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.