Are you ready for the challenge to the best?

Robert H. Schuller once said, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

My hitters spend August through October trying new things to find out what works and what doesn’t. November through January is when they commit and discipline themselves to build habits and strength based on what works.

For example:

Hitter A – August – October

Trying new loads that will allow him to produce power during the spring season.

Varying load types include:

  • High Leg
  • Toe Tap
  • Bat Wrap
  • Hand Drop
Hitter A – November – January

Focusing on:

  • Building a repeatable habit of a high leg load to produce more power.
  • Building hip flexor and core strength in order to repeatedly get and keep his body in position to produce power.
  • Building mental awareness to determine when he is doing things wrong so that he can make quick adjustments.
  • Building emotional capacity to remain patient while it takes 3,000-plus reps to build the habit.

Talent is what you do well. Habits is what you do well reportedly without thought, while skills is what you do well reportedly without thought while under stress.

Habit = Cue + Routine + Reward

The routine part is where most coaches start and spend the most time with hitters. We commit to focusing on making sure that your load is good along with a good approach, etc.

The reward is lots of hits and being able to do it with power.

A cue is a signal for action.

When it comes to hitting, a cue would be the different pitches that are thrown by the opposing pitcher in a game.

Fastballs are fast and change ups are slow. Curve balls have height, tilt and then depth. Each pitch is thrown strategically to prevent hitters from producing power.

So in order for my hitters to develop good habits November through January that will help them compete February through May, we cannot spend all of our time creating great routines without changing the cue—varying pitch types.

I teach the swing using seven parts that include:

  1. Stance/Load
  2. Timing
  3. Tempo
  4. Tracking
  5. Approach
  6. Contact
  7. Extension/Finish

Remember, it takes 3,000 reps to build a habit. If you need to build habits for all seven parts, that’s 21,000 reps.

Toughness is physical or emotional strength that allows someone to endure strain or hardship. It definitely takes toughness to commit and discipline yourself for three months to build habits and strength.

I define discipline as doing the things that need to get done especially when you don’t want to do it. Many people want fame and fortune, but don’t want to be committed and disciplined to get it.

Here’s a load drill that you can commit and discipline yourself to execute to improve your habits and strength.

For more information, visit L.E.A.D. Center for Youth today.

C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 22 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and a track record of success that can work for you.