Benefits of Consistent Game Preparation
Are you a hot-and-cold baseball player?
Do you experience a sudden drop in your performance after a few good games?
Think of a time when you strung together a few good baseball games…
You probably worked very hard in practice focusing on technique and following the advice of your coaches…
And it worked… your performance on the field improved.
Maybe after those few games you thought, “I’ve got this now” and didn’t keep up with your previous level of preparation.
When you become complacent, your performance on the field will suffer and you will continue the peak-and-valley cycle.
Performance is all about focus and preparation.
When you stop doing the things that aided your success, of course your performance on the field will be negatively affected.
You need a consistent focus and preparation throughout the season. Consistent performance requires consistent preparation.
Clayton Kershaw is a 26 year-old starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers and one of the best young arms in the game.
So far in Kershaw’s career, he has a record of 85-48 with a 2.58 ERA with 2 Cy Young awards and a no-hitter to his resume.
Kershaw’s success is directly related to his consistent preparation for each game.
Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis feels Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in MLB and credited Kershaw’s success to his dedication and consistent preparation for each game.
ELLIS: “That’s what makes him different and special… his dedication to the routine and unwavering desire to win. It will keep him separate for a long time.”
Many baseball players will have a lull in their preparation after experiencing some degree of success, almost as if to say “I arrived…”
Often these players experience a dip in their play on the field as a result of their less-than-stellar preparation.
Ellis differentiated Kershaw from other pitchers because Kershaw continues to diligently and consistently prepare for each game as a new challenge.
Ellis stated that Kershaw’s approach assures that he has done everything possible to prepare for his starts so he has no regrets when the game is finished.
ELLIS: “It’s a grind, 162 games. As humans and athletes, we get lazy and selfish and stupid. He [Kershaw] never does that. It’s paid dividends, so why risk changing it? The last thing he wants to say is, what if?”
The very things that have brought Kershaw success are continually honed as he seeks to keep improving his craft.
KERSHAW: “You have to be always developing. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. There are definitely things I’ve worked on in the past and I’m working now on and trying to improve.”
Try these tips to prepare like an elite pitcher:
- You want to prepare completely and consistently for each game, mentally and physically. Make a list of 1-3 things that you will focus on for each workout or practice session. Leave nothing to chance.
- You should adopt the mindset of, “Today, I will seek to be better than yesterday.” Don’t settle for what you accomplished yesterday. Fine-tune parts of your game to continually improve throughout your career.
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