February 2013 - Tip of the Month

"Who's Working Harder Than You?"

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One of the things my father used to tell me on a regular basis is that somebody, somewhere was trying to outwork me and it was up to me whether they succeeded.

The banner pictured above hangs in a facility we used to run local programs out of. It is not just a motto, but a required attitude of every player who walks through the door. The mantra spread like wild fire when it was introduced to the players a couple of years ago. Routinely you will hear one of the players scream out in the middle of a lift or a hitting session, or during blocking drills  - "Nobody's working harder than me right now!" Occasionally, you'll even hear one player quietly mention to another - "Pssst, I'm working harder than you RIGHT NOW!." To be honest, it's awesome.

When you really get down to the heart of it, you start to see just how personal that question can get. The question is actually asking this to each player - "why aren't you working harder? However, the question does it in a way that eliminates the possibility of some bologna excuse. It digs much deeper.

A couple of years ago, I was working with this HS catcher. To say they were talented is a tremendous understatement. This catcher was destined for great things on the field. During the last lesson before the start of the season we were running through a few blocking drills, and I started to notice the technique break down. So I asked a question as routine during my lessons as any other - "How many blocks have you done since the last time I saw you?" The answer was a non-verbal stare into space. "Wrong answer."

Unbeknownst to this catcher, I had begun to work with the backup catcher at the same high school. Not as athletically gifted, not nearly as naturally talented, but their work ethic was unmatched. This catcher was putting in work every single day, and they were getting very good.

The season started and after about two weeks I got a call from the backup catcher. Well, the former backup catcher. They just had a catcher's only meeting with the head coach, and in that meeting the coach proceeded to tell the backup catcher that it was very clear they had outworked the starter during the offseason and had earned a promotion.

The former starter found out just how much it can sting to find out the answer to the question "Who is working harder than you?" is something other than "Nobody!"

So, who worked harder than you today?

Thanks for reading this month's Tip of the Month!

Also, just a reminder to those guys out there. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. When found early enough, it is one of the most curable forms of cancer. When found late it is one of the deadliest. If you consider yourself a "REAL MAN", keep in mind that a real manunderstands how important it is to be around for those who care about them. So, to all of those guys out there who are embarrassed or scared of going to the doctors - GET OVER IT AND GET SCREENED! Prove to your loved ones just how much of a real man you actually are.

From behind the mask,