The 3 Best Things I Learned in 2017

By Jonathan Massey-


I’ve always considered myself an avid learner.  It’s something that my Dad instilled in me early in life, and something Coach Wolforth has further engrained.  With 2018 just beginning,  I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you what I learned in 2017.


#1 If It’s Important, Write It Down


This isn’t so much something I learned this past year, but more of something I’ve done a better job of implementing.  I might have been the world’s worst at trying to remember everything that was told to me.  From individual programs to things I needed to get for Coach Wolforth.


Guess what would happen?


I would remember most of what I needed to get done.  But it would never fail that something important would slip through the cracks.  So, when Brian Cain said, “if it’s important, write it down.”  I immediately went out and bought myself a journal to write things down.



Now, it doesn’t just have to be daily assignments.  I highly recommend keeping a daily journal on how your day went or how your throwing session went.  In 2014, I had the opportunity to watch Barry Zito train at the Texas Baseball Ranch® for an entire off-season.  For a man who has been a 3-time All-Star, won the 2002 American League Cy Young, and has made over 137 million dollars in his career, you think he would know a thing or two about success.  But guess who was also the most avid note taker I’ve ever seen… Barry Zito.


Success leaves clues. If it’s important to you, write it down somewhere.


#2 It’s the Information You Learn from the Drills That Is the Most Important


So often players will ask me if that drill looked good.  But truth be told, if you pay close enough attention you can learn all the information you need to know.


Let’s start with an obvious question you ask yourself after every throw, did that throw feel slightly better or slightly worse?  If so, why?  What felt different about that throw? (by the way these are things you should be writing down in your journal).  We could peel back layers of the onion and go deeper on the questions you could ask yourself.  But I think if you start to ask these simple ones, you’ll set yourself down a path to get to the higher-level questions.



Simply asking yourself these kinds of questions will elevate your practice to another level.  So often I see guys who look like a hamster on one of those stationary wheels.  They’re working really hard, but they’re going absolutely nowhere.  These players believe that it’s the drill that is the secret sauce.


I don’t want to say the drill is irrelevant because it’s not, but the information you learn from doing the drill is far more valuable.


#3 Play the Infinite Game


Which game are you playing… the Infinite game or the Finite Game?


Coach Wolforth introduced me to this concept by Simon Sinek this past year and while I feel like I’ve been playing the infinite game for a couple years now, it just further engrained why I should always play the infinite game.



So which game are you playing?  If you are playing the finite game, you are constantly comparing yourself to others in your peer group.  So, when you’re behind them it’s incredibly frustrating because you feel like you should be further along than you currently are.  When you’re ahead, you feel incredible until you run into someone else that is a head of you, and the frustration sets in again.  It’s an emotional roller coaster.


So, what’s the alternative?  Play the Infinite Game.  The Infinite Game disregards everyone else, and simply focuses on you.  The Infinite Game understands that in life sometimes you are going to be ahead and sometimes you are going to be behind.  In the Infinite Game the only thing that matters is being better today than you were yesterday.  And then being better tomorrow than you were today.


Play the Infinite Game.


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