By: Samantha Parrish
This baseball season has been wonderful for me! With my brother Garrett’s college team having most of their games broadcast online, and with some even played up in my area, I had a front row seat for a lot of games- which was awesome! I know most players spend time agonizing over their performance and playing time, which to an extent is out of their control. Watching a lot of baseball this season, I was reminded of several things that can help players, of all ages, which are in your control.
- Arrive Early and Stay Late: everyone loves someone they can count. Although occasionally out of your control, you should try to make a habit of arriving at least 5 minutes early. While being right on time isn’t a bad thing, people notice when you are continuously 2 minutes late, and that can affect how they perceive you over time.
- Tuck Your Shirt In: or any other equivalent dress rules. I know this may sound old fashioned to some of you, but it is important. Have you ever heard “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? This falls under that category. Never be afraid to stand out in a positive way. Sure there may be guys on your team that have something to say about it, but always make sure that on game day you look sharp and ready to go.
- Hustle: always hustle, everywhere. I have a 5 year old in soccer and we make sure that she runs on and off the field every time. Not only does having a good hustle make you look like you can handle more playing time, it also shows that you are in the game. Be the first person on the field and the first person off. I cannot tell you how sloppy it looks to see guys strolling off the field. Be an athlete- have some pep in your step. Believe me it is noticed.
- Be Positive: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’ll say it- losing sucks. It does, everyone will agree. Does having a teammate point out all that sucks about it make it suck any less? No. In fact, it probably just annoys you more. Don’t be that guy. Be the guy that lifts others up. Believe me, the coach will have no issue pointing out the mistakes that were made, you don’t have to. Especially in the moment- during the game, while you’re still playing, keep your chin up and help keep your team focused. One of the things that I love about baseball is that at any moment, a recovery can be made. Have your attitude right and ready, if it isn’t, your abilities won’t be either.
- Do Extra: some of your teammates may call this ‘sucking up’ but be the guy who is willing to do extra. Coach needs someone to shag? Got it! Teammate needs someone to warm up with? Got it! One of my favorite stories is when Coach Wolforth was trying to walk on for a college team. He tried out for EVERY position including catcher and outfield even though he had never played there before. That guy gets remembered. Go the extra mile even when you aren’t asked. Not only will you get better in the process, but people are much more likely to want to help you/have you on their team when you are ‘the guy’ helping. (In case you were wondering, Coach did make the team- as a pitcher).
- Be First: first to volunteer, first to start a drill, first on the field to congratulate a teammate- you name it. Set the example. Be THE guy (or girl). Don’t spend your time trying to fly under the radar. Instead, step out and set the tone.
Outside of the world of sports and in the business world, I can tell you these things still apply. Get yourself in the habit now. You may not always be able to control your performance, but the things above are in your control and they can be your new habits. Little impressions add up and you’d be surprised how much this can help
**Now of course your training should also fall in line. Take control of it. If you are having difficulty with your training program and aren’t sure where to start, come join us this summer for an Elite Pitchers Boot Camps! Every player goes home with a plan. If you start now, imagine where you will be by next season!