Those are some of my favorite words that I ever heard as a player. While training in the off-season I took a trip to my pitching coach’s facility in Montgomery, Texas: The Texas Baseball Ranch. While I was there I learned a lot of different training drills and throwing protocols in order to help me progress as a pitcher, but what was most valuable was the lesson that I learned while I was there. Before training at the Ranch I was so accustomed to 1 on 1 personal instruction from the coaches that I worked with. previously I had never experienced anything different.

That all changed when I went to The Ranch. I was always someone who worked extremely hard on what I needed to in order to accelerate my learning process in between sessions with my coaches. So initially it was a bit of a shock for me to be on the same training floor as 30 other athletes trying to work on their craft.

Originally, I went to The Ranch to learn from coach Wolforth and get the chance to work with him. By the end of my two week stay I had come to realize that I really didn’t get any personal lesson time with coach. What immediately came to mind was a talk that I had with Wolforth in the beginning of my two week stay, he said, “the reason for you getting better does not have to do with me as much as you think it does, I am simply here to set the tone and provide feedback for questions and feelings that you may have. The onus is really on you to get where you need to go and do what you need to do.”

It could have been very easy for someone to look back on their lack of personal time with coach and get mad that “they did not get what they paid for.” This was definitely not the case for me. Looking back on it I knew exactly what I needed to improve on and what I needed to do in order to get the results that I wanted. Ultimately I was the one that needed to put in the work to make sure that I was improving, and I liked that responsibility. It was nobody’s job but mine.

While working with a coach on refining a skill it is easy to visit him once per week and run through some drills and think that is enough to get the results and changes that are desired. But that session really should be used as a springboard for further work throughout the week in between sessions. It takes hours and hours and thousands upon thousands of repetitions to see changes in motor patterns in players. Two hours throughout a seven-day period is simply not enough time spent for the changes to take place as quickly as a player wants them to happen.

It takes work to improve a skill. Rehearsing the desired movement in the shower, mirror, window, and on video are all things that I have discussed with elite athletes. When I was pitching It was commonplace for me to be walking at the mall going through my desired movement change, or using a mirror and slowly practicing the feeling and the movement that I wanted. It all comes down to thousands of reps of deliberate practice/ rehearsal.

The job is not done when the lesson is complete or the session is over. The work has only begun. Start taking responsibility for your results and desired changes. More importantly always remember, The Onus is on You.

-Start with the foundation in mind.
RC
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