Summer Camp Recap – Ground Balls

Something we did every single day with our campers – both young and older – was catch ground balls. Being able to defend your position is a crucial skill as a player. Because of this, we place a heavy emphasis on the defensive portion of the game throughout our summer camps. If you can field your position at a high level, you will find yourself a spot on the field. Don’t believe me? Check out this excerpt from the 2017 World Series between the Dodgers and Red Sox.



The bottom line is this: Great teams play great defense. They catch ground balls, make throws, and eliminate free bees. Only 15 people in the world are being paid to just hit for a living. Odds are, it probably won’t be you. If you want to put yourself in the best possible position going forward as a player, we’d highly recommend you work relentlessly at your defense


Catching ground balls is great for all positions – outfielders, pitchers, and catchers included. It promotes the athletic position, active footwork, good catch positions, requires athletes to hinge and flex into their hips, trains instincts (reading balls off the bat, making different routes), and promotes overall athleticism through various types of plays. If you want kids to learn and improve their defense, catching ground balls creates a huge bang for your buck.


For you to really take advantage of this period, it is crucial you take athletes far to their left and right. Typical practices feature kids fielding balls hit right at them with two hands and lethargic footwork. As a result, you have to get kids uncomfortable and really force them to make plays that require greater demands of athleticism. Through this, kids will gain more confidence and learn how to improve their range, take more efficient angles, and get better reads off the bat. Very few ground balls are going to be hit right at kids in games. If you want kids to be able to make various types of plays in games, you must create them in practice. 


When making plays that force the athlete to move several steps to their left and right, it is very important they learn how to use one hand. We understand there is a time and place for two hands. However, using one hand helps give kids a better feel for good catch positions and gives them more freedom/range. Don’t believe me? Pre-set your glove on the ground with one hand as if you were going to catch a ground ball. Then take your throwing hand and move it towards your glove as if you were going to catch the ground ball with two hands. You’ll notice your glove starts to come off the ground as you start to take your throwing hand towards it. By using two hands, you’ve limited your range. If kids are moving multiple steps to their left and right, we need as much range as possible. As a result, it is imperative that kids learn how to make these plays using one hand. 


Another point to emphasize would be the “ready position” before catching a ground ball. Just like hitting, a poor set up position is going to lead to poor positions down the road. Start by getting kids into the athletic position where their feet are slightly wider than shoulder width, their nose is over their center of mass, their knees are slightly bent, and hands are open and outside their hips. This position is the same position you’d see if you were to guard someone in football or basketball. It gives athletes the ability to work into the ground, create efficient angles off the bat, and set up for good catch positions. Kids should get into this position before every single ground ball is hit


Many will get lazy with it and assume a more vertical starting posture. These kids are going to tend to be the ones that usually just miss balls underneath their glove. Others will keep their hands inside of their hips and start with them closer to the ground. If we sprint with our arms outside of our hips, it seems to make the most sense to start them there. There’s no need to start with our glove on the ground before the ground ball has even been hit. See the picture below for a better visual of what you want from your infielders. 



Once you create this athletic position, emphasize kids to “step into the circle” just before you hit the ball. In a game environment, fielders want to time this move when the ball meets the hitting zone (around the grass/dirt cut out). By having our feet moving when the ball comes off the bat, we’re able to get better reads off the bat and a quicker, more explosive first step. We like to compare this idea to a tennis player on the receiving end of a serve. You’ll see receivers get into an athletic position and then utilize a hop as the ball comes off the racket. We highly recommend this move with all of our infielders (see Bregman, Torres), but some sort of movement as the pitch is entering the circle will suffice. Just like catch play – stagnant feet lead to poor catch positions. All seven fielders must move in unison (see the Astros from the 2019 All-Star Game) with each pitch. If it’s not done, correct it until it is.


Whether you’re making throws or not, footwork after catching is just as important as the footwork prior to catching. Getting kids to play through the ball and replace feet is an important skill that will help accuracy and strength of throws. When we didn’t make throws, we had kids practice taking a shuffle and getting their front shoulder on first base after catching. Kids shuffle by clicking heels and creating direction towards their target – not by coming off the ground an excessive height or crossing their feet. If kids are making plays on the run, have them keep their feet moving through the catch and throw off of their post leg (right leg for right handers). While you don’t always have to make throws, it is important to practice patterns after you catch on every single ground ball you take (see Bregman). 


One of the toughest things you’ll have to wrestle with kids is learning how to use the backhand. Most coaches deter kids from using the backhand and preach getting in front of everything. This mindset will get kids handcuffed in games when balls take them far to their arm side. As a general rule of thumb: If the ball crosses your belly button to the right, use your backhand. If it’s hit at you/to the left of your belly button, use your forehand. In situations where kids aren’t used to catching to their backhand, start slow and speed it up as they progress. Emphasize good early glove presentation (try to pre-set glove 1-2 steps before they catch) and praise effort/glove touches. Get kids working underneath the ball and get them to learn how to play through it. It’ll look ugly at first, but it will improve with time. Their forehand might get the job done most of the time, but their backhand will hold them back unless they learn how to practice with it. 


Just like catch play, catching ground balls can get monotonous in nature. Spice it up using competitions and challenges that create game anxiety. Take careful note if the patterns you’re trying to create break down during these competitions. You want to keep ground ball work fun and engaging, but you don’t want movements to go to hell because kids are scared they’re going to drop the ball (ex: the kid who gets handcuffed because he’s afraid to use his backhand). The more you work at it, the more these patterns will start to become second nature. When they become more instinctive, you’ll start to see them surface when a little bit of pressure is put on the line.   

Summer Camp Recap – Teaching Catch Play

One of the areas we put a premium on at summer camp was mastering the basic fundamentals of catch and throw. Every single play on defense requires a catch and throw – whether it’s the pitcher throwing to the catcher, the shortstop throwing to the first baseman, or the outfielder throwing to the relay man. If you want to eliminate free-bees and minimize run production, owning your catch play is a great place to start. 


Catching is one of the more difficult skills kids try to learn at a young age. It is also one of the most traumatizing – miss one and you could have a black eye for the next couple weeks. As a result, glove presentation during catch play is a crucial point to drive home early on. Have kids present a target in the middle of their chest, fingers to the sky, and out in front of their eyes. Whether the ball moves left or right, create the habit of catching out in front with eyes behind the glove. If you wouldn’t field a ground ball behind your line of vision, you sure shouldn’t play catch like it. 


Throwers must also learn how to utilize their eyes effectively. Every single throw, get them to pick out a specific target and get them to try and throw it through the target. Your eyes are going to guide your body. By creating an external focus, throwers are able to train their instincts and figure out how to optimally move to locate the ball to a specific location. Kids have no time to think about where their arm or glove is in the middle of a game. Just as a hitter “sees ball and hits ball”, throwers should see target and throw through target. 


It’s crucial to drive home you own anything that touches your glove. Drops are not acceptable. If you let kids get away with drops in their catch play, don’t be surprised when they start booting around balls in the infield. By creating this specific focus, kids become more engaged during catch play and really start to concentrate when the ball comes towards them. One of the most important skills you can teach kids is basic focus and concentration. There are a lot of things in baseball that can get dull and monotonous. If focus is lost during these crucial moments, kids won’t learn. If kids aren’t learning, they are regressing


An overlooked part about catch play is the feet. Just as if you were in the infield, your feet should never stop moving throughout catch play. If the ball takes you a certain direction, the receiver must move their feet so they can get in a good catch position. As a thrower, you should be constantly utilizing your feet to put you into good throw positions. Stagnant feet leads to poor catch positions, poor throws, and a lack of focus/concentration. You catch with your feet, you throw with your feet. 


When you can start to figure out some of these things, it’s important to get kids to stretch their arms out and throw the ball from farther distances. Very seldom are plays going to occur where throws under 40 feet are required. Throwing the ball far and hard is a skill you need to teach and emphasize in your catch play. This helps teach kids how to use their bodies more effectively while building better work capacity and arm speed. It also helps receivers learn how to move their feet and make various types of catches. Being able to understand how to use the ground is a skill players can practice when throwing from longer distances. Throwers can practice long hopping the ball while receivers can practice fielding these types of hops and seeing which ones they can and can’t handle. 


Utilizing competition is a great way to break the monotony of catch play. Get kids to see who can drop the least amount of throws, who can throw the hardest, farthest, or the most accurate. These challenges will help increase focus, concentration, and can make catch play more enjoyable. Creativity is key – as long as you’re getting the right output. 


Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Keep learning and growing.



Building Your Most Important Asset: The Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, has done decades of research diving into the core of human motivation. Through her work, she has discovered that there are two different types of mindsets in people: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Both have a significant impact on how people view challenges, grow, and ultimately perform.  


Dweck said, “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.” 


A growth mindset, on the other hand, looks at challenges in a completely different viewpoint. “In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence,” said Dweck. “They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.


Like we talked about in “Building a Confident Self Image,” it is well known that our thoughts and beliefs are powerful predictors for our performance. When looking at a fixed vs. growth mindset, the ultimate question comes down to this: Are you born with a fixed amount of intelligence, or can it be developed? 


Dweck had a breakthrough in her research when she looked at a group of 10-year-olds to see how they coped with difficulties and challenges in school. She noticed how some craved challenges and sought to learn something from them, while others loathed the idea of being challenged. The first group of kids is what she grouped into the growth mindset, while the others were labeled with a fixed mindset. 


When studies dove into these two mindsets to see how they affected future performance, research found those in the fixed mindset were more likely to run away from future challenges, cheat, or find someone they did better than to feel good about themselves. Because they were gripped in the “tyranny of now,” they found coping strategies to protect their intelligence – which is constantly up for judgment. They needed validation for their abilities and ran from any kind of criticism that could suggest they were flawed. 


On the flip side, research found those with the growth mindset thrived when faced with challenges. Their brain lights up like a Christmas tree as they engage, tackle, and find solutions to problems. Instead of looking smart, their goal is to recognize errors, work to correct them, and learn from them so they are not repeated in the future. Challenges don’t present threats to their intelligence – rather opportunities for growth. While the kids in the fixed mindset regressed, the kids in the growth mindset excelled – and the only thing that separated the two groups was their perception of challenges.  


These core beliefs about yourself and your intelligence have a great correlation to the risks you take, the challenges you encounter, your creativity, resilience to adversity, and how you perform. A growth mindset helps facilitate deliberate practice – the deep, concentrated state where we train just beyond our abilities in order to build and develop more efficient neural circuits in our brain. It is through this process that we are able to build and refine our skills as the circuits become stronger with more practice – but it cannot happen if we don’t have the mindset that we can grow


Building a Growth Mindset


Using the word yet is a powerful way to get people out of the fixed mindset and into the growth mindset. The word yet facilitates hope by creating a vision and connection to the future. It gives us the idea that while we aren’t where we want to be, we still have the ability to get there with time and practice. Instead of believing we’re stuck with what we have, we use the power of yet to understand we’re far from a finished product. Saying you’re not a good math person is one thing, but saying you’re not a good person yet completely changes the game. 


As a player, it is important to identify language and actions that identify with a fixed mindset. Some of these include:


  • Excuse making, lack of ownership
  • Doubt
  • Fear
  • Jealousy
  • Focus on things we can’t control
  • No plan for the future
  • Need for validation
  • Constant comparison with others


If you sense any of these thoughts or feelings, immediately address them and reshape them. Ask yourself why you’re feeling these emotions and where they came from. What are you protecting using your fixed mindset? Are we afraid of screwing up because we’ve been praised as the smartest or most athletic? Are we letting other people determine the ceiling for our abilities? Do we really believe that we have the ability to grow and do we use it to fuel the work we put in? 


Cutting off these thoughts at the root helps protect you against developing a fixed mindset. If we let them slide and lose responsibility for our actions, our short-term fixed mindset will compound into one that is hard to break in the long run. Feelings of fear and doubt are normal responses to the challenges we face, but we can always control our reactions to them. How we ultimately act goes back to our mindset. Failure never defines those with the growth mindset – it only fuels them to recognize their errors, work hard to correct them, and use the experience to help them grow. 


As a coach, be careful how you praise your athletes. Instead of praising intelligence, praise effort, strategy, progress, and engagement. Praising intelligence builds insecurities by making kids run from challenges that could threaten whether people think they’re the best, brightest, or most intelligent. Praising effort creates enthusiasm for the process of becoming great.  


Get fired up when kids really grapple with a problem, attempt different solutions, and learn from their mistakes. It doesn’t matter if they find the result they were looking for. If you commend them for their effort and how hard they worked, they will take similar strategies when faced with problems in the future – and they will get results. If you mock them for not finding a solution, the fixed mindset will kick in and steer them away from tackling problems head on. We want to develop independent problem solvers who love to take on challenges – not kids with sore egos.


Below are some other ideas for coaches to help build athletes with a growth mindset:


  • Teach them what the two mindsets are, how they’re different, and why you want a growth mindset over a fixed one. 
  • Relate it to things athletes do off the field (school, clubs, etc.). 
  • Teach the power of yet – make it part of your shared vocabulary. 
  • Share real life examples of the growth and fixed mindset.
  • Address language and behavior of fixed mindsets immediately. Rewrite the script using a growth mindset. 
  • Figure out why some people have a fixed mindset. If you want to change behavior, you have to get to the roots.
  • Eliminate the need for constant validation and comparison. 
  • Create incentive for players who show exceptional qualities of a growth mindset (ex: growth mindset of the day). 
  • Encourage players to ask questions.
  • Model the growth mindset yourself. 


Feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts. Keep learning crushing the growth mindset.

This article was written by staff member Andrew Parks. 

Deliberate Practice

There is no secret recipe. Everyone is looking for the number one thing, but it’s simply hard work. It literally takes hours and hours and hours of repetition. Just showing up every day and being consistent.” – A.J. Pollock, MLB All-Star

I love this quote from Pollock because it is spot on in so many different ways. In an age where everyone is looking for the next big thing or the quickest route to success, nothing can – or ever will – replace hard work. As a baseball player, the time and quality of your practice will ultimately dictate the type of player you become. As Ron Wolforth of the Texas Baseball Ranch says it best, “Practice does not make perfect. It makes permanent.” 


This brings up my main point for this article: There is a right way to practice, and a wrong way to practice. You can’t fake working hard – you get out of it what you put into it. If your practice lacks focus and concentration, centers on your strengths, and is done sporadically, it will never help you achieve the results you desire. There is nothing engaging about the practice you’re creating – it’s simply what you want to do, when you want to do it, and it’s done without precise attention to detail. 


To discover the origins of what we know as talent, Daniel Coyle took a trip around the globe to discover the key ingredients for what created hotbeds of talent in various occupations. He recorded his findings in New York Times Best Seller The Talent Code (a great read for those interested). Through his work, Coyle found three themes that allowed for the optimization of performance in just about everything. We’re going to center in on one of those themes today – the idea of deliberate practice.


Swedish psychologist Anders Ericsson was fascinated with the idea of talent and decided to explore it from several different angles. To discover the nature of skilled performance, Ericsson vigorously studied the time and characteristics of practice from several professions. What he discovered is nearly all experts were the product of around 10,000 hours of committed practice. Ericsson called this process deliberate practice, defining it as “working on technique, seeking constant critical feedback, and focusing ruthlessly on shoring up weaknesses.”


The key part of Ericsson’s deliberate practice definition is the idea of commitment. While acquiring hours of practice is critical (Mozart was estimated to have 3,500 hours of practice by his sixth birthday), not all practice is created equal. To understand this, see the example below from Aubrey Daniels:


“Player A shoots 200 practice shots, Player B shoots 50. The Player B retrieves his own shots, dribbles leisurely and takes several breaks to talk to friends. Player A has a colleague who retrieves the ball after each attempt. The colleague keeps a record of shots made. If the shot is missed the colleague records whether the miss was short, long, left or right and the shooter reviews the results after every 10 minutes of practice. To characterize their hour of practice as equal would hardly be accurate. Assuming this is typical of their practice routine and they are equally skilled at the start, which would you predict would be the better shooter after only 100 hours of practice?”


Not only does Player A get up more shots, but the focus and concentration is exceptionally better, there is feedback on every single shot, and that feedback is reviewed every 10 minutes throughout the training session. There’s a system to Player A’s training. Player B is just getting shots up at their leisure.


Any sensible athlete would understand how Player A’s training is much better, but most fail to practice the necessary focus and concentration required for deliberate practice. James Clear, author of New York Times Best Seller Atomic Habits, spoke about this saying, “The greatest challenge of deliberate practice is to remain focused. In the beginning, showing up and putting in your reps is the most important thing. But after a while we begin to carelessly overlook small errors and miss daily opportunities for improvement.” 


This carelessness comes from our brain’s natural tendency to throw skills on autopilot once we begin to master them. This is the reason why we don’t have to think about how to ride a bike or drive a car the way we once used to. With practice, our brain is able to build and strengthen neural circuits required to perform the skill with great efficiency. This makes our day a lot easier by helping us conserve cognitive energy for other places, but it works against us when we’re trying to improve performance. Mindless repetitions and activity do not help us improve. If anything, they’re the start to our regression.  


To avoid falling into the trap of mindless practice, we need to practice strategies that help facilitate deliberate practice. To really and truly be engaged in your work is difficult to do, but it’s how high performing individuals separate themselves from the field. They’re not interested in practicing the puts they could put in blindfolded. They’re on the practice course going through their in-game performance routines, trying new and difficult shots, making mistakes, learning from them, and becoming their own best coach through trial and error. As Ericsson says, “There’s no cell type that geniuses have that the rest of us don’t.” 


How to Design Deliberate Practice


Coyle divided deliberate practice into three rules. The first rule, chunk it up, is where participants absorb the entire activity, break it into its smallest possible chunks, and then practice it by slowing it down – eventually speeding it up – to learn its “inner architecture.” The second rule, repeat it, is where participants practice the skill through mindful repetitions. The last rule, learn to feel it, is where we put it all together and create awareness for when we’re using deliberate practice. 


Absorbing the skill sets the framework for how the participant views the skill and how they can ultimately perform it themselves. Given our natural tendency to imitate, it is incredibly valuable to watch and study high performers in our field. By seeing what they do really well, we can unconsciously learn how to take on similar movements and actions that set us up for long term success. Watching Bryce Harper’s highlight reel isn’t just to admire his 400-foot bombs – it’s a way to spark early interest and engagement. 


Once we have the blueprint for what we want to accomplish, we need to break it down into the smallest chunks possible. By memorizing individual parts of the intended movement, we can learn how to master each one and ultimately put them together in one complete sequence. In baseball, this could be breaking the swing down into a move out of balance, foot plant, initial move to the ball, contact, rotation, and extension. By seeing and feeling how each of these parts should fit together in the whole movement, we’re able to build greater awareness for what it should all feel and look like.


After this point, we can start to put it all together by slowing it down. A slow pace enables a high degree of precision which allows you to be more attentive to small errors. This helps unlock what Coyle calls “a working perception of the skill’s internal blueprints.” We become in tune with the rhythm and relation of the interlocking circuits required for the skill. We don’t just go through the motions – we do it with such a high degree of concentration that we become completely immersed in it. It’s our way to deliberately leave no stone unturned. 


Once we’ve been able to do these three things, we can move on to Coyle’s next rule of deliberate practice: repeat it. As Coyle says, “There is, biologically speaking, no substitute for attentive repetition. Nothing you can do – talking, thinking, reading, imagining – is more effective in building skill than executing the action, firing the impulse down the nerve fiber, fixing errors, honing the circuit.” 


To explain this, he brings up a question: What is the quickest (non-injury) way to diminish the skills of a superstar? The answer is simple – “Don’t let them practice for a month.” Nothing physically about the athlete has changed, but the channels responsible for firing the skill have begun to decay. Just like nature – if it isn’t growing, it’s dying. 


While nothing can replace repetition, it is only useful if it is done on the edge of your capabilities. Coyle calls this area the “sweet spot” for the facilitation of deliberate practice. More doesn’t always mean better if you’re not challenging yourself and finding areas of your game that need improvement. 


After we’ve chunked it up and repeated it, we need to learn what it feels like to be immersed in deliberate practice. Creating awareness for how we feel helps counteract the natural tendency to dislike deliberate practice. It’s very tough to find a particular struggle, invest 100 percent focus and concentration, and consistently evaluate to see whether you are making progress or not. As a result, you need to praise the right things and hold participants accountable to the standard you create. 


To give you an idea of what deliberate practice should feel like, Coyle composed a list of words that experts from around the world used to describe the practice:


    • Attention
    • Connect
    • Build
    • Whole
    • Alert
    • Focus
    • Mistake
    • Repeat
    • Tiring 
    • Edge
    • Awake


Here is a list of words that DID NOT make the list:


    • Natural
    • Effortless
    • Routine
    • Automatic


To give you an idea of how deliberate practice should occur, follow these four steps:


  1. Pick a target
  2. Reach for it
  3. Evaluate the gap between the target and the reach
  4. Return to step one


If you can chunk it, repeat it, feel it, and crush these four steps on a consistent basis, you’re on the right track to deliberate practice. 


After your training sessions, journal and record what your goals were, how you set out to achieve them, the results of your training, what helped you, and what didn’t help you. Get measurables and record film that you can use to track how you’re progressing or regressing throughout your training. Ask for input from others and see if there’s anything they would do to try and help you achieve what you’re striving for. Research things you don’t understand and seek people who understand it very well. Exhaust every possible resource you can – you only have one career. 


If experts from all around the world have invested close to 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, you’ve got no time to waste.       


Keep learning, growing, and practicing deliberately


This article was written by Andrew Parks.   

How to Find the Right Information

We live in an age where there is an abundance of information that is more accessible than ever before. This is a great asset when it comes to making quality information more available to larger crowds. Great information drives better engagement, development, and results as it empowers coaches and athletes to take on more effective training methods. Instead of guessing what is good or bad, we now have a large network of people in constant pursuit of awesome information – and they are more than willing to share it.  


On the flip side, having more information at the tip of your fingers makes it more likely that you’ll run into bad information. All information is not created equal. People have different opinions, viewpoints, and interpret things differently than others. Information changes with time and old training regimes can become outdated with new and improved research. Some of the best coaches out there have published things that they no longer agree with. Others aren’t as well-intentioned and publish thoughts claiming their “expertise” as the reason why you should trust them. Either way, you are always going to run into conflicting information.


As a result, it is more important than ever to have a strong filter when sifting through information. The amount of information published is not going to slow down and the quality of that information cannot be guaranteed. You’re always going to have to work through some bad stuff in order to find something that can really help you. Quite honestly, it’s a good idea to collect some bad information early on. You can’t decipher what’s good or bad if you haven’t collected anything that contradicts what you currently think – and what you think is “bad” might actually be exactly what you need to hear.    


Below are some tips on how you can learn where to get great information from, who to trust, and how to determine what is useful or detrimental. 


  1. Collect as much information as you can early on. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, bad, or indifferent. Understand a variety of perspectives and learn both sides of the conflicts that you find. When it comes down to it, people are going to generally agree on roughly 90 percent of what you see. The other 10 percent is where you start to see differences in training philosophies. Odds are, you can probably learn something from almost all of the people you come into contact with. Only by interacting with a wide variety of ideas do you really start to build your own opinions and formulate what you believe is true.
  2. Don’t just look to confirm what you already believe (confirmation bias). Michael Boyle, strength trainer in Massachusetts, made a great point of this saying, “People don’t call for advice, they call for agreement.” Most people are going to search for things that they already believe to be so. It’s uncomfortable to face the facts and objectively look at the validity of what you think is true. If you can put your biases to the side and seek information that contradicts what you believe, you’ll have a large competitive advantage over your peers. You’ll either find a new perspective you never thought of or you’ll only strengthen your argument for what you already know. One of the best ways to build a strong argument is to thoroughly understand the other side of it.
  3. Beware of self-proclaimed “experts.” Expertise is built through years of experience, skin in the game, and positive impacts on other people. If anyone should call you on expert, it should be the clients and colleagues you work with. If you’re taking the time and energy to validate yourself as an expert online, you probably aren’t one. You’re most likely masking an insecurity where you feel people will only respect you if you have some sort of title next to your name. 
  4. There are no “secrets.” In fact, some of the smartest people/organizations out there share the most amount of free content. If you find someone who claims that have the secret sauce that you can access for $19.99, it probably isn’t worth your time. Don’t waste your time or money with someone who isn’t willing to share their work without a price tag on a public platform. 
  5. There are no free lunches. Don’t be the guy who is always asking for a free-bee. You’re not being thrifty – you’re being a cheapass that no one wants to deal with. Respect other people’s time and put money into resources from people you get a lot from. The free content they put together for you comes at an expense to them. Begging them for more free stuff is another way to tell them you don’t respect their time. Don’t be afraid to spend the dollar – think of it as an investment into your future
  6. Beware of jargon. Fluffing up your vocabulary to make yourself seem smarter may fool some, but it doesn’t actually make you smarter. The best in the world are able to take really complex material and break it down to the point where they could teach it to the dumbest person in the room. Using advanced terminology won’t help you do that. As Einstein says it best, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” 
  7. Context is key. As Eugene Bleeker says best in his book Old School vs. New School, “Everything is great and everything sucks.” Don’t just jump to conclusions when looking at research, experiments, or other outcome-based methodologies. Try to understand the method, who was involved, and how it was used before forming an opinion about it. A poorly executed weighted baseball program should not be rationale to demonize weighted baseballs. 
  8. Seek transparency. Basic marketing concepts will make you believe everything is good and everyone always gets better with training. This just isn’t reality. While many will not go out of their way to publicize failures, the best in the business have no problem admitting them. If you’re thinking of training with someone who claims they’ve never made an athlete worse, don’t walk – run away. Get information from people who are willing to share their failures and shortcomings. Those who aren’t willing to do so are people you shouldn’t trust. 
  9. There are no guarantees. There is no such thing as a weighted baseball program that guarantees 5-10 mph in x amount of weeks. Training with a certain guru will not guarantee you a Division I scholarship. If anything holds true, you are owed nothing from your training. If you find something that promises you an outcome-based goal, don’t trust it. There are steps you can take to improve your odds at doing something, but your training will never replicate an algebra equation. If anything, your progress is going to look a lot messier than you originally thought. 
  10. Beware of those who spend the majority of their time attacking their competition. If you put together a quality product or service, your success should show for itself. You shouldn’t need to spend your time bashing others to make yourself seem like a better option. People who are secure about their value are going to refrain from going out of their way to stir up a storm. Steer clear of those who always find themselves in the middle of a Twitter controversy. Odds are, it’s the only way people will talk about them

If you want a list of quality resources to get started, reach out and we can send something your way!


Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Keep learning, growing, and finding the best information out there.