We all bring something unique to the table for our teams. It might be speed, a powerful bat, or an arm angle that hitters hate. Whatever our unique gift is, it’s important that we maximize it’s potential. As baseball players we often focus on what we lack and what areas we need to improve on. Heck, as human beings we are programmed to live in fear of not being good enough. We have a skewed perception of successful players and believe that they have always had it figured out – they are just “naturally gifted.”
Then there’s the pressure of being a five tool player or having a mid-90’s fastball just to get noticed. Our practice time ends up going towards working on our weaknesses rather than honing in on our strengths. Youth players have a tough time seeing their strengths as strengths because they get redirected to the areas they’re lacking. All with the hopes of being recruited.
I assure you that the players in the big leagues have had the same doubts and fears that you and your players have. So how does a player go from decent to all-star? How do major leaguers become major leaguers? The answer is simple, they figure out what they’re good at then they work on it – a lot! Have you ever known a decent player that all of a sudden becomes a beast on the field? Like he’s playing on an entirely different level than everyone else. You start to ask yourself what he did, what program did he follow, which instructor is he going to, what is he eating, etc… Parents, have you ever had a boss our known someone that is trying to do everything themselves and just not good at it? Then one day they decide to let some other people get involved so they can just focus on what they’re good at. You can see a difference and immediately think, wow they figured it out and there’s just something different now, it’s great!
We are all gifted in some capacity and SHOULD bring that gift to our team. The uniqueness of our abilities is what makes this the greatest game on the planet. Scouts don’t want all 5 tool players and all pitchers that throw mid-90’s. They want players that know their craft and can do with it what nobody else can. Coaches, let your players practice what they’re good at, let them build confidence in it. Encourage them to see the areas that they need to improve on but let them know the team needs their unique contribution.