By: Jonathan Massey
We’ve all been fed this idea that if we work really, really hard at something, then whatever we want to accomplish we can accomplish. I would be the first one in line to tell you that working hard is absolutely 100% necessary for accomplishing your goals, but as Tony Robbins has famously said, “if you’re running east looking for sunset, it isn’t ever going to happen no matter how hard or fast you run.”
Here are a few things from my own personal experience that I believe you simply cannot out-work no matter how hard you try.
- Bad Nutrition: Over the past 5 years my weight has ranged anywhere from 175 to 210 pounds. And if you know me personally, you know that my weight has always been something that I struggle with. One of my biggest problems is that during the summer I burn on average 1200 more calories a day than I do during the rest of the year thanks to the TBR Summer Program. So during that time I can get away with a less than stellar nutritional plan. Well in August when our Summer Program is over, that bad nutrition hits me like a ton of bricks, and all of sudden I’m 15 pounds overweight. I’ve learned the hard way that no matter what, you have to have a solid nutritional plan if you truly want to get the most out of your abilities; even if you are the guy that can eat whatever you want and not see any negative effects. My analogy for you is: you wouldn’t fill up your Ferrari with regular unleaded gasoline would you? What you put into your body absolutely 100% matters!
- Lack of Sleep: I cannot stress the importance of getting enough sleep at night. If you are familiar with the Ranch then you know how much we talk about your ability to recover. So if you’re a starter, are you the same guy every time it’s your turn in the rotation? Or if you’re reliever, are you same guy on back to back nights? Getting enough sleep is vital to your ability to recover. I’ve read research that states that “as much as 70% of your natural human growth hormone is produced while you sleep.” That natural human growth hormone is crucial for muscle recovery and growth. Sleep is also when your Central Nervous System repairs itself. You need 8-10 hours of sleep each night for this to take place. For those of you who think sleeping from 3AM until 11AM is a quality 8 hours of sleep, I advise you to read into negative health effects of working at night. As renowned strength and conditioning expert Eric Cressey says, “every hour of sleep before midnight counts as 2 hours.”
- The Wrong Plan: A ‘one size fits all’ plan will be the death of your career. Let me repeat that, a one size fits all plan will be the death of your career. Even if, by sheer dumb luck, you find that the one size fits all plan fits your current needs, how long will it be before you out grow that plan? What happens if you get a plan that is the exact opposite of what you need? The best case scenario is that you make little to no progress. The worst case scenario is that you end up getting hurt. I don’t know about you, but I was never willing to risk my career on a cookie-cutter program. At the Texas Baseball Ranch, we regularly assess our guys so that as they grow, their plan grows with them. You are almost assuredly not the same guy you were 6 months or a year ago. Your mobility has changed, your movement pattern has changed, you’ve gotten stronger in some areas and weaker in others. So if you are doing the same thing today that you were doing 6 months ago, something is wrong. Each guy needs their own unique throwing program, strength program, and nutrition program.
Working hard is definitely a huge part of the success equation, but simply working hard isn’t enough; you have to work smart as well. I know doing some of this stuff can be a real pain in the rear end. I don’t like having to meal prep for 2 hours on Sundays or forcing myself to go to bed at 9:30 at night, but it’s what I have to do. In an effort to be the best you have to make sacrifices.
**If you’re looking to not only work hard, but also find the right tools to help you succeed, come see us this summer at one of our Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camps!