By Coach Flint Wallace
“The longest journey begins with a single step.”
-Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher
“Well begun is half done.”
Here at the Texas Baseball Ranch, several hundred players attend one or more of our events, whether it’s a Boot Camp, the Summer Program, or one of our Ranch on the Road sessions, and they are all attending with the goal in mind of improving their pitching or throwing technique. In order to provide the help they seek, we must first evaluate where they currently are. We do this though a series of assessments. Once these assessments are completed, then we can help create a plan that will allow them to start from where they are that will allow them to build the foundation for their futures.
My purpose in writing this blog is not to describe the processes we use at the Ranch, but rather to try and offer some perspective on how to go about starting something new.
It is impossible to create a plan for improvement if we do not know where the player is today. That is why we do the assessments. Now, it doesn’t matter where the starting point is, or what you are starting. This doesn’t just apply to pitching, or, for that matter, athletics. It may be a new project at work or even a new business. What matters is that with any undertaking, one will have to hustle the most at the beginning, and it will be some time before any significant results are achieved. Gains will likely be unnoticed for a time and you may even be tempted to quit, but, it is critical to start where you are and do whatever it takes to progress. Even if the progress is slow in the beginning, the foundation you are building is what you will be able to build on in the future.
Progress is usually not necessarily a linear process, rather, it is exponential. The first part is always the hardest, and it usually takes longer than we would like it to before we start seeing noticeable results. Think of it like a ride on a roller coaster. Picture the roller coaster going up the track. On the way up, it has all the weight working against it and it has very little momentum, but as soon as it reaches the peak (where the temptation to quit is at its most intense), you are just moments away from feeling the rush of downhill maximum velocity, and when it reaches that apex, it drops down with such enormous force that it seems as if nothing can stop it.
That is how success works. The hustle, the hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears, happen in the beginning while climbing up the track. And, just when it seems that all the momentum has been lost, the hill is crested and you reap the benefits of all the hard work.
Just as a roller coaster has a next hill to climb, it is at this point that it is time to undertake a new challenge. There will always be another hill to climb, but that is the reward for the climb.
So remember, start from where you are and build the foundation. Hustle, and do whatever it takes to progress. Never quit, no matter how intense the temptation becomes, and when you reach the tipping point, enjoy the ride of success.