Coaching and teaching - many through the mortgage process and others on the field

Category: Baseball (Page 1 of 16)

The College and Professional Athlete

Playing sports at the college or professional level is a dream for many aspiring athletes, but it is much more challenging than most players and parents realize.

The percentages of high school athletes who make it into the collegiate and professional ranks are relatively low, underlining the competitive nature of these pursuits.

College Participation

First and foremost, making it to the collegiate level is an achievement in itself. According to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) statistics, only a small fraction of high school athletes move on to compete at the college level.

person holding baseball bat

The percentage varies by sport, with more popular sports having higher competition – but on average only 5% of high school athletes are able to play in college. And that doesn’t even consider scholarship athletes…

This underscores the importance of exceptional skill, dedication, and often a combination of academic and athletic competence to stand out in the recruiting process.

The Professional Ranks

The transition from college athletics to playing professionally is an even more exclusive path. The NCAA reports that only a small percentage of college athletes move on to play at the professional level.

It’s crucial to recognize that the journey to becoming a professional athlete is a challenging one, and success is not guaranteed even for those who excel in college sports. Injuries, changes in performance, and the highly competitive nature of professional sports leagues all contribute to the uncertainty of reaching the highest levels of athletic competition.

man wearing black cap with eyes closed under cloudy sky

The Benefits of Athletics

While the percentages may seem discouraging, it’s essential to recognize the broader benefits of participating in high school sports.

Engaging in athletics promotes physical health, teamwork, discipline, and leadership skills, contributing to personal development regardless of whether a student-athlete advances to the college or professional level.

Most importantly, the lessons learned through sports can shape individuals into well-rounded, resilient, and determined individuals, laying the foundation for success in various aspects of life.  The time management skills, the dealing with setbacks, and preparing to perform translate so well into the business and professional world!

Recovering From Injury | The Mental Side

Coming back from injury isn’t an easy task, especially in the athletic world.  Athletes get hurt often, as it’s a risk in any game.  But what does it take to fully recover and return to the field?

Of course, there’s the physical rehab, but what about the mental side?

I’m sharing an article from Dr. Patrick Cohn from Peak Performance Sports, and I’d invite you to check it out…

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A positive mindset is where you focus on a successful and speedy recovery rather than negative “what ifs.”

Every athlete will experience an initial adverse reaction to injury, but moving forward from injury requires that you process your circumstances and then focus on your mental and physical recovery one day at a time.

How do you bounce back from a sports injury?

The first step in bouncing back is to process your emotions. The sooner you can work through your intense emotions, the quicker you can move forward.

The next step is to evaluate the severity of the injury with a doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer.

Afterward, create a rehabilitation plan, including how you will work on building your mental toughness. Each week, assess your progress and adjust your plan as necessary.

Each of these steps helps you focus on solutions or positive action. The goal is to maintain a positive attitude and a sense of control throughout the recovery process to return to competition physically and mentally stronger.

Late in the 2023 NFL season, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Zach Cunningham suffered a hamstring injury and watched from the sidelines as the San Francisco 49ers dominated the Eagles, 42-19.

After the game, Cunningham talked about how difficult it was to be injured but stated he was focused on supporting his teammates and rehabbing his injury.

CUNNINGHAM: “It was really tough. I mean, having to sit and watch from the sidelines, it’s always hard having to sit out anyway…. It sucked a lot, man. You gotta focus on the stuff that you can control. I was out there trying to help where I could as far as anything I saw out there on the field. That and working on getting back. That’s my main focus.”

Focusing on what you can control, such as the recovery process, and supporting your teammates is empowering. Focusing on what you can do helps you maintain a positive perspective and can improve your mental and physical recovery.

Focus on what you can control. Setting goals to maintain a positive and productive focus is important when injured.

Set three athletic or rehab goals each day, such as 15 minutes of visualization, maintaining a positive attitude during rehab, discussing game strategy with your coach, or strength training.

Setting goals helps you move forward and build mental toughness along the way.

Baseball Parenting: Fostering Growth, Resilience, and Sportsmanship

Parents can help play a crucial role in shaping a child’s experience and success in baseball.

When kids take up baseball, parents can provide support and guidance that not only enhances their athletic abilities but also fosters essential life skills.

Encouragement, patience, and promoting a positive sportsmanship culture are vital elements in baseball parenting.

Support

First of all, baseball parenting is about providing unwavering support and encouragement to young athletes, especially at younger ages.

Kids often face challenges and setbacks in the sport, and it is crucial for parents to be a source of motivation during these times.

Remember – even the best players fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate!

Celebrating their successes and offering words of encouragement when they encounter failures helps build their confidence and resilience – and in many cases makes them want to work harder to get better.

Patience

Secondly, patience is a virtue that baseball parents must absolutely embrace.

The development of baseball skills takes time and practice. Understanding that progress is gradual helps parents avoid placing undue pressure on their children.

By maintaining a patient and supportive approach, parents create an environment where young athletes can learn at their own pace, explore the game, and improve without feeling overwhelmed.

Culture

Furthermore, promoting a positive sportsmanship culture is essential for the baseball parent.

Encouraging respect for teammates, umpires, coaches, and opponents…and adherence to the rules of the game instills values that extend beyond the baseball field.

This sounds cliché, but teaching children the importance of good sportsmanship helps them develop strong character traits, such as integrity, humility, and empathy, which they can carry into other aspects of their lives.

Balance

Lastly, it is essential for parents to strike a balance between involvement and allowing children to experience the sport independently.

While guidance and support are crucial, parents should also give their young athletes space to learn from their own mistakes and develop their decision-making skills.

Independence and autonomy in the game can empower kids to take ownership of their progress and achievements, fostering a sense of responsibility and self-reliance.

In Conclusion

Baseball parenting is a critical aspect of a child’s development in this most difficult sport.

Encouragement, patience, and promoting a positive sportsmanship culture contribute to a nurturing environment that allows young athletes to flourish.

By offering solid support, understanding the importance of patience, and instilling essential values, parents can play a vital role in their children’s baseball journey while imparting lifelong lessons that extend far beyond the confines of the baseball field.

Staying Ahead: Off-Season Baseball Workouts

Do you want to take your baseball skills to the next level? Off-season workouts are a fantastic way to stay in shape and improve your game, even when the regular baseball season is over.

Let’s look at some fun and effective off-season baseball workouts that can help you stay ahead of the competition and make the most out of your time off the field.

Strength and Power Training

Building strength and power is vital for baseball players. It can help you throw harder, hit the ball farther, and improve your overall performance.

Incorporate exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks into your routine to strengthen your muscles.

Additionally, consider using resistance bands or light dumbbells to add resistance to your exercises. Always remember to prioritize proper form and technique to prevent injuries.

The key here is to make these workouts a regular part of your week.

Conditioning and Cardiovascular Exercises

To be your best, it’s essential to have endurance and a strong cardiovascular system…especially for pitchers.

Engaging in activities such as running, biking, or swimming during the off-season can help improve your overall fitness and coordination levels.

You can start with short distances and gradually increase your stamina over time. You might even consider joining a local running club or participating in other sports that involve running to make your workouts more enjoyable and social.

Agility and Speed Drills

Baseball requires quick reflexes and agility. Utilize drills that focus on improving your speed, footwork, and reaction time.

For example, set up some cones or markers and practice running through them in various patterns. You can also try ladder drills, side shuffles, or jumping exercises to enhance your agility.

These drills will help you become more nimble on the field, whether you’re fielding ground balls or chasing down fly balls.

Flexibility and Stretching

Maintaining flexibility is crucial for preventing injuries and improving your range of motion.

Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine, focusing on your shoulders, hips, legs, and core. Consider activities like yoga or Pilates, which can improve flexibility while also providing relaxation and mental focus.

Make sure to warm up before stretching and avoid pushing yourself too far to prevent strains or muscle pulls.

Mental Training and Rest

Baseball is not just about physical strength; it also requires mental toughness and focus.

Take time during the off-season to work on your mental game. Visualize yourself succeeding in different baseball situations, practice positive self-talk, and set goals for the upcoming season. Read a books from Dr. Patrick Cohn or H.A. Dorfman or reach out to Austin Byler

Additionally, remember the importance of rest and recovery. Take days off to allow your body and mind to rejuvenate, as this will help you come back stronger and more motivated.

In Conclusion

Off-season baseball workouts are an excellent opportunity to improve your skills, stay in shape, and get a head start for the upcoming season.

By incorporating conditioning exercises, strength training, agility drills, flexibility exercises, and mental training into your routine, you’ll be well-prepared to take on the challenges on the baseball field.

Remember to have fun, stay committed, and always prioritize safety while engaging in off-season workouts. With dedication and hard work, you’ll be ready to shine when baseball season comes around again!

From Fragile to Fearless: How to Build Unbreakable Toughness

As parents and coaches, we have a unique opportunity to help our athletes develop skills and traits, both on and off the field.

And mental toughness is one of the key characteristics that should be on everyone’s focus list.

“Building toughness and focus in youth athletes requires a multi-faceted approach that includes physical conditioning, mental training, teamwork, and selflessness.” Brad Myott, Nitty-Gritty Baseball

I’m linking to a great article for coaches and parents from Brad Myott at Nitty-Gritty Baseball and I’d invite you to check it out here

A few excerpts:

Model a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, practice, and perseverance. In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence are fixed traits that cannot be changed. In order for our player’s to develop a growth mindset, we must model it for them on a consistent basis.

Set Challenging Goals

Setting challenging but achievable goals can help build toughness in young athletes by providing them with a sense of purpose and direction. Encourage your players to set goals that are specific, measurable, and challenging, and help them create a plan to achieve those goals. Celebrate their progress along the way and help them stay motivated and focused on their goals.

Practice Mental Toughness Through Mindfulness

In recent years, mindfulness has gained popularity as a tool for promoting mental health and well-being. However, its benefits extend beyond stress reduction and relaxation; mindfulness can also help youth athletes build mental toughness. By learning to focus their attention and regulate their emotions, athletes can develop greater resilience, confidence, and perseverance on the field.

Again, I highly recommend that you view the entire article here…

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