QUALITY: More is NOT Better!
Coaches to players: “You need to take more swings. You need to take more ground balls. You need to play more games. You need to run more.”
Parents to players: “You need to take more BP. We need to sign you up for more lessons.”
Players to themselves: “I have to throw harder. I have to lift more weight.”
Quality over quantity
How often do you focus on the QUALITY of what you are already doing?
What if you could gain more from doing less? Gain more strength. Gain more bat speed. Throw harder. Run faster. All from doing LESS work.
YOU CAN! The simple solution is to focus on the QUALITY of your work and efforts.
How Do I Get More From Less?
Don’t get the wrong idea. I am not advising you to take shortcuts. In order to get the most bang for your buck with the least amount of work possible. You will need to ask yourself some questions:
How efficient is my current work?
How much focus do I have on a daily basis?
Do I waste time?
Is my current workload making me better?
I challenge you to think about your current processes toward reaching your goals and where you can improve.
Even if you are doing great things, you should always take the time to evaluate your efficiency. There may be a better way to achieve equal or greater results.
We have all seen the guy who has an outrageous pregame routine before their start. This guy starts his warm-up an hour and 15 minutes before the game, stretches for 20 minutes, throws a 300 foot long toss, pitches 4 innings worth of bullpen, then runs sprints and stretches again before the start. Although this guy is lights out in terms of his performance, he never reaches it to the 7th inning. Can you tell me that shortening his routine and focusing more on the quality of prep would not give him a better chance to pitch deeper into games? It absolutely would! Be efficient. Seek methods to help get more for less.
Do you focus? And when I say focus, I’m talking about the level of focus you will need to succeed have at the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning with runners in scoring position, 2 outs, against the closer. That’s the kind of focus I’m talking about.
In your day to day training and practice routine are you focusing on your tasks to become great or are you simply going though the motions? You can take 150 swings with no intent. But I would much rather you only take 40 swings and be completely “in the moment” and have a productive dialogue with yourself about your approach and what you’re trying to achieve for that session! See where I am coming from?
“Don’t waste time.” What a cliche thing to say. But sadly, it has to be said. Think about all the things you do throughout the day that get you no closer to your baseball or training goals: eating junk food, playing video games, mindless scrolling on social media, being lazy watching tv, or simply just talking about being good with no action. Now add up all the time you spend doing these things each day. Imagine if you spent just half that time working on your swing, pitching mechanics, or improving your mobility in the gym.
Own your time! When you get spare time throughout the day (you won’t always have this luxury), use it to work towards your goals.
Evaluate the Current Workload
What do you do now? How busy are you? Do you feel like you have more time to work toward your goals? Or are you drowning; always hammering away at these goals?
Learn to trust your body and mind. If you’re feeling run down, sore, burnt out, etc. take some time to recover. On the other hand, if you find yourself unchallenged and not making progress its time to GET TO WORK!
Example: the pitcher...or the position player...who is going through the “dead arm” or sore arm phase. There is that fine line between throwing through soreness to get your arm in shape, and overdoing it with the “more is better” approach. After evaluating workload, this player might benefit from a recovery period . That may only require a small amount of time. You need to have a plan. Don’t waste any of your precious developmental time!
Again, I want to reiterate the fact that nothing comes easy and I am a firm believer that hard work is the best way to reach your goals. But smart work is just as, if not more, important. Train hard. Train smart. Play hard. Play smart.
There may be a better way to achieve your goals. Be open minded to change. Seek advice from the people you trust the most, and quit wasting your own time. Be a master of how your time is spent. Make more time by saving time. In the end, keep things simple and focus on your process and the results will show up.
About the author
Dave is a graduate from Piedmont College, where he was a member of the NCAA baseball team. Dave spent his first two years of college playing baseball in Columbus, OH at Capital University. Upon graduating from Piedmont, he has spent his time working as a coach and strength training specialist at the Collegiate and High School level.
Dave is currently working with the Ninth Inning baseball academy in Atlanta, Georgia coaching and strength training with some of the nation's top high school athletes. Known for his superior work ethic on and off the field, Dave has devoted nearly a decade to coaching and researching the major aspects of baseball performance: hitting, throwing, and running. His main goal is to use his extensive knowledge and background in strength and baseball performance training to give his athletes a competitive edge in enhancing their on-field performance.