By Samantha Parrish –
The past few months I have been regularly practicing hot yoga. I was prepared for a few of the perks of yoga but something I hadn’t thought about (and quickly became one of my favorite aspects) was the quiet. No phones in sight, no chatter, just time to focus. When you are dripping in sweat trying to balance on 1 arm and your toes it becomes very apparent when you lose your focus- you lose the pose. I must admit I had a hard time keeping my mind in check the first few classes- I would think about my day or my grocery list, the calls I needed to return or what I’d make for dinner. I have had to practice keeping my focus.
This got me thinking- rarely do we ever just get time to focus. The phone is ringing, people are texting, snapchatting, tweeting, updating facebook, sending emails just to name a few- not the mention the actual conversations that we have with people face to face. It’s almost as if our time is not completely our own anymore.
Think how much better you would be at …x… (you fill in) if you devoted hours of uninterrupted time to that task each week. It’s so easy to go through the motion with our bodies but let our minds drift. In the book Outliers a study revealed that in order to be exceptional at something you must have at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Deliberate. That means actually doing something with a purpose.
I have a picture that I see every morning that says ‘Live with Intention’. Be in the moment in everything that you do- your time is valuable. The good news is that with deliberate practice you can improve your focus and I have a few tips that help me with this ongoing struggle.
- Set goals. You should always have a set of specific short term and long term goals. For example: where do you want to be a the end of the summer with your development and where so you want to be at the end of next season. You can have a range of goals between now and when the season starts but have an idea in your mind of what you want to do. I will get to this more later but most of these goals should involve something you can measure- otherwise how do you know if you are improving.
- Have a plan. Not in your head but actually written out on paper for what you are going to do each day of the week. This plan should be fluid- it should be changing weekly or monthly as you asses what works and what doesn’t
- Measure something! Don’t just go throw or lift until you feel like you got a good sweat, have a measurement. If you’re pitching you can measure your velo, % strikes, tong toss distance etc. This will help keep you dialed in to your workouts.
- Journal. I like to journal after every workout. How did I feel about what I did. Did some exercises feel easier than others that day, does something need to be tweeked, did I feel sluggish if so why? This is your ongoing commentary to your future self about how you are changing and evolving your plan.
These are just a few ideas to help you stay in to your workouts and take ownership over them. I challenge you to monitor your focus the next time you train. See where your mind is going, see if you are truly engaged. Remember if we get .033% better each day we will be 12% better in a year. That is huge! Little gains over time make a big difference so don’t take your next workout for granted.
As a side note for those guys that are training at the Ranch right now in our summer program: I know that you can relate to the heat aspect of my story but I don’t know if you’ve also noticed that there is next to no cell phone reception in the training barn:) Take advantage of your time for you.
If you know of someone else that would enjoy or benefit from our weekly emails, please forward their email address to us (info@TexasBaseballRanch.com) and we will see that they are added.