a lot more grounded than most — it's easy to get caught up in the other stuff," Servais said. "He's 21, and it's human nature to dream a little bit."The important thing is for Darin not to get away from the things that got him to this position. He can't forget what's made him a difference-maker. He can't start playing for the scouts and not for the team."

"I think you need to embrace what's happening to you and think of it as a positive," Ruf said. "It's a special situation, and you have to enjoy the process. But it's all about how you approach the game. If you go in thinking about yourself and being selfish, you run the risk of struggling."As long as you keep the team-first approach and keep working hard, I believe things should fall your way."

"One of the things that makes Darin such a good defensive player is that he leaves his at-bats in the dugout," Servais said. "He doesn't take his offense to the field with him. Too many guys don't focus on what they need to defensively because they're worrying about the out they just made."

"He's a guy that's not called upon to bunt much, but he's turned himself into an outstanding bunter. He has such good work habits."