By Coach Flint Wallace
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Flint Wallace, I am the Director of Player Development here at the Texas Baseball Ranch. I also help with the up keep and improvements of the facilities here at the Ranch. The past few days I have been building some new cabinets to store the merchandise we sell here at the Ranch. Now I know it would be much easier to just go buy some cabinets, but they would not be exactly what we needed, or look like they belonged at the Ranch. For you that have been to the Ranch, you know that there is not much luxury here. It is a place for work to get done, not a place for resting. So we need cabinets that our sturdy and rugged, but still functional. So that is what I set out to build.
I started off by sketching a blue print in my planner. I made several drafts until I felt comfortable with how I thought the cabinet should look, what materials I would need, and how I would go about constructing them. Then I went and bought the materials I needed, brought them back and organized them so I knew where everything would be. The next morning I came in and got all the tools I would need for the project out of the shed and started the construction process. I was cruising right along, framing up the sides and the back and connecting them. Then I came to the first place where I needed to make an adjustment in my plan. I do not know if you have ever built anything from scratch before or not, but if you have, you know what I mean when I say there will always be adjustments needed the first time you do it. In my blueprint, I forgot to draw in braces along the back and front for the shelves to set on. Once that part was added, I realized I that I bought the wrong hinges for the door, so I had to go exchange them. Yet another adjustment. Then I needed different size screw for the frame of the doors then I thought. Luckily, we had the size I needed out in the shed, but still, another adjustment. Then I finally finished the cabinets. It took me a little longer then I thought it would. But I came away with a little bit better knowledge of how to attack a project like that in the future.
This cabinet building process reminds me of what the development process should look like for most baseball players. You should write out an overall plan or blueprint of what the process should look like. Then you should make several drafts until you have thought through the process and have a really good idea of what it should be. Figure out what you are going to need to help you with your journey. Then start your building process. When you hit a road block, make an adjustment. When an obstacle appears that you did not foresee, make another adjustment. When you realize that you need to change something for something else that fits your process better, then exchange it. And when you realize you left something out, or you need to add something all together, then make that adjustment as well. Most of the time it takes longer then what you expected, but you always come out with a little bit more knowledge on what and how you need to prepare in the future.
For those of you who might not even know where to start for your blueprint, I believe an Elite Pitchers Bootcamp or our Summer Program here at the Texas Baseball Ranch is an ideal place to start. If interested just log into www.texasbaseballranch.com for more details.
And for those of you who might want to know how the cabinets I built turned out, here is a couple of photos for you.