So you say you want to be great? We already know that human nature allows us to settle into a routine of working to level that allows us to be successful and maintain a certain level of success. We know that we have to work hard to “win,” but the challenge is to be sure we are getting the most out of that work.
Attack Your Weaknesses!
Many players work on their own. They have a catch net set up in the basement or garage and hit a couple buckets of balls every day. They are putting in work, no doubt, but what does that work really accomplish?
What most people do is put in work on the things that they are already very good at. We spend that time crushing the ball into the net because we put the ball in the exact same place every swing and get really good at doing the same thing over and over again. Most of the time, the tee never moves, the ball never moves and the result is the same, screaming line drive into the net.
Is this is better than not working on your own? Of course it is better than sitting on the couch watching “The Bachelor,” but it is also a trap that many good players fall into. They convince themselves that they are putting in the work they need to become a “Great” player. They believe they are doing the things that separate them from everyone else.
How do we beat Human Nature?
You have to become the player that is willing to attack your weaknesses!
You know if you struggle with the low ball, the inside pitch or the short hop. You know if your rise ball is really rising or if it is a bullet that is just as likely to get crushed as missed. You know how you feel about the ball in the sun or the umpire that squeezes the zone. If you haven’t hit a changeup in months, you know you need to work on it, right?
Of course you do!
So now you have to do it. Start by making list of the three things that are currently kicking your butt! Write them down and devise a plan of attack to fix each of them.
If you are struggling with the low pitch in the zone, then your tee in the garage has to be low, Hit a few thousand low balls down the middle, then a few more low inside, then a few more low outside and repeat until you love the low ball.
If you hate the short hop that gets hit to you on defense then go in the basement with a tennis ball and toss short hops off the wall, without a glove, until you can handle that ball every time. Then use a softball and your glove again until you can’t wait for someone to hit you a short hop because you dominate that play.
Whatever your weaknesses are, and trust me, you know what they are, have to be attacked until you see those challenges as strengths!
The list of weaknesses will never end! As soon as you conquer the first three on your list you should start working on the next three and just like washing your hair, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.