"You Can ONLY Control Yourself"
Due to the move to Charlottesville, VA (read more about that HERE), September’s Tip of the Month is a bit delayed, but I can assure you the message is incredibly important for any catcher looking to improve their ability behind the plate and their approach to the game as a whole.
This past weekend I had a student of mine in for a lesson. He’s a sophomore in HS, and has one of the best work ethics I have ever seen. That being said, this student has some work to do to get to the level he wishes to play at. That’s certainly not to say he isn’t extremely proficient at the position, just that he has a lot of work to do, like everyone else looking to play at the next level.
In the middle of our lesson he asked me a question that made the hair on my arm stand up. “Coach, there’s a freshman this year that everyone thinks is going to make varsity this year. What do I do about that?”
My jaw dropped. “Huh?!?!” I replied. He said again, "I don’t know what to do about him, everyone thinks he’s that good. What do I do?”
This is a very common situation that comes up for many of you catchers. You put in the time, you do the work, and at the end of the day some other catcher is getting all the praise and they threaten your playing time.
There are a few reasons this question bothered me so much, but just one that stands out above all of them. No matter what anyone else does to earn their spot and playing time, the only thing any one of us can ever control is what we do ourselves. The moment we start thinking about what other people think about someone else, that’s the very moment we’ve lost.
We cannot waste time or energy thinking about things that are out of our control. We cannot control what a coach thinks about another catcher. We cannot control the work someone else is putting in to beat us out of a job. We cannot control any of that. The only thing we can control is what we do to earn our spot.
That is what I told this student. His job, and any one else in this situation, is to find out why people think that catcher is better and put in more work in those areas. Get better today than you were yesterday. It’s as simple as that. At the end of the day, as unfortunately as it may be, that other catcher may very well be more talented than you. But it’s your job to put in the work to get better.
Catchers, the only person you should ever measure yourself against is who you were yesterday. The second you start to consider the things you can’t control is the second you’ve lost another step to the other catcher.
Thanks for reading this month's Tip of the Month!