Why Do Plateaus Occur- Part II

By: Coach Wolforth

 

A reminder of key points of Part I:

  • 1) Plateaus are natural parts of EVERYONE’s growth.
  • 2) Very frequently I see solid and steady incremental growth being categorized and labeled by athletes and parents as ‘disappointing’ and ‘discouraging’ simply because the gains were ‘so small’.
  • 3) To truly be exceptional you must first learn to become discouragement proof… or at the very least… discouragement resistant.
  • 4) At the Ranch we say… “To become great, you first must learn to enjoy the plateaus.”

(If you missed Part I last week, you can read it here now!)

 

Once plateaus occur… now what?

 

What caused them in the first place?

 

How do we now get unstuck?

 

First of all, as a general rule, I do not ever try to research the exact causes of any plateau.

 

Plateaus are what they are. They exist. They are natural. Their causes are complex and multitudinous. In fact the complete cause of any plateau very often involves factors outside of our personal awareness and/or beyond our present comprehension.

 

In my opinion, our energy is far better spent on the ‘now what’ or the ‘what’s important now’ instead of trying to investigate the specific cause.

 

Even if we are exceptional in our planning and preparation, plateaus naturally occur to each and every one of us because we, as humans longing for growth, are always fighting against the body and mind’s natural inclination toward homeostasis.

 

homeostasis

Use homeostasis in a Sentence

–noun

1. the tendency of a system, esp. the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus tending to disturb its normal condition or function.

 

2. Psychology. a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated.

 

In other words, the body wants to remain neutral… configured and balanced as it is now.

 

It resists change. It longs for plateaus.

 

So here is our straight forward 2-step game plan at the Texas Baseball Ranch whenever our athletes get stuck.

 

1)    We Return to Basics

         For example: every football game from a Little League Pop Warner game to the NFL Super Bowl will always center around how well each team does simple tasks like blocking, running, tackling, controlling the line of scrimmage and taking care of the football. Most often success is truly the art of doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

 

At Spring Training every year, professional players will return to the basics.

 

The basics never change. The basics are always critical.

 

But often we simply drift away from them. Therefore ‘the basics’ must become our default setting.

 

In other words, whenever we aren’t getting the growth or the results we are looking for… we always return to the basics.

 

What are our ‘Basics’ at the Texas Baseball Ranch?

 

Return to Basics Set #1- We have each athlete seriously contemplate the following questions and rate their personal quality 0-10; 0 being none at all and 10 being 100% (we obviously are trying to make 0 or 10 responses rare):

 

A. Intent & Conviction 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Do you truly believe in your current path and plan of action and do you habitually act accordingly upon that faith? In other words, how well do your actions match your beliefs or do you say one thing and behave in another manner?

 

B. Work Ethic, Persistence & Commitment 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Do you dabble and hope… or are you ALL IN each and every day?

 

C. A Specific Plan of Action 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Do you actually have a specific plan of action or are you just swinging wildly and hoping you hit something?

 

D. Awareness 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Have you developed a keen sense of what is happening now… currently? Are you clued in, tuned in and turned on or are you just guessing and going through the motions?

 

E. Objective Measurement 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      If it’s important… do you find a way to objectively measure it… AND record AND track it?

 

F. Adjustment/Adaptation/Evolution 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      If you keep doing what everybody else does… you are going to get what everybody else gets. If you keep doing what you’ve always done… you are going to get what you’ve always gotten. Are you continually and constantly changing, adjusting, adapting, modifying… and doing it as soon as you see that the need is real?

 

G. Perspective  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Step back and look at the big picture… take a 360° look. Are you not seeing the forest for the trees? Are you missing something here?

 

H. Ask for Help 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Do we need to find an expert in a specific area or do we simply need another set of eyes to offer perspective?

 

2)    Set 2- Wolforth Mechanical Efficiency Basics (Hitting/Pitching or Fielding)

 

I. Connection/Disconnection 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Are You Loose/Free/Fluid? Are you Connected? Linked up? In Sync?

 

J. Aggression/Intent/Energy  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Are You Letting it Go? Are you attacking or are you hesitant?

 

K. Stability 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Are you stable? Are you controlling your Center of Gravity?

 

L. Consistency 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Are you repeatable? Can you repeat the desired movement pattern?

 

M. Practice Characteristics 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Do you need to change the quality, quantity, intensity or frequency of your practice repetitions?

 

N. Game Carryover or Transfer 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

      Are your practice repetitions game-like enough?

 

O. Skill Specific Adjustability 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Are you constantly adjusting or are you repeating the same flawed movement pattern over and over again?

 

P. Routine 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

     Are you taking a deep breath, clearing your mind and visualizing your desired outcome prior to your activity or does one repetition simply meld into the next without assessment or evaluation?

 

Step 2- Is there something that is constraining your growth?

 

0= Absolutely certain that this issue is not a constraint

 

10= Absolutely certain this area is constraining my growth

 

A. Physical

 

      Limitations in General Strength 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Limitations in Skill-Specific Strength 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Limitations in Mobility/Flexibility/Range of Motion 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Asymmetries/Anatomical Misalignments 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Strength Imbalances 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Lack of Rest/Recovery/Sleep 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Poor Diet/Nutrition 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Limitations in Neural Pathways/Neuromuscular Coordination 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Lack of Deliberate/Deep Practice 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

B. Mental/Emotional

 

      Poor/Defeatist Self-Talk 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Limitations of Emotional Control 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Poor/Defeatist Body Language 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Incongruent/Less Effective Rules of Personal Success & Failure 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

C. Strategic

 

      Poor/Limited or Less Effective Game Plan  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

      Poor Game Time Decisions  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

 

**Come train with us at any of our Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camps this Fall!

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