Yes, we all want to perform well and win if at all possible, especially during the postseason. But we don't want to lose sight of what got us here.
Here are four tips players can use to take their game to the next level:
- Show up on time and work hard. You're part of a team and others are depending on you.
- Play the game to the best of your ability and find a way to have fun that doesn't depend on your results. With so much failure in this game, if you're only happy when you do well, you won't be happy much and won't be any fun to be around.
- Make an effort to learn the game and pay attention. Learn something new everyday. Learn how to anticipate action and get your thinking done before or in between the action so that when the play happens you are free to "just do it".
"You can't think and (hit) play at the same time" ~ Yogi Berra
- Make sure you're practicing correctly. This is a game of repetition. What you do the most is going to be what you do when the chips are down. Build strong habits in practice so in a game you can again, "just do it." The freedom and confidence that results from trusting your practice process will make you a better player. Remember, practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.
Till next time, have fun, play hard, and keep your eye on the ball...
Brent Mayne is a 15-year veteran of the Major Leagues. He ranks 75th in the history of baseball with 1,143 pro games caught, and his .993 career fielding percentage is 4th all-time. Brent is the author of the book "The Art of Catching"--a comprehensive guide to teaching and building defensive catching skills.