How to get better in Baseball: Stick to the fundamentals
I recently received a question from a player who attended my Baseball Camp and it read “I really like playing baseball although I may not have the same natural abilities as some of my teammates. What do I need to do to get better?”
Playing baseball is one of the great life lessons. The game will teach so many intangibles that it is almost immeasurable. One aspect of the game that happens at every level is the realization that “I am not as talented as others on the team.”
Admitting this difficult realization is the first step towards actually becoming a better baseball player and a more successful person.
- Stick to the fundamentals: Baseball is a game that ultimately favors the fundamentals. If you feel inferior athletically, concentrate on the fundamentals of the baseball swing, the pitching motion, move your feet defensively, practice bunting. Practice all of the mechanics – baseball hitting drills, baseball catching drills, and even tee ball drills – that are often overlooked by so many Little League and Cal Ripken League players.
- Kids that are bigger, faster, stronger at a young age can often get away with bad habits because of their size. These bad habits will strengthen as the years move forward. Every time a bad habit, a bad swing is practiced, the bad habit is reinforced to the brain. By the time high school or junior high comes around, the kids who perform the fundamentals correctly will start to progress at a faster rate than others.
- Embrace the fight: Embrace the challenge of overcoming. Baseball will humble you and teach you so much. Embrace the challenge. Get excited about the fundamentals. Get excited about doing things the right way.
- Watch the role players in Major League Baseball: Everyone enjoys watching the stars in Major League Baseball because they are exciting and amazing. But if you are a Little League player who feels inferior talent-wise, focus on the backup infielder, the backup catcher, the smaller guy who is on the team because they can do everything fundamentally correctly and the coach trusts them. Every major league team has these players. These players have to do it right. They have no room for error. They have embraced the challenge to overcome. They understand the importance of baseball fundamentals.
All of the above information is baseball centered, but more importantly, it is life centered. If a young person can learn the importance of fundamentals and good habits at a young age, the chances of success later in life are greatly increased. Immediate results at a young age seem so important, but baseball, like life is a process. Stick with the fight. Stick with fundamentals. Stick with it and embrace the right way.
Lastly, and possibly most important:
Hustle, be the first one there, Last one to leave, Encourage, Work incredibly hard, Believe, and have fun.
Till Next Time,